How Can I Deal With Anxiety or Sadness?

Posted By: on January 03, 2015
photo of a sad woman

Life can sometimes feel overwhelming.

It might be small things, like a spouse who’s angry with us for not doing the dishes, or a lost bid on a job at work, or a child who doesn’t listen and continues to go out in public “dressed like that.”

Other times it’s big things. Maybe a treasured friend moves away, someone you love passes on, or you unexpectedly lose your job.

What do you do in times like these?

Some people turn to something that will help “take the edge off.” Things such as:

  • Drinking.
  • Eating.
  • Substance abuse.

Other people get angry at the injustice of the world, acting recklessly without regard for themselves. In their anger, they wonder, “What’s the point of caring anyway?”

Others turn inward with their hurt and anxiety, shielding themselves from the world by immersing themselves in activities that distract them from the pain they feel. These could include:

  • Television.
  • Social media.
  • Gambling.
  • General “busyness.”

Whatever the strategy, the goal of these coping mechanisms is to help us get far enough from the hurt or anxiety of what happened so that we feel ready to face the world again.

But here’s the problem with coping mechanisms: they don’t actually resolve the anxiety or sadness. They just help us avoid them.

Over time, if all we do is avoid our anxiety and sadness, it turns into something more than it once was.

Sadness can build into depression, and anxiety can morph into panic attacks or binge eating, all to repress the unresolved feelings you continue to experience.

This is where therapy can help.

At the heart of therapy is helping people move away from their destructive coping strategies. Instead, therapy will teach you simple, effective techniques you can use to resolve your stress, anxiety, and sadness, whenever life throws difficult situations your way.

You might ask yourself: What’s a healthy way to deal with my anxiety? Or my sadness?

In therapy, you can learn how to stay with these emotions, instead of trying to run away from them. By doing so, you can bring a care and compassion to them, and find relief from feelings that may have been building up inside you for years.

An attuned therapist will help you learn techniques such as:

  • Mindfullness.
  • Re-decision.
  • Gratitude.
  • Compassionate care.

You might also hear these techniques referred to with more formal names, such as:

  • Dialectic behavioral therapy.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Emotional freedom techniques.

Whatever words you hear, however, at the end of the day, the goal is the same: to help you be with yourself in a compassionate, gentle way, a way that allows you to move through your feelings and find liberation from the anxiety, stress, hurt, or sadness you might be feeling.

I believe everyone deserves that kind of liberation, including you. If you’d like to learn more about how you can start the process, read more about our group, or give us a call or send us an email at help@heartcenteredcounselors.com. We’d love to hear from you.

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