Everyone experiences some form of pain throughout their life: sore muscles, upset stomach, headache, sunburn, cuts, bruises, etc. There are multiple ways to soothe physical ailments. In fact, you likely have at least 1 or 2 drawers or cupboards in your home stocked with medicine, creams, and bandages.
But along with physical aches and pains, we also need ways to manage our emotional pain. Unfortunately, there aren't quick fixes to make sadness, disappointment, regret, or embarrassment go away. It's likely that you have wished that there was some form of instant relief while experiencing uncomfortable emotions. Wouldn't it be awesome to apply a bandage to a broken heart, or apply a cream to hurt feelings? Let's face it emotional pain is inevitable, so learning how to manage those feelings is very important to your well-being!
Have you ever seen a parent quickly turn a baby's attention to a toy or treat when they start to cry? Guess what? You can do the same thing for yourself when you don't want to dwell on negative feelings! One way of learning to tolerate distress, pain, or overwhelming emotions, is to find ways to distract yourself.
Here are some examples:
Distractions don't make the problem or pain go away, but they can help you get through life's difficult moments. Over time, as the pain lessens you will find yourself focusing forward rather than the past.
You can't ignore your feelings, but you can learn ways to be patient with them. Sometimes you have to sit in a less than happy state before the feelings subside. Don't give up! Learning how to manage emotional stress is a great life skill that will make you emotionally stronger in the future.