Have you just about had enough of things going awry in your life? Are you feeling especially stressed, depressed, anxious, or a mixture of them all? It’s one thing to feel sad, angry, or nervous for a bit, but when you feel this way all the time it creates this urgent need to find immediate relief. Unfortunately, most people find temporary relief in substances or habits that ultimately make matters worse. If you’re dealing with overwhelming emotions, here are some things you should never do to cope.

Isolation

Taking time to yourself to relax and think isn’t a bad method of coping, but when you completely isolate yourself from the outside world, it can make things worse. Isolation from friends and family can result in feelings of depression. You need the social interaction and support of others, not only are they there for you when things are going well, they can be a great backing when life is crazy.

Drinking

All too often, people turn to the bottle to help calm their nerves. Though alcohol can create a numbing effect and feeling of escape for a moment, it is only temporary. You can also start to develop a tolerance which could turn into dependency and addiction. Drinking alcohol will only intensify things as it changes your appearance, ruins your health, and wreaks havoc on your finances, career, and personal relationships. This would for sure cause chronic stress, depression, or anxiety. So if you’re needing alcohol detox, you should find a rehab center you trust and get clean. Once you’re sober, they have therapy options which can help you identify the cause of your overwhelming emotions and learn methods on how to cope.

Eating

Commonly, people who are overwhelmed will do one of two things – eat lots of food or avoid eating. Both of these can be harmful to your physical and mental well-being. Binge eating, as you know can result in weight gain, hormonal imbalances, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and more. Skipping meals has a lot of the same consequences. Don’t use food as a crutch. Eat clean and varied meals, have at least three meals and two snacks a day, and most importantly stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. A well-balanced diet can help to improve your mood.

Lashing Out

When you keep your feelings bottled up inside, it’s only a matter of time before you blow up. Lashing out at others never solves anything and can tarnish relationships in the process. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you should find a constructive way to express yourself. Talk it out with your family, ask for a bit of time alone, or take a few deep breaths when you feel yourself about to explode.

Self-Harm

When you’re feeling depressed, stressed, or burned out you might start to harm yourself. Some people have been known to cut themselves until they bleed or burn themselves with the butt of a cigarette. The pain sends a rush of euphoria throughout the body providing short-lived relief from whatever you’re struggling with internally. Self-harm is dangerous and can even lead to death, if you’re inflicting wounds upon yourself you should contact a therapist for guidance. Getting your feelings out in the open and learning methods to control them in the future makes a huge difference and can motivate you to value yourself enough not to inflict any more harm.

What to Do Instead?

If you are on the brink of an emotional meltdown it is important to act. Now that you know what not to do, let’s look at a few tips on what you should do to cope.

  • Meditate – practicing mindfulness meditation helps people to rechannel their energy and uncloud their minds. Five minutes every morning, get up and meditate focusing on your breathing and the surroundings. This takes your mind off your troubles and onto the simple but vital aspects of life.

  • Exercise – when you’re in a mood put on some running shoes and start running. There’s nothing like a natural adrenaline rush you get from working out. Exercising helps to improve the mood by increasing endorphins in the brain which gives you a natural high and boost of energy. You can workout indoors, hit a gym, or escape outside, just as long as you’re active.

  • Take a break – There’s a lot going on in life that could have you feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes you just need a break. You can take a day off from work and go shopping, or rent a hotel in a neighboring city for the weekend to take a break from the kids. Taking time for yourself reduces stress.

  • Reevaluate – These overwhelming emotions didn’t come out of nowhere as there are usually signs early on that something’s going wrong. So, you need to be honest with yourself and evaluate your life. What’s going on that’s got you out of sorts? Whether it’s a relationship, job, the kids, or your friends you need to find a different approach that doesn’t weigh heavily on you. Ask your parents to watch the kids after school, go to credit counseling to learn financial management practices, break up with toxic relationships, and whatever else you may need to do to reduce the emotional strain on your life right now.

When your emotions are so overwhelming that it feels like they’re taking control of your life, it can be tempting to want to resort to temporary fixes to resolve the matter. It may feel good or taste good at the moment, and may even provide a temporary form of relief, but in the end, turning to these sources only makes things work. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, the best thing you can do is follow the above advice for guidance. It may not happen overnight, but with time you can get back to feeling like yourself again.