If one does not deal with their most difficult #Emotions, they can end up with depression. Depression is extremely common in the #United States: Depression in the United States

Rather than trying to mask the emotions you are going through or getting caught up in the suffering or self-pity, the best and most productive and responsible way to deal with any emotions is to accept them and move on from feeling them. In fact, after living through a hard period in your life, it is very possible to experience profound personal growth. However, one can only achieve this growth if they handle their emotions in the proper way.

The emotions that I struggle the most with are anger, guilt and I have anxiety, so I guess you could say fear.

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When I find myself struggling with a difficult emotion, I try the following strategies.

Here is a list of five things you can do to help you cope with difficult emotions:

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a technique I learned as a counselor. It is paying attention to your surroundings and sensations in your body in order to become more self-aware of what you are experiencing emotionally. It is a great first step to learning how to cope with difficult emotions. Here is an exercise to get you started:

Lay on your bed, on your back, with your hands at your sides. Get comfortable. Let your entire body relax. Slowly, let the thoughts escape from your head. Starting at the tip of your toes, tighten then loosen each muscle moving up your body until you are tightening the muscles in your forehead. Concentrate on every sensation that you feel while doing this.

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What do you smell? What does it feel like when you tighten each muscle? What does it feel like when you let each muscle lose? What does the cloth of your bedspread feel like under your skin? Once you get the hang of doing this for a few moments, as you are doing the exercise, tell yourself that you are letting go of all the tension.

For example, while tightening your shoulders think, "I am letting go of all the stress and tension in my shoulders."

Do this a few times and you will feel much more relaxed. Follow my articles for more Mindfulness tips in future!

Journal

Start keeping a journal. As someone who suffers from PTSD, I know that one thing that has been scientifically proven to help benefit trauma survivors is expressive writing. There is something therapeutic about putting down your thoughts and feelings on paper. They feel more validated and you can say everything you wish to say without someone interrupting your thoughts. This step may also help you see things in a different perspective or pick up on emotions you didn't even realize you were feeling, which lets you handle them much better.

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Talk to someone you trust

Share your experience with a trusted friend. If writing doesn't appeal to you, talking through your feelings with someone else can provide another opportunity to express yourself honestly and openly. Social support has been proven to increase feelings of confidence and trust. It is also always nice to let those close to you know what you are going through so they can better understand what you are dealing with. Also, forming a human connection with someone, especially if those emotions revolve around a person hurting you, can help validate that people in this world are still good, kind-hearted people. Sometimes even reminding yourself that you have someone to turn to can be enough.

Do not feel alone

Painful emotions like fear, grief, or anger can make you feel as if your suffering is unique to you. Whenever you feel isolated, the pain is intensified so it is always a good idea to reach out to others in order to know that there are other people out there who feel the same way you do. You can go on social media and find a Facebook group or a Twitter page that gives you motivational quotes or that helps support those going through what you are. If you are feeling depressed because you just lost a close friend, find a bereavement support group online. Understand that what you are feeling right now is not alien to the world. Many people have felt what you are feeling. You are never alone. Give yourself a break from the isolation of your own experience and know you are never alone in anything you feel. It also helps to boost your compassion for others when you show empathy for their situation, which always brings you positive energy in return!

Seek help

I want everyone to remember that none of these strategies are designed to make the painful emotion disappear. These are simply tips for dealing with negative emotions in a productive way. Please do remember that if you feel as though the emotion will not disappear or it is way too strong for you to make it subside on it's own, seek help. Contact a local counseling agency or talk to your family doctor about what you are going through. If you feel like you could be suffering from depression, please read this article and seek treatment: Depression - Can you spot it? Main symptoms, Causes and Treatment

I wish you the best of luck in dealing with these difficult emotions in future! Leave a comment down below to share other tips you know for better handling difficult emotions!