Episode #58: Emotion Focused Coping Techniques

Dr. Connie Omari:

Hello, hello, hello, this is Dr. O., and today I want to talk to you about emotion-focused coping techniques. Now, why is this important? A lot of times, what we want to do is not have adversity; we don’t want to have problems; we want to be able to live a life that is pretty problem-free. But as you know, if you’ve lived long enough, you will know that that’s just not the way that the world works. Nor should it work this way.

Okay, so I’m motion-focused. Emotion-focused coping techniques are really techniques that you can use that are designed to deal with your emotions. So let me give you an example. If I were to tell you not to think of a pink elephant, what is the first thing that you’re going to think about? Is that a pink elephant? And the reason why is because the more that you try to push a thought out of your head, the more that thought is going to come back. Okay? So if your husband walked out on you, okay; if your loved one died; if you are dealing with a childhood wound or trauma, okay; or an adult wound or trauma, the more you try to avoid it and push it out of your brain, the harder it is going to be to get to the other side of it.

So let’s talk about some skills and strategies that you can use to kind of get in touch with your emotions as a way to reduce stress. One of them is meditation. Now, I think that people think meditation gets really overrated, like you think you have to go to a Buddhist monastery and sit in a room, you know, by yourself,  not eating for like 24 hours or whatever, to get a meditative experience. And you’ll lose sight of the fact that you can meditate in, like, five minutes. Okay? Just sit with yourself and your thoughts, okay? It doesn’t have to be extra. I mean, the more advanced you get, the more techniques and skills you can add to it. Sometimes we add music. Sometimes we add incense, and sometimes you add some type of chanting. But no, just meditate and feel warm. Just think—you know, just the ink. And sometimes, and I don’t know how some people will feel about this, mind-altering substances help. There’s a scripture in the Bible that says that you can have a little smoke inhalation that will help you to release your mind and your thoughts. Jesus first miracle was turning wine and water into wine. Like these things, if used in moderation and appropriately, they can be really helpful in terms of giving you a sense of oneness.

And it also separates you from whatever it is that is stressing you. Emotional focus technique number two is journaling. Write it down. Write it down. I can have journals. I have a journal from when I was eight years old. And it’s funny because when I was eight, I remember my brother getting into it and reading it, and I just remember feeling so humiliated. But I can’t tell you how my pattern and my style of writing and keeping notes have been utilized because what happens is that even when I’m going through something now, I can go back and look at something like the other day. Oh my gosh, thank you, Jesus, I found a journal. In fact, I’m so writing in this journal that I have put it down and recently picked it back up. But it was a journal that I had written to my firstborn child because I wanted a baby, and I was writing to her and just telling her how much I love her or him. I didn’t know it was going to be her, but I just think it’s amazing. And my daughter is now six years old. So it helps me to put into perspective whatever it is that I’m going through today because I’m able to look back on the fact that, Wait a minute. My story today is different. But if that threat exists, okay. And now I have two children, for those of you who don’t know that, so it’s really helpful to be able to write it down.

Alright reframing. Reframing is a technique where you tell a story for what it is. One of the examples that’s coming to mind right now is that I do a lot of work around issues of sexual and domestic violence. And a lot of times we internalize these messages that we did something wrong, said something wrong, or are the cause of this issue. If it weren’t for us, these things would not have happened. And what we fail to realize is that we have control over the narrative; we can’t have control over the narrative. If your mother said that the reason you were raised was because you were out drinking too much, That’s her issue. All right. One of the scriptures that’s just come to mind is that when I was a child, I spoke as a child; when I became a man, I put away childish things. You can tell yourself a different story. If that situation were true, you could even get raped because you drank too much or because some jerk took advantage of you. In a vulnerable state. Refrain; you tell the story for yourself. Don’t allow anybody the power, authority, or ability to control the narrative that you tell about yourself. Okay.

And last but certainly not least, you want to have a positive outlook on life. I mean, at the end of the day, listen, there are some things that will take you to your knees, I mean, that will really knock you out of your breath if you have not physically, definitely mentally, stepped up your game. Okay, you have to step up your game. And you have to do that by refilling your cup, using positive affirmations, positive self-talk, hanging around positive people, and taking in positive information. All of that is very, very important. It can only be done when you have a positive outlook on life. All right. So these are just some ways to help you. You know, we all go through very difficult and challenging things in life. And really, the best way to get on the other side of it is to really focus on some positive, emotion-focused techniques. Now, if you need some help doing that, I’m happy to help you; me or somebody from my team can be of support to you. Please reach out if we can help you achieve the level of happiness and satisfaction that you deserve in your life. Alright, thanks again for your time, peace, and blessings.