By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

07 December 2021
Medically reviewed by
Dhanashree Padhye
MA (Psychology)
How To Overcome An Emotional Breakdown
Table of Contents

“I saw my Mom crying while she was sitting on the swing in our balcony. She usually enjoys swinging there watching sunsets from our apartment, but this time the swing stood still. I have noticed she has been eating less for the past few days and is mentally uninvolved in most tasks. I do not know why she is behaving like this, but I would like to know how I might help to make her feel better.”

The above testimony is from a child trying to care for their Parent’s mental health. A lot of people around the world go through such emotional breakdowns frequently. Thus it becomes essential to identify such situations and deal with them with utmost care.

An emotional breakdown may be a familiar experience if you or your friends deal with anxiety disorders. A person may go through an emotional breakdown due to anxiety and stress that buildup over time or after facing a specific life-altering event such as a death in the family or sudden unemployment. Such times can be confusing, and we should be prepared to handle ourselves or support someone throughout their breakdown and recovery whenever the need arises. (Ogden, T.H., 2014)

Here Is a Pragmatic Guide To Dealing With Emotional Breakdowns:

You can implement both short-term actions and long-term techniques to recover from and overcome an emotional breakdown.

Quick Actions For Helping Relieve Your Emotional Breakdown Include:

  • Deep Breathing: Deep breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing, helps reduce the effects of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone and hence lowering its effect helps one relax. Deep breathing also lowers the heart rate, which further helps in relieving stress.
  • Petting or Hugging: Petting a cat/dog or hugging a friend or a loved one releases Oxytocin and other feel-good hormones in our bodies. Oxytocin is important for stress relief and feeling stable as it helps us bond with other individuals.
  • Speaking up: Talking to someone we trust about our problems or mental state can help relieve some pent-up stress. Make sure, however, that the person being talked to is a good listener and an emotionally stable individual.
  • Drinking Coffee/Hot Chocolate: Both coffee and chocolate increase serotonin and dopamine levels in individuals who consume them. Serotonin helps us regulate our mental state and thus helps us cope with stress. However, one must be careful as one can become dependent on these substances and develop problematic behaviors in the long term.
  • Taking a nap: While it is often seen that people going through an emotional breakdown have trouble falling asleep, it can work wonders for someone if they can manage to get a nap. Sleeping helps us reduce stress and balances our emotional state. It is important to mention that sleep deprivation can push an individual dealing with a mental breakdown into further mental distress.

Some Long Term Actionable Techniques For Overcoming An Emotional Breakdown And Managing Stress/Anxiety Are Given Below:

  1. Meditation: Meditation helps relieve stress and stabilize the mind. It also helps build self-awareness and thus helps us understand the root causes of our emotional distress.
  1. Exercise: Exercising regularly helps deal with mental breakdowns in two ways. Firstly it reduces bad cholesterol levels and boosts dopamine in the body, making us feel less stressed and more rewarded.
  1. Hobbies: Taking up new hobbies or dedicating more time to current ones can help us manage our emotional well-being in several ways. Hobbies like playing guitar, painting, or other creative ventures stimulate our brains and create positive emotions such activities help us bounce back after an intense emotional breakdown.
  1. Maintaining a Journal: Maintaining a daily journal or diary helps vent out some of the anxiety we may experience while dealing with life. It also creates a record of our habits and behaviors and may help us analyze what triggers our emotional breakdowns.
  1. Therapy: Therapy is of paramount importance while overcoming a mental or emotional breakdown. The various types of therapies currently available such as Psychotherapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Humanistic therapy, etc., are some widely used and highly recommended therapies for emotional well-being.

Always remember that the causes and effects of emotional breakdowns are different for different people. Everyone needs a different approach to deal with such a situation successfully. Therefore, it is highly recommended to seek out professional help in the form of psychiatrists or therapists who can diagnose the individual and devise a plan tailored to that individual's unique needs.

Professionals can help teach identification techniques and coping mechanisms to individuals who suffer from a frequent emotional breakdown. If you know a person who has been experiencing frequent emotional breakdowns, professional help is a must(WEBSTER, AUDREY DAISLEY, NIGEL KING, G.U.I.N.E.V.E.R.E., 1999).

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