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Old 02-13-2015, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Some information about Coping with Emotions

i have posted some of this here before, but as the list of skills gets longer, i like to refresh it. i hope some of these things are helpful to people who need them.

learning to tolerate irritating stimuli was a long and difficult process for me. what astonished me the most was, when i finally broke and stopped reacting, the irritant (for me, a barking dog) went away. the universe is a strange place... here are some skills for self-soothing that i hope will help you stay sane (?)..

when emotions become overwhelming, some self-soothing skills~
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when emotions become overwhelming, having the skills to manage them is crucial. even tho the following were developed for anxiety and panic, i have found them to be equally useful for other emotions.

Self Comforting Skills

we are social creatures, but getting what we need when we need it from another is not always available. here are some of the suggestions from the DBT handbook on Self Soothing Skills:

think of soothing each of your FIVE SENSES

1) Vision: Notice what you see, find soothing things to look at.
(i go to a blog that has lovely pictures: C PTSD - A Way Out | A place to check in daily)

2) Hearing: Pay attention to what you can hear around you.
(put on your favorite music...)

3) Smell: Be aware of the memories that smell can bring.
(i like to do aroma therapy. there are many Essential Oils for that.)

4) Taste: Carefully savor flavors that the day brings you.
(keep a favorite hard candy on hand, for the little sugar boost, too.)

5) Touch: Find comfort in touch.
(keep a special pillow or blanket with a favorite perfume on it.)

Self-Sooth

these are not listed, but i find them handy, too:

A) Reassurance: Tell yourself that you are OK, safe and unharmed.
(the danger is past, you have survived this before and now
you are stronger and more skillful than then.)

B) Take Action: Go for a walk, or exercise or clean house or cook. (use your
body's natural focusing powers to leave the emotion behind.)

C) Refocus: Think about pleasant things. Push the hurtful thoughts away.
(have a hobby or a story, or a book that you like, to take your
mind to a better place.)

Coping With Strong Emotions:

1. Remember, strong feelings are just exaggerations of normal bodily stress reactions.

2. Sensations are neither harmful nor dangerous - just unpleasant. Nothing worse will happen.

3. Emotions are temporary. Instead of fighting, relax into it. Just let it be.

4. Focus on facing the feeling rather than trying to avoid it or escape from it.

5. Stop adding to the panic with frightening thoughts of where panic will lead.

6. Stay in the present. Be aware of what is happening to you rather than concern yourself with how much worse it might get.

7. Notice that when you stop adding to panic with frightening thoughts, the fear begins to fade.

8. Wait and give the feeling time to pass.

9. Look around you. Plan what you will do next as the emotion subsides.

10. When you are ready to go on, do so in an easy, relaxed manner. There is no hurry.

11. Think about the progress made so far despite all the difficulties.

Some Specific Actions:

1. Manage your breathing, if it is rapid, breathe into a paper sack to lower oxygen uptake;

2. Count your breaths, 1001, 1002, 1003, ect, up to 1020, then start again, slow down the count to slow your heartbeat. counting interferes with emotional feelings;

3. Delay doing anything about your anxiety or emotion, just follow the steps and focus on getting thru it;

4. Distract yourself, with anything that requires you to focus and is simple and handy - at home you might read something easy, like a magazine, or knit or wash dishes, whatever engages your attention;

5. Eat something to replenish the blood sugars that adrenalin has burned up, and give yourself at least 15 minutes for the kidneys to clean out the 'ashes' in your blood;

6. Write these things down and keep them with you, until you have made them a habit

practice these skills before you need them, or when you are just mildly upset, so they will be familiar when you are feeling very upset. i hope you find this information helpful~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
this is another lovely list, originally posted by 'Can't Stop Crying', which puts anxiety skills in terms of "grounding techniques". perhaps some people can use these ideas in these words better~ thanks, CSC ~!


1. Bring up today’s newspaper on the web, notice the date. Read something fun!

2. Breathe slowly and steadily from your core. Imagine letting fear and worry go, evaporating along with each breath.

3. Trace your hands against the physical outline of your body. Experience your own presence in the world.

4. Call a friend and have a chat.

5. If you are feeling ‘stuck’, change how you’re positioned. Wiggle your fingers, tap your feet. Pay attention to the movement: You are in control of what your body is doing, right here and now.

6. Eat or drink something. Is it hot, or cold? Sweet or sour?

7. Meditate, if that’s OK for you. Otherwise use distractions like television or music to help settle down.

8. Use your voice. Say your name or pick up a book and read the first paragraph you find out loud.

9. Look at yourself in the mirror. Smile, even if that’s the last thing you feel like! How does that feel? What can you see? (If negative thoughts come to mind, write them down to look at later but let them go for now. You’re anxious enough as it is.)

10. Write out what’s going on. Keep writing until you start to notice it makes a difference, lets some of the things you’re anxious about out.

11. Take a shower/bath. Notice the sensations of the water.

12. Write somebody you care about an email.

13. Imagine yourself in a familiar, comfortable place. Feel the safety. Know it.

14. Take a look outside. Count the number of trees and street signs.

15. Exercise. Jump up and down on the spot. Try some gentle yoga, or ride a bike.

16. Hold onto something comforting. Maybe a blanket or an old stuffed toy.

17. Laugh. Even if that’s hard. Just the act of laughing about something, anything can break that spinning out of control feeling.

18. When you’re not too stressed, make a list of the things that provoke your anxiety. Take it to your therapist and ask them to help you find ways to desensitize you to some of those things. Then those triggers won’t be quite so powerful, and your anxiety coping skills will work better.

19. If you get PTSD flashbacks, when you’re feeling OK, make a list of the furniture in your home and what room it’s in. Give the list to a friend you can call to help you focus on what’s now and safe.

20. List 5 really positive things in your life. Put the list where you’ll see it and remember that there’s more to the world than just panic and fear.

21. Think about the last week. Was there a day you didn't have so much anxiety? Remember how it felt to be less anxious than you are right now. What was different? What can change?

getting, practicing, and having the skills to cope with distress is one way to not only feel better, but to also chase away those thoughts and feelings.

best wishes,
Gus
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Last edited by DocJohn; 06-09-2016 at 01:28 PM.
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