- Mental Health
How To Cope With Getting Over Emotional Distress Or Just Deal With It
Everyone experiences emotional distress from time to time. This can be caused by the loss of a loved one through as death, a geographical move, a job loss, a home foreclosure, filing for bankruptcy, or the breakup of work partnership, a church, an organization, a love relationship, or a close friendship. Maybe your parents, your siblings, your children, or your best friend no longer want anything to do with you. (Been there, done all of that!) So I know what I am talking about. The pain is real and always present, even when you wake up in the night. You cannot seem to get it out of your mind.
Stress during this difficult time becomes too much to handle and can lead to a complete emotional breakdown if it is not dealt with in a timely fashion.
Emotional distress can take its toll, affecting every part of your life, from how you perform at work to how you spend your free time.
Friends, family, and co-workers may not know what to say to you. They either avoid you like the plague, or tell you that they do not know how you can handle your emotional pain and that they are praying for you. They then quickly change the subject before you can even talk about it.
Soon you find that you have become stressed out, emotionally isolated, and alone with your pain. You call someone to talk and they see your number appear on their caller ID and decide not to pick up. They do not return your calls. You realize you are all alone. This magnifies your emotional distress which then turns into despair. Despair leads to hopelessness which in turn leads to deep depression.
Hopefully, there will be someone in your life who cares and will listen and lovingly help you on your road to recovery. Remember that God is always there and he cares about you and wants to hear from you so you really are never alone.
If there is no one to help you, you must take action for yourself when the emotional distress first starts. Plan at the beginning to avoid depression. Depression is no fun at all.
You must be proactive. There are things you can do to help yourself at the very beginning of your pain. No, you will not feel like doing them when you are in emotional pain. However, you must make yourself do them, especially if there is no one there to guide you through.
First, try to get a good night's sleep each and every night. I know, sleep does not come easily when you cry all night long. Here are some ways to help with sleep.
Avoid caffeine at least three hours prior to your bedtime. Drink water or a soothing caffeine-free chamomile tea before going to bed.
Purchase a sound machine with a timer on it. You can get one at Wal-Mart for around $30 that plays relaxing sounds such as gentle rain and ocean waves. The timer on mine plays for an hour before cutting off. Hopefully by then you will have drifted off. If not, you can just let it play all night.
Take a bedtime aromatherapy bath. Light an aromatherapy candle and use a matching scent in the bath. Soak in a hot bath with vanilla or lavender as they calm and relax you. Do not leave the candle burning. Always put the candle out before going to bed for safety.
Spray your sheets and pillowcase with relaxing linen spray in vanilla or lavender to carry over the aromatherapy experience.
When you climb into bed, put some fluffy pillows behind you. Read your Bible or another inspirational book--something to take your mind off of your emotional distress and give you hope. Nothing scary, suspenseful, or action-packed. Save that for daytime reading. Pray and release everything to God and He will bless you with restful sleep and healing.
Another important activity to combat emotional distress is to eat right. Eat healthy foods--lots of proteins such as meat, chicken, fish, cheese, and eggs. Combine this with lots of healthy fruits and vegetables, both raw and cooked.
Stay away from junk foods as much as possible. Don't get me wrong--I love junk food. Sugar and chocolate are wonderful, along with salty chips, but your body does not need these things when you are in emotional distress.
Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Take a brisk walk outside. Walk on the treadmill while watching TV. Step on your stair stepper or take a bike ride outside or inside on your exercise bike. Swim, dance, jump on a trampoline, jump rope, run in place, or jog around the neighborhood. Use your Wii Fitness Board and take a bike road around the Wii Island. This will give you energy and make you feel better. You will trim down as well.
Get regular chair or table massages to relax you and release the stress you may have in your muscles.
Find a new hobby, something you enjoy doing. This will help to heal your emotional distress. Don't just sit and watch TV all day long.
Take up gardening in your backyard. That is what my husband does for fun. He says it relieves stress and he grows some healthy food for our table at the same time. Learn to paint, cross-stitch, sew, knit, crochet, work with beads or clay, write, or build a website.
Take classes at a craft store or buy a how-to book at Wal-Mart. There are a lot of how-to craft shows on TV to inspire you.
Spend a little time each day or as time allows learning and perfecting your new hobby. Have fun with it. Get creative.
Join a Bible study at your church. Volunteer your time for a ministry such as visiting the sick or shut-ins at your church. Help out in the church nursery. Volunteer at a local nursing home. Help out an elderly neighbor.
The important thing is to get the focus off of you and your pain. Help others. A shift in perspective is great for healing emotional distress.