Ineffective Ways of Coping with Overwhelming Emotions

Overwhelming Emotions

Emotions are the body’s natural responses to experiences, people, places, and things. There are 6 main emotions including happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, fear, and surprise. Obviously, no one is going to have an issue with being overwhelmed with happiness or surprise, however, feelings of sadness, anger, or fear, send the body into “fight or flight” mode making them dangerous to your well-being. Everyone has had a bad day, been in a down mood, or felt afraid of something before, but when these emotions are felt on a daily basis it’s a problem.

When you’re overwhelmed with anger, disgust, fear, or sadness it increases your heart rate, raises your blood pressure, and can have other negative effects on your mind and body. Which is why when a person is feeling overwhelmed with such emotions needs to find relief or resolve?

Numbing the Emotions

It’s only natural for individuals to want to try and find relief for their emotional unrest. Unfortunately, most go through a series of ineffective methods that come with their own set of problems, making the matter worse. Here is a look at some of the ways people tries to numb their emotions:

  • Drugs or alcohol – drugs and alcohol are known to have numbing effects on a person’s state of mind. When consumed, it sends signals to the brain’s pleasure center, which in turn, gives a temporary feeling of euphoria. You may think that joint at the end of the day or glass of wine isn’t going to harm you, but if you’re using them as a numbing agent, it will eventually turn into an addiction that can only be treated by finding help nearby like a detox facility.
  • Food – most people would agree that they’ve indulged in a sweet or salty treat as a means to comfort their emotions. This method of coping with overwhelming emotions may satisfy your appetite and make you feel good for a while, but ultimately gorging on food of any kind can lead to weight problems which can quickly result in weight-related illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • Bullying – when an individual doesn’t know how to control their emotions they can start to take it out on others. Because they don’t know how they feel, why they feel that way, or how to resolve those feelings, they project onto others. Lashing out and making others feel bad ultimately makes the bully feel better.
  • Withdrawal – there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be by yourself on occasion (it’s actually healthy). Yet, when you become so emotionally overwhelmed that you withdrawal from people and activities that you previously enjoyed, to hide your pain it’s unhealthy. This can actually be a sign of depression.

Identifying the Root of Your Emotions

A better resolution for those dealing with overwhelming negative emotions would be to identify the root cause of your emotions. What event or series of events got you to this point? Is there anything that can be done to change it? If so, what needs to be done? If nothing can be done, what steps can be taken to accept what has happened? These are all questions that need to be answered honestly to determine the root of your feelings and ultimately to find a solution to relieving the pain. Strategies for finding the source of your overwhelming emotions might include:

  • Seeing a therapist
  • Talking with family or loved ones (if the emotions stem from childhood)
  • Journaling

Coping with the Pain

Discovering the core cause for your emotions can take some time, but life has to go on. As you go to through the process of figuring out what’s causing you so much hurt, here are a few healthy ways to cope:

  • Take some time to yourself to acknowledge your emotions
  • Do something that gives you a more positive feeling
  • Find healthy ways to release emotions (throwing a pillow, screaming, shredding paper, crying, etc.)
  • Get some rest
  • Nourish your body
  • Exercise, go for a walk or run to improve your mood
  • Talk with a therapist if emotions persist

Everyone has periods where they just feel emotionally overwhelmed. Perhaps they’re stressed, depressed, anxious, or frustrated about things happening in their lives. Though it is normal to feel this way, when the feelings are constant it can start to have a negative impact on your overall health. The easiest solution might seem to be numbing the pain, however, the only way to get better is to identify the source and use healthy methods to cope with the pain.