Reducing Vulnerability to Negative Emotions
This is a skills that we can use to keep ourselves less vulnerable to having negative emotions, and less likely to get into a state of Emotion Mind, where emotions control our thoughts and actions.
P & L: Treat Physical illness
Do you have a physical illness that needs to be tended to? Do you have medication or treatments prescribed for you that you aren't taking or doing? What things keep you from treating your physical illness? Take some time to think about this, and see what it would take for you to take care of your physical needs.
E: Balance Eating
How well do you eat? Do you eat too little? Too much? What kinds of food do you eat? (Eating too little means that your body doesn't get the nourishment it needs. Also, if you eat too little over a period of time, your body goes into starvation mode, and burns the food more slowly, trying to protect itself from starving.)
A: Avoid Mood-Altering Drugs
Alcohol and drugs can lower resistance to certain negative emotions. For example, I found that when I drank alcohol, I felt more depressed and sometimes more frightened. If you use drugs or alcohol, notice how they make you feel. If they are a problem in your life, can you get some help?
S: Balance Sleep
How much sleep makes you feel good? Some people do fine on 5-6 hours, others need 9-10 hours. Some people need to nap during the day. Learn to plan your schedule so that you get the sleep you need. Do you have trouble sleeping?
E: Get Exercise
Regular exercise, besides being good for your heart, lungs, muscles and bones, stimulates chemicals in your brain called endorphins, which are natural antidepressants. We are talking about aerobic exercise, the kind that makes you out of breath.
MASTER: Build MASTERY
Do things every day that make you feel competent, confident, that you are good at something or are learning something. What kinds of things are you good at doing? Can you learn a new skill? What kinds of things give you a sense of mastery, of being good at something or meeting a challenge? Sometimes these things will be a little bit hard or challenging.
f you are someone who has not yet incorporated some of these things into your life, perhaps you could make a plan for doing so, perhaps trying just one thing at a time.