People struggling with overwhelming emotions often deal with their pain in very unhealthy, very unsuccessful ways because they don’t know what else to do. When a person is in emotional pain, it is not unusual to hear them to be rational and to think of a good solution. Nevertheless, many of the coping strategies used by people with overwhelming emotions only serve to make their problems worse.
Here is a list of some common coping strategies used by people dealing with these problems:
- They spend a great deal of time thinking about past pains, mistakes, and problems.
- They get anxious worrying about possible future pains, mistakes and problems,
- They isolate themselves from other people to avoid distressing situations.
- They make themselves feel numb with alcohol or drugs.
- They take their feelings out on other people by getting excessively angry at them or trying to control them.
- They engage in dangerous behaviors, such a cutting, hitting, picking at, or burning themselves or pulling out their own hair.
- They engage in unsafe sexual activities.
- They avoid dealing with the causes of their problems, such as an abusive or dysfunctional relationship.
- They used food to punish or control themselves by eating too much, not eating at all, or throwing up what they do eat.
- They attempt suicide or engage in high-risk activities, like reckless driving or taking a dangerous amount of alcohol and drugs.
All of these strategies are a path to even deeper emotional pain because even the strategies that offer temporary relief will only cause them more suffering in the future. Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) is a technique that has been proved to resolve overwhelming emotions. In Mindful Journey Center we use this technique, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 954-376-0496 for a consultation about how TIR can help.
Material used from “The dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills Workbook”. McKay, M., Wood, Jeffrey, Brantley Jeffrey (2007) New Harbinger Publications, Inc.