As a Buddhist follower once said, “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”. This quote sums up the idea that we cannot prevent emotions or events from happening. We do however have control over how we handle them and how much they affect us. Many addicts or alcoholics use substances to numb difficult emotions in order to ‘escape’ or to ‘numb’. I propose ten more healthy alternatives to overcoming challenging emotions.
- Sharing Your Emotions
As humans, one of our most powerful tools is the ability to communicate and empathize with others. Talking to someone about your emotions can literally lessen their intensity. Often people want to bottle-up or hide their sadness, which can cause the emotions to get worse. So be brave and share your feelings!
2. Express Yourself
Humans can express themselves in hundreds of different ways. We can channel our emotions into painting, singing, dancing, poetry etc. Have you ever seen a dark or gloomy painting and felt the sadness of the artist? Use your creative talents to put emotions on paper or into an activity.
3. The Power of the Pen
Just like with sharing emotions, writing about your feelings can help ease negativity. Journaling is a potent form of writing that helps the author to identify, describe, and reflect on what they are feeling inside.
4. Make Up a Gratitude List
When we are feeling down, thinking of all the positive things in our lives is very helpful in getting us into a better mood. Often we realize we have way more good things happening that bad ones, even if it’s challenging at times!
5. Practice Self-Care
Sometimes when we are feeling blue, we need to pause and take some time to spoil ourselves. People practice self-care in different ways. Some of my favorite ways are long warm baths, getting a massage, or just laying out for some sun.