DEALING WITH NEGATIVE FEELINGS (THE HEALTHY WAY)
Everyone experiences negative feelings, they are a natural part of life. Being able to manage these feelings and by extension, your outlook on life isn’t about preventing these thoughts and feelings from developing but rather about learning healthier coping methods. Feelings of low mood, frustration, and even a lack of control can be especially intense in January. But with the overspill of the pandemic, negative thoughts and feelings are considerably more prevalence.
With that in mind, it’s time to focus on what we can control so here are some healthier and more constructive ways to deal with negative feelings.
DON’T IGNORE THEM
Step number one for dealing with your negative feelings in a healthier way is to not ignore them.
If you use food or other substances to manage these emotions, you’re not resolving them or even accepting them; you are hiding from them.
Ignoring what is bothering you isn’t going to make it go away, it just puts a plaster on it for a little while. The more you do this, the less likely you are to learn supportive, coping skills that are going to help you get through situations you face.
CHANGE WHAT YOU ARE ABLE TO CHANGE
In many cases, there are things you can change related to what is bothering you. That’s something you can and should focus on. Instead of just dwelling on whatever it is, that’s causing you to feel negatively about yourself, other people or the situation you are in, focus on what you can do right now to work towards a resolution.
It might not be something that will change the outcome right away, but every little action step you take will help distract your mind and give you something helpful to focus on. Small steps of progress equal a big reward.
PAUSE & ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS
Intuitive eating and mindful eating practices suggest that when you are tempted to turn to food to deal with negative emotions, you take a pause. That’s it. Just stop what you’re doing and take a moment to reflect.
The pause isn’t meant to solve any issues; it simply allows you to sit with your feelings, to understand what they are and what is causing them, and to help prevent you from making a rash decision you may later come to regret.
If you still want to eat that food or make that decision after the pause, then that is yours to make.
FIND WAYS TO COPE
Finally, it would be best if you found new. long-term strategies to cope with your emotions and stress, that are not related to the food or other unhealthy habits you have been using to cover them. This isn’t always easy, but you can learn to programme yourself to look for other more healthy ways to cope with time.