Emotional Coping Strategies
Journaling – Write about your thoughts and feelings in a notebook. Retell your experience of what you thought, felt and experienced about an event in the greatest detail. Give yourself the permission to express your opinion without censoring or concerns about what others would think about what you’ve written. This notebook is for your eyes only and to share only if you wish to.
Letter Writing – Write a letter to someone with the intention that the letter will never be sent to them. This allows you to express your thoughts and feelings very truthfully as you are injuring no one with your candid expressions of how you feel and what you think.
Positive Affirmations / Positive Self Talk – Use positive statements of your goals and desires. Statements that are stated in the first person, and present time, in a positive manner. These statements are stated in such a way as if the goal is already accomplished.
(Examples: I am a Non-smoker; I eat healthy foods; I enjoy daily excercise; I am calm and relaxed).
Assertiveness – Practice stating how you feel about an event or interaction with another person. Use the formula: 1. Name the behavior. 2. State how that makes you feel. 3.State how you want their behavior to change. (Example: When you speak to me in that tone of voice, it makes me feel angry and defensive. Please use a calm tone of voice when you need to tell me how to do something).
Take Time – Take time to respond to an emotional situation. You do not have to respond to situations immediately. Taking time gives you a chance to sort out your feelings and make a choice about how you respond and what you choose to say to someone. Even if it takes a month or a year to sort out your feelings regarding an incident. It is never to late to return to the subject and process it, telling someone how you feel about it and the effect it had on you.
Amelia Hasenohrl, LPC, CHt. August 26, 2009
Licensed Professional Counselor