The Right and Wrong Ways to Cope with Emotional Overwhelm

Do you ever feel like your emotions run so deep that you’re going to explode? Do your emotions negatively impact your ability to function? If so, you could be experiencing what is commonly referred to as emotional overwhelm. This intense onset of emotions is often derived from being under a great deal of stress, going through a traumatic experience, or even when involved in a toxic relationship. 

Everyone has gone through difficult times that caused them to feel emotionally overwhelmed. With time, those feelings subside for most allowing them to return to business as usual. For others, however, these emotions fester inside and start to cause a plethora of physical and emotional problems. Realistically, the only way to resolve emotional overwhelm is to learn how to cope. 

Wrong Ways to Cope

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There is a wrong way to cope with emotional overwhelm. These coping mechanisms listed below may seem to soothe the pain, but in reality, are only temporary (and can also make matters worse). 

  • Denial – It’s not uncommon for people struggling with emotional overwhelm to deny what they’re experiencing to themselves and others. The idea is that if you don’t think about it or speak it, eventually it will go away. Unfortunately, however, denying these emotions causes you to bottle them up inside which can cause serious harm to your health. 
  • Isolation – When you’re not in the best of moods it’s okay to want to spend some time to yourself to get your head together. However, if your emotions cause you to completely withdraw from the things you know and love on a regular basis, this is a serious problem. Keeping to yourself can actually lead to depression. 
  • Self-Medicating – Lots of people make the mistake of trying to numb their emotional pain with drugs and alcohol. From wine and beer to marijuana and prescription painkillers, they take these substances hoping to feel better. The high creates a numbing experience for a while, but once it wears off, the emotions are still there and sometimes more intense than before. 
  • Bullying – If you’ve ever heard the saying, hurt people hurt people then you know how this one landed on the list. Many people who are going through a lot and don’t speak it end up lashing out at others. By picking on others it feels as if you’re taking the spotlight off yourself. In turn, however, you’re ruining relationships. 

Right Ways to Cope

Now that you see the effects of negatively coping with emotional overwhelm, review these examples on how to successfully cope:

  • Acknowledge your pain – There’s nothing wrong with feeling emotionally overwhelmed, but hiding it does nothing to help. The first step to treating the problem is admitting that you have one. 
  • Get Support from loved ones – Remember, being alone for a bit is fine, but too much time by yourself can really dampen your mood. Now is the time to reach out to the people you know and ask for their support. They can be a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on, which can help you in getting through this difficult time. 
  • Seek Treatment – If you can’t get your emotions under control or you’ve started a habit of self-medicating perhaps you need to seek treatment. There are facilities like Clean Recovery Center where you can get therapy and wellness services to kick your substance abuse or addiction and to help you cope with emotional overwhelm. You can learn more about Clean’s wellness program by visiting their site. 
  • Take a Break – When life has got your emotions in a bunch sometimes all you need is a break. Take off from work and just lounge around at home or get a nice hotel room for the weekend. While you’re there, don’t think about anything but caring for yourself. Do things that relax you while also bringing a smile to your face. Get some room service, have a massage, write in a journal, or take a soothing bath. 
  • Simplify Your Life – If your emotional overwhelm is the direct result of being too stressed out, simplifying your life could work wonders. Simplify processes at home and in the workplace, create routines, set goals, ask for help to lighten your load, manage your time more efficiently, and start doing more of what you love. 

If only life always went the way you wanted it to, dealing with overwhelming emotions wouldn’t be necessary. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. When life gets you down it is important to first allow yourself to feel than do the necessary work to cope. When using coping mechanisms for emotional overwhelm, just be sure to cope the right way. 

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