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9 Tips to Recover From an Emotionally Challenging Situation

9 Tips to Recover From an Emotionally Challenging Situation

Part of the human condition involves dealing with emotionally challenging moments, but some of them are much more difficult to recover from than others.

For example, although everyone’s experience will vary, it can take years to fully recover from the death of a close loved one. We all have our own coping mechanisms for situations ranging from a death to a breakup. However, here are some tips that are universally helpful.

1. Keep a Journal of Your Feelings

Your feelings aren’t going to go away because you opt not to deal with them. Instead, they will pop up in unexpected ways and may take much longer to deal with if you don’t face them head on.

One of the best ways to do this is to write in a journal on a regular basis. Make sure that your journal is completely private so that you can freely write all of your thoughts and feelings, no matter how bad they might seem. Doing this will enable you to purge your feelings, which makes it easier to move past them.

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2. Seek Out a Like-Minded Community

Talking to people who are like-minded can offer you a safe sounding board for your feelings and fears. If you are afraid to openly express your current feelings to someone you know, you can utilize an anonymous app or online services such as Paralign or Samaritans.

Both of these services are free, and they stress the importance of getting your feelings out via writing. Paralign will even connect you anonymously with other people who are dealing with similar issues so that you can receive the support you need from like-minded individuals. Samaritans offer anonymous email support for people who are dealing with suicidal feelings.

3. Create Space for Yourself

Sometimes, an emotionally challenging situation requires people to give a lot of themselves to others. During this time, they may be unable to deal with their feelings because they are too busy helping others.

If this has happened to you, it’s important to make some space for yourself so that you can begin the recovery process. Making space could mean anything from taking 15 minutes out of every day just for you all the way to going on a solo retreat in a cabin or hotel room for a couple of days.

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4. Consider Counseling

A staggering 16 million American adults suffer from at least one major depressive episode per year. This is often caused by situational depression, which is something that you may be able to successfully deal with more quickly by enlisting the help of a trainer counselor.

A professional will listen to you without passing judgment or telling you what to do. Instead, they will provide a safe space for you to vent and show you how to deal more effectively with your emotions. Counseling doesn’t have to last forever in order to work. In fact, most people attend an average of eight or fewer sessions per year.

5. Meditate Daily

Often, the easiest way to gain some perspective on our issues is to take a break from them. The entire goal of meditation is to be mindful and avoid dwelling on your problems or emotions.

If you can work yourself up to truly meditating for 5 to 15 minutes per day, you will benefit by taking a break from whatever is challenging you emotionally.

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6. Put Down the Snack Food

It is normal to be attracted to comfort food and snacks when you’re feeling upset or depressed. Studies have found that comfort food offers a strong positive association for most people, so it’s okay to indulge for a day or two.

After that, though, you’ll only do yourself more harm if you persist in eating junk food. Adding more vegetables and fruit into your diet will actually make your body feel better, which in turn can have a positive impact on your mental health.

7. Start Exercising

When your stress levels are through the roof, it can feel impossible to fit in some exercise. Unfortunately, this is exactly when you need it the most. If you can make time for even a 20 minute walk each day, you’ll lower your cortisol levels.

Most people also experience a boost in their ability to talk about their issues during physical activity. This should make it easier for you to get your feelings out, which is a critical step in your recovery. You may even want to consider taking a walk before therapy or journaling.

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8. Be Honest with Those Who Have Hurt You

Is your current situation linked to emotional pain that was caused by someone else? It may be necessary to express this pain to them in order to truly move forward. The important thing to remember is that you always have the right to say how you feel, but you don’t have the right to expect a specific response.

In other words, after you’ve said your peace, the other person might not apologize or admit to any wrongdoing. Getting your feelings out will still help you as long as you don’t place expectations on the other person. Also, remember to stick with saying how you feel instead of making personal attacks.

9. Finds Things to Be Grateful For

Science has proven that expressing gratitude can improve your mental and physical health. Therefore, even if you currently feel like the world is a dark cesspool, it’s vital to look for anything that you can feel grateful about. Make a gratitude board or journal and challenge yourself to express gratitude for at least one thing per day.

This doesn’t have to be overly complicated. It could be something as simple as “I’m grateful for pizza.” The point is to look at things in your life that are positive in order to help you move past the negative stuff.

Ultimately, only you can ensure that you do fully recover from an emotionally challenging situation. If you choose to continuously dwell on what happened instead of taking positive steps, you may continue to feel emotional pain for many years. Instead, start taking helpful action right now, including adding the 10 mood lifting superfoods to your diet.

Featured photo credit: Michelle Tribe via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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