5 Ways To Cope With Emotional Stress
Here are some exercises you can try to effectively cope with emotional stress:
Practice Mindfulness. When we feel emotional stress, it's also often experienced as physical pain - a 'heavy' feeling in the chest, unsettled feeling in the stomach, a dull headache. It's common to try to escape these feelings, but it can actually be helpful to go deeper into the experience and use mindfulness to really notice where these emotional responses are felt physically.
Distract Yourself. In some ways, it's beneficial to examine our emotional state to learn what our emotions are trying to tell us. However, distracting oneself from emotional pain with emotionally healthy alternatives - such as a feel-good movie or activities with friends - can lessen emotional pain and help us feel better.
Block Off Some Time. If mindfulness or distraction don't work for you, try scheduling some time to allow yourself to think about your situation fully and mull over solutions, think about hypothetical possibilities, replay upsetting exchanges, or whatever you feel the emotional urge to do. Journaling is a great technique to try here!
Practice Meditation. Meditation is extremely helpful for dealing with a variety of stressors, including emotional stress. It allows you to take a break from rumination by actively redirecting your thoughts and provides practice in choosing thoughts, which can help eliminate emotional stress in the long run.
Talk To a Therapist. If you find your level of emotional stress interfering with your daily activities or threatening your wellbeing in other ways, consider seeing a therapist to help work through emotional issues. If your employer offers an Employee Assistance Program, that would be a great place to start!