Tips To Help Feel In Control Of Your Emotions
If you experience troublesome emotions, experience shows that first and foremost you need to get them out - not keep them bottled up. You can do this on your own through the techniques described below. If necessary, help is available. For instance, you can join a Support Group or create an informal support group of your own. There are mental health professionals such as social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists. Non profit organizations that deal with your disease can also help.
It is also helpful to live with hope. Hope may be as simple as hoping to have a day without great pain, or to be able to visit with people you love or to attend a family event. Hope is always possible. Look for a balance between hope and acceptance.
Keep in mind that adjustment to a new diagnosis or change can be difficult. Adjustment is also ongoing as the situation constantly shifts.
Some areas where you can take action to help feel in control are the following
Express your emotions to family and friends, to a buddy and/or to members of a support group or self help group, through writing or art.
- To Other People
- Friends and family. Share your emotions with family and friends - and particularly with your spouse or significant other if you have one. Think as family and friends as part of your care team.
- Take time with the people closest to you. Talk with each other about the emotions each of you are feeling. Be honest and open.
- Let each of your friends and family members know your needs and goals and the part you expect him or her to play.
- Share your fears.
- Let people know what to expect of you
- Be aware that you can set limits with friends and family.
- Listen to and consider the point of view of people close to you to help hone mutual objectives and get a realistic understanding of what to expect.
- Make sure that each person adds to the team goals -- which really means your goals.
- Coordinate the team members. If questions or situations involve more than one of your team members, set up a means of having them communicate with each other. For example, set up a conference call or ask one of them to do it for you. Most phone services now come with the ability to make conference calls or consider using a service such as Go To Meeting .
- Work through problems with any team members.
- Replace team members that don't work out.
- Understand that a diagnosis affects everyone around you emotionally, especially your spouse and other caregivers. It's your decision whose needs are paramount at any given moment. It takes time for everyone to adjust. Being open with each other goes a long way to making sure each person's needs are met.
- Studies show that it is helpful to have a buddy going through the same thing you are, or who has been there. For instance, someone of the same sex and approximate age who has the same stage of the same disease. If you cannot locate such a person locally or over the internet, a disease specific non-profit organization can likely make a connection for you. (For information about finding a buddy, click here.)
- Support groups led by a qualified mental health expert and self help groups of people in a similar situation have also been shown to be of great help emotionally. Such groups also have the benefit of being an amazing source of practical information. If there are no local groups that fit your needs, you can participate in a group vis the telephone or internet.
- If your emotions interfere with daily life or your work, consider one-on-one therapy with a mental health professional.
- Through Writing Or Art
- It helps to get emotions out of your system by writing them. At least one survivor refers to journaling as self therapy on the cheap.
- The writing doesn't have to be in a formal journal or other document. The writing can just as easily be on scraps of paper, in a diary, or on your computer.
- If you do not want other people to see what you write without your permission, store your writings safely.
- Art - any kind of art - is another way of expressing emotions.
Change your thoughts
- One technique to help you feel in control is to change your thoughts Recognize that thoughts are just that: a thought. Picture a big red stop sign. Perhaps even say out loud: Stop! At least say "stop" to yourself. Then change the thought to something you can do something about.
- Another technique that can help understand how thoughts can come and go, is meditation. Meditation can sound scary to some people, but it is actually easy to do. It is the act of meditating that has beneficial results. It is not required that you achieve the meditative goal of "enlightenment." To learn about meditation, click here.
- Engage in mind changing activities
- Change your social activities.
- Use techniques that help reduce stress and anxiety.
Engage in mind changing techniques
- Any activity that takes your focus and makes time disappear is a mind changing activity. What that means is different for each of us. Most hobbies have this effect.
- There are also mind techniques to consider. With such a technique, you focus on something other than your fear or worry. For example, hypnotherapy, deep reathing,meditation, visualization, or other techniques for coping with stress.
Explore changes in your social and living arena
- Work on deepening and improving the relationships that matter the most. Let go of those that are unrewarding or merely obligatory.
- Make the world around you as pleasant as possible. For example, repaint a room to the color that most pleases you.
Learn about the medical system and how to negotiate it. For example:
- How to choose the best doctor for your needs, how to prepare for meetings with the doctor, how to communicate with the doctor during those meetings
- About your health condition to the extent you need to know about it to make informed decisions.
- About available treatments, including risks.
- How to pay for what you need, whether through private or government health insurance, through a program such as Hill-Burton, or out of your own pocket. If you are uninsured, click here.
- What you need to know about voluntarily going into a hospital.
- The emergency health system, and how to maximize time in an emergency room.
Use techniques that have helped other people avoid and reduce stress and anxiety.
- For tips about avoiding unnecessary stress, click here.
- Techniques for coping with stress
- Anxiety and how to cope with it
For additional information, see:
- Anxiety, including fear of the unknown
- Fear of pain: Common wisdom today is that there is no reason to continue to feel pain. There are even doctors who specialize in relieving pain. If one doctor doesn't make the pain livable, seek a second opinion. If a treatment is causing pain, perhaps there are alternative treatments to consider. Speak with your doctor. For information about pain and how to deal with it, click here.
- Fear of a recurrence
- Fear of a treatment
- Fear of an upcoming appointment with a doctor
- Numb (Feeling Numb)
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Subjects That Help:
- Chat Rooms (What To Watch For)
- Deep Breathing
- Emotional Support Animals
- Gratitude Journal
- Healing Environment
- Holiday: How To Cope With Holiday Stress And Depression
- Humor (and how to get it in your life)
- Journal: How To Keep A Journal
- Meditation 101
- Mental Health Professionals
- Pets 101
- Positive Attitude And How To Keep It
- Self Help Groups
- Support Groups 101
- Waiting: How To Cope With Waiting For An Appointment Or Test Result
- If financial concerns are getting you down, consider looking at our information about finances and how to deal with them. For information, click here.
- It is advisable to postpone important decisions until unrelated strong emotions have passed or are at least under control.
To Learn More
More InformationFear How To Cope With Holiday Stress & Depression & Colorectal Cancer Depression 101 Depression: What It Is And What To Look For Panic Attacks And What To Do About Them Techniques For Coping With Stress Avoiding Unnecessary Stress A Positive Attitude (And How to Keep It) How To Choose A Mental Health Therapist Types of Mental Health Therapists