Preventing Mental Combustion

16/12/2017


In my previous post I mentioned that I've been feeling down these past few days. When I feel down, chances are I'm going to be an emotional wreck prone to mental breakdown and explosive expression. If you're like me, you'll understand the unpleasant feelings of unleashing your emotional confusion towards others and then feeling extremely guilty afterwards. And for that reason I've been trying to come up with tips and tricks on how to handle it.

Disclaimer — what works for me may not work for you and what I do may not fit your agenda so take this with a grain of salt.

Detach oneself


Most of the time, this is the first solution that popped into my mind. By detaching myself not only do I save the people around me from getting hurt, I'm also giving myself the necessary space needed for recovery. When I start feeling low, mentally exhausted and/or drained out, I find myself very sensitive towards noise, particularly crowds and the sound of busy streets so I avoid this as much as I could. I will wear earphones all the time and choose a spot that doesn't make me feel suffocated — although in some cases this may be difficult if the place you're at is very jam packed. With earphones, even though I always carry them in my bag, I don't wear them 24/7 unless I'm in this...unstable state. The key here is to let introversion wraps itself around me and that includes avoiding people, things and unpleasant situations.

Find distraction, keep oneself busy


I think this is obvious but most of us tend to forget this tips. Back then, whenever I felt down, I would lie down on my bed and starred at the ceiling, spacing out. I still do this sometimes but it's definitely not my go-to remedy. The reason why this isn't a good idea is because the more we leave ourselves empty-handed and free, the easier it is for negative emotions and thoughts to infect us. What I would do is definitely keep myself busy. It doesn't have to anything intense like going to the gym or clean your room although these are definitely good too. I usually resort to basic ideas such as play video games, read books or watch movies. I think what people tend to miss is that just because you don't sweat doesn't mean you are doing nothing. If keeping yourself physically busy isn't really your cup of tea, try it mentally. Even though you only your brain and not your physique, it's definitely something.

Fake it / Numb yourself


In my opinion, this is definitely the hardest to do. The thought of faking things just doesn't sit well with me. While I don't perform the whole 'fake it til you make it' theory as much as some people, I thought I should include it in this list because it correlates with what I personally would do which is to numb myself. To literally and physically unfeel things is impossible BUT not when it is done inside your mind. In my case, I will build four walls around me and tell myself that these walls are the ones that will prevent all sorts of negative feelings and thoughts coming to get me. Of course, even though this can only happen in my mind, it allows me to experience a placebo effect — sort of like a meditation and telling yourself repeatedly that something will work out, only this time you're faking a 'no feel' situation. As much as I'd like to give you the full set of answers, this is definitely not a one size fits all method.

Switch off all notifications


...and take a break from all things social media. This is pretty self-explanatory especially when you know how toxic social media platforms have gotten lately. If you have most social media accounts that have the possibility of inducing a FOMO (fear of missing out) situation — I'm talking snapchat, facebook, twitter and the like — I suggest you log out and take a break from them. If logging in and out bothers you, switch off push notifications and mute them.

Unleash everything


There comes the time when faking it doesn't help especially if bad days consecutively happen in a week. When that happens, I'd suggest you let things out by crying to sleep or scream into your pillow. I don't usually scream so I'll take the first option. Crying also makes me sleep faster (I'm very insomniac!) so it's like hitting two birds with one stone.



Aside from all the things I've listed above, I want you to remember that I am in no way telling you that you should distance yourself from your loved ones instead of asking them for help. If you have someone you trust and would like to talk them, that's absolutely great. It's just that it doesn't always work for me. If I were to discuss about what I feel or how I feel, most of the time I usually end up shutting people out because I don't think anybody understands. This unpleasant turn of event is the reason why I'd rather distance myself for the best of both sides. Like I said, there is no one size fits all to handling your emotions so we'll always have to test things out.

What about you, how do you handle (or prevent) an incoming breakdown?

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