“This Feeling – Step Three”
Like the last two posts, this post takes a closer look at the negative feelings we experience. In the past we may have tried to avoid those uncomfortable emotions.
Rather than trying to avoid the feelings, let’s look at the last of 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.)
To review (see prior posts) when we experience a negative or uncomfortable mood, we can follow three steps which ought to help make the feelings easier to bear.
Step one – breathe and remind yourself that the feeling cannot harm you.
Step two – breathe and remind yourself that the feeling will pass.
Step three – breathe and remember that the feeling is understood and experienced by others. Yes, somehow just remembering that we are not alone in our feeling can help make it easier to bear.
Recalling other friends who also experience anxiety, panic, despair, hopelessness might even provide us with a helpful distraction. Thinking about others, wishing them well, sending them compassionate thoughts may help lift us from our discomfort.
These three steps certainly won’t treat or eliminate chronic mental health conditions, but they certainly can help us pass through episodes of discomfort with a little more peace and hope. And like all coping skills, practice (preferably BEFORE you find yourself stuck in the “swamp” of depression or anxiety) will make the skills work even better. So recite them today, internalize the three steps so you can better deal with the next uncomfortable mood when it comes.
1. This feeling cannot harm me.
2. This feeling is temporary.
3. This feeling is known by others.
Thanks for taking good care of you!