Saturday, December 13, 2008

Having a Bad Day - Dealing with Negative Emotions

Our emotions can get the best of us sometimes. This time of year we can become emotionally overwhelmed by the stressful holidays or the seasonal depression that often comes around during winter. The current economy has left many of us downhearted and probably even angry that things have gotten this bad. Or maybe we just feel sad, and we can't narrow it down to just one reason.

Having MS can be emotionally challenging as well. The stress and frustration of putting up with all the crazy symptoms can make you just want to scream. Sometimes you can feel very alone in your illness, like no one could possibly understand what you're going through.

Unfortunately, we can't be happy all the time, though we'd probably like to be. For times when your mood is bad or sad, I can offer the following suggestions:

De-stress. Sometimes we just need to step back from whatever is stressing us and take time out for ourselves. I find just putting on my favorite music and relaxing for a while helps me to calm down and renew both my spirits and energy. I also like to go for a drive at a quiet time of day (not rush hour) and clear my head. I stick to the residential streets and let my thoughts meander.

Sometimes it helps to be by yourself for a while. If you're angry, sometimes you need to walk away and collect yourself before you deal with it to avoid possibly saying something you'll regret.
Don't push people away, but let them know you need time to yourself.

Let it out. If you feel like crying, cry. Want to scream? Have at it. As long as you're in a spot where you can let it out, of course. Releasing the pent up feelings allows you to move on and start to heal.

Pamper yourself. Negative feelings are draining. Get some rest, throw on makeup even when you don't feel like it, and get that new hairstyle you've been wanting. Remember, it's better to look good than to feel good. (just kidding) Seriously, though looking your best can help lift your spirits, and there's no sense letting those bad feelings show on your face.

Laugh out loud. Laughter is good for you physically and mentally. It gets your heart rate up, increases circulation and releases those feel good endorphins. It's great stress relief and helps encourage positive thinking. I find just watching my favorite sitcom or a comedy movie really helps take my mind off my troubles and feel refreshed.

Spend time with children and pets. No one can be sad for too long when they're around the natural positive energy of children, watching them play, hearing them laugh. Kids just have a natural ability to make you feel better with their silly little ways.

Pets can pick up on the fact that you're feeling down. They are truly our best friends, never judging us, loving us unconditionally. They are happy just to be around us. Spend some time playing with them and giving them lots of hugs!

Talk to someone. Call up a friend, or talk to an understanding family member or counselor. Get your feelings out in the open and talk about what's troubling you. Getting it off your chest helps immensely.

Above all, being able to think positively and focus on the good things in your life will help chase away those negative emotions.

No comments: