Equipping Your Emotional Toolbox

All of us from time to time struggle with anxiety, anger and sadness. Typically these feelings can be worked through by using whatever ’emotional tools’ we have been able to gather over the years. Venting to a friend or loved one about the day’s stressors can help you feel better. Turning to comfort food when you’ve had a particularly tough day can help you to feel emotionally nurtured and comforted. For some people, exercise or a drink can take the edge off or help them relax.  These tools can be effective for many of life’s stressors.

Unfortunately, there can be times when our stressors are chronic or so overwhelming that we lack the appropriate emotional tools for the job. Typically at these times, we use whatever tools worked in the past. Since these are bigger emotional jobs than the tools are designed for, they typically don’t help us manage our feelings and may ultimately add to our stress or troubles.

Friends get tired of hearing us always complaining and may start to minimize their time with us. Occasional comfort food used for chronic or large stressors results in weight gain and feeling worse about ourselves. Drinking too much can bring on its own set of nightmares. People can even exercise too much. Some use it as an escape from their problems. Unfortunately at the end of the workout the problems remain unchanged.

Typically our parents never sat us down and explained, here are some ways to get rid of your anger without hurting yourself or the ones you love. When you are sad, here are the tools you will need to work through your loss without isolating yourself or developing depression. When scared, use these tools to find peace again. We can’t really blame our parents. They were probably left on their own to find their own coping strategies to fill their emotional tool boxes as well.

There are many emotional tools and techniques out there that can help. These tools and techniques can be learned and used to make your life better. It takes a bit of time to learn and a bunch of effort to practice them, but once you master them they are yours for life. More importantly they are yours to teach your son or daughter.

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