“This Feeling – Step One”

“This Feeling – Step One”

For the next couple posts, let’s take a closer look at the negative feelings we experience. In the past we may have tried to avoid those uncomfortable emotions by treating or retreating, by using a familiar chemical in order to get a temporary sense of relief.

Rather than trying to avoid the feelings, let’s look at three important reminders that can help us learn to cope without self-medicating. In the BESOCHEMPS model of addiction, this would be the ‘EM’ or ‘EM-tional urge’ aspect.

When a negative or uncomfortable feeling occurs, try to resist the urge to flee or avoid it. Reminding yourself to first take a slow deep breath and then state (aloud preferably) “This feeling cannot harm me.” Maybe using it as a mantra of sorts will help. State this truth it in between each of three or four slow deep breaths.

Feelings cannot harm us. They lack the power. Harm is far more likely to come when we try to avoid the feelings. So breathe and let the feelings be, confident that they cannot harm you. And as is the case with all coping skills, practice will increase the effectiveness.

(to be continued) http://ow.ly/i/vjc03

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