Anxiety and stress feed off your emotions, wouldn’t you say? That’s why emotion-focused coping techniques are the best ways to beat these villains before they can cause severe damage.
No one likes being stressed out or filled with anxiety. Although anxiety can become so bad that it transforms into a disorder, it can still be treated with remedies which target emotional response. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand stress or anxiety and they tell you to “just stop being upset”, which is the worst thing used to treat this problem. Emotion-focused coping, on the other hand, can help you process these feelings instead of trying to push them away.
The magic of emotion-focused coping
Basically, there are two forms of healthy coping mechanisms that we, as humans, use every day to battle anxiety. One is problem-focused coping where we try to eliminate the source of our anxiety.
The other is emotion-focused coping which we use to “deal” with our feelings when problems cannot be eliminated. Rather, emotion-focused coping teaches us how to respond to our situations, surroundings, and the like. Here are a few emotion-focused coping techniques you might want to try.
Writing has always been a beneficial way to help the anxious cope with their problems. Writing accomplishes several things in this area.
This technique helps you process what you’re feeling, it helps you brainstorm solutions, and it helps you turn negative feelings into positive ones by letting yourself vent in written form. Getting in touch with your emotions while utilizing your problem-solving abilities is a great collaboration when trying to eliminate stress.
2. Although rather cliché, be positive
I know this one is sometimes easier said than done, but let’s approach it in a different way than we’re used to. Instead of just trying to force yourself to be positive, try seeing the best of any given situation, if possible.
When you experience something negative, try to see it as a learning experience instead of a failure. After all, most people who are good at things were once failures at that same objective. If anxiety has taken over because of a disappointment, try to find the silver lining. It’s there.
3. Practice discipline
Before you fly off the handle and go into an emotional tirade, try to practice disciplined behavior. Yes, I know, this is also a cliché move, but it can also be an upgraded version.
Just like when you get angry, try counting to 10, or try distraction as well. Both these things can activate a disciplined habit. It will take repetition and patience to learn how to practice this coping strategy.
It seems like meditation is a healing device for anything. It really is. In fact, it can actually become a form of discipline, itself.
When becoming anxious, try to separate yourself from what’s going on and find a place of peace. Even during the most nerve-wracking times, it’s possible to locate your center, exist in the here and now, and be able to formulate wise decisions.
This form of emotion-focused coping can then lead to problem-focused coping and then on to solving said problem.
5. Recognize cognitive distortions
Sometimes when negative circumstances arise, you may experience distortions of reality. It’s possible that some of these things you witness are not as real as you think they are. They may be controlling the way you react as well.
These cognitive distortions could be causing you to contribute to our own problems, making them much worse. It helps if you can learn to recognize the signs of unhealthy thinking and delusions of reality. If you can look at things logically, you can make better judgments and possibly avoid anxiety and stress.
6. Relinquish control
One thing you must understand that will help with emotion-focused coping techniques is that you cannot control everything in your life. This desire for control is one way that stress grows and becomes unbearable.
Yes, it’s important to stand by your standards and make sure you are treated fairly, but it is extremely unhealthy to monitor everything in a control mode. Sometimes, even though you might not like it, you cannot control what happens to you. If you make peace with that simple fact, you will immediately improve your mental wellbeing.
7. Forms of creative expression
Just as writing helps with coping and healing, other forms of expression are also beneficial. Painting, sculpting, or music works wonders in battling issues such as anxiety as well as depression. These outlets allow you to focus on beauty instead of ugliness and worry. This focus transforms negative feelings into positive ones.
Allow yourself to heal
You deserve the best quality life possible. This is why it’s so important to learn how to cope with your anxiety and stress. Left unchecked, these negative emotions can change your mindset and physical health causing illnesses and even chronic disorders.
If you haven’t tried these 7 emotion-focused techniques, give them a shot. You just might find the key to your healing.