Psychologists believe that one in five people suffers from a mental illness. TNS
Do you worry about society’s unfixable problems? These might include growing drug usage, rampant divorce, and crime.
We all can get pretty worked up over a child on drugs, a cheating spouse, or being robbed at gunpoint. In fact, in these situations, we’d have something wrong with us if we didn’t boil over.
However, in the midst of chaos, it’s critical to protect your emotions. Deal with feelings, but don’t let feelings hurt your mental health.
Extreme emotions, felt over time, can hurt your ability to function, plan, or manage your life.
Psychologists believe that one in five people suffers from a mental illness.
“I read a true account about a serial killer I knew as a child,” says a woman we’ll call Jackie. “He told authorities that he was bullied often because of his low IQ and a speech defect. This turned into extreme hate for others. His mind just collapsed, and everything spiraled out of control.”
Extreme emotions, suffered over a period of time, can bring on mental illness. That’s why none of us should let emotions gain control over us — no matter what.
Extreme emotions can result from any type of relationship problems, work issues, and more.
Here’s the chain reaction: stress causes frustration, frustration leads to anger. Anger causes hate, and hate leads to violence. Any of us can become physically violent or verbally violent.
However, mentally healthy people can stay that way, if they can keep their own emotions under control.
“Our society is full of mentally unhealthy people,” says a school counselor we’ll call Deborah. “The kids I consult with are dealing with parents who are messed up. They come to school without mental health strategies. They can’t cope, and they start to act out bad behaviors.”
Deborah shares these tips for cooling extreme emotions:
Learn to speak your emotions. Say, “I feel terribly angry. I want to scream.” Don’t act out your emotions. Instead, talk them out with someone you trust.
Write your angry thoughts down on paper. This helps cool the tension. Do this for several days, if you have to. Then, tear up the papers so no one will find them.
Don’t spend too much time on the past. Close the door on hurtful events, as best you can.
Dwell on everything you have to be thankful for. This neutralizes bad things that have happened to you.
It all starts with positive self-talk.
When you allow your emotions to run wild, you’re programming your brain in the wrong way. Don’t allow your feelings to yo-yo around, with thoughts of wanting to hurt someone playing around in your mind.
Instead, tell yourself, “I can stay calm and joyful. I will not allow crazy situations to drain me or haunt my mind. I can choose not to dwell on craziness.”
Getting upset and wildly angry can put you into an emotional tailspin. You will have trouble regaining your balance if you rip and roar about what’s wrong.
“I try to look at bad situations objectively, but I avoid thinking about fixing the people involved,” says a business administrator we’ll call Elizabeth. “It’s much easier to figure out situations than it is to change people.”
Being proactive is not easy, but if you manage every situation calmly and methodically in your mind, you can protect your mental health.
Tribune News Service
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