How to cope better emotionally (Advanced strategies)

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3 mental health slip-ups that
beat you into a crippled shell of yourself
(Part 1)

You know that feeling?

Like you could cave in at any moment.

Feeling fearful and tired at the same time.

Consumed with the fear of failure but having no urge to be productive.

You want friends but at the same time you hate socializing. You want to be left alone but you can't bare feeling lonely.

You worry about everything but at the same time you care about nothing. Feeling everything at once, then feeling paralyzingly numb.

You want to scream. You want to cry.

But you know that if you don't hold an even keel, it's not just you that suffers if you can't keep it together... 

Your family, your kids and work colleagues will become victims too. 

This all leaves you wondering...

Will I ever be able to function like a normal person?  

Heart wrenching isn’t it? 

And unless you’ve experienced it before, you can’t understand how devastating this can be.

But will you permit me to be honest with you for a second?

The honest truth…

The real reason you are not coping well or functioning effectively is this.

You don’t know how to cope.

Not because you can’t cope. 

Not because you are weak and don’t have the genetic make up to cope. 

And not because you are not normal like those who appear to be coping.

It’s because you haven’t had the opportunity to learn effective coping skills. Coping skills that will help you address the issues you are dealing with. Coping skills that will keep you resilient under pressure.

Unfortunately, society expects you to just know how to cope.

But let’s be honest…

Right from childhood, has anyone ever sat you down and shown you how to cope?


You are just expected to learn for yourself. 

You are expected to pick up something here or there. 

Do trial and error with no real plan of what works or what fails.

You are just expected to get out there in the BIG WICKED WORLD and magically… cope.

And you know what’s sad...

You may have been brainwashed into placing this ridiculously impossible expectations on yourself too. 

Brainwashed into feeling useless because you can’t cope.

But here’s the question…

Why pushing through your struggles leads to mental health problems.

Is coping going into battle mode...

And ploughing through the mountain of things you need to do for yourself or others?

People who do this collapse as soon as they get some moment of peace to themselves.

So that’s certainly not coping Is it?

To explain what coping means, I’ll start by explaining what coping isn’t.

You see, most people live life oblivious to the fact that we all have a natural emotional threshold.

A threshold that when exceeded, can easily plummet the strongest of humans into meltdown.

You can tell you that you've hit, or about to hit your emotional threshold, if...

  1. You often find yourself snapping, shouting or getting annoyed very easily over small things.
  2. You repeatedly feel like your head might explode from all the demands placed on you.
  3. You regularly feel like EVERYTHING feels NEGATIVE and you don't know how to pick yourself up.
  4. You often feel weak emotionally, like you couldn't withstand any minor trauma. Like if anything happens you'll just collapse and other people just won't understand or want to help.

This brings me to my next important point.

You see, in my over 20 years of working in the mental-health field, I have learnt that... 

There are 3 deadly mind-sets that will smash you into your emotional threshold all the time. 

I will now describe these 3 mind-sets in detail. 

I'll show you how they sabotage everything you do to cope better. And i'll give you real-life examples of how they work so you know how to spot them and have the best chance to avoid getting caught out by them. 

Then in the final article in this series I will reveal 6 essential coping skills that will give you the edge over these 3 mindsets. These 6 skills have helped my clients avoid a lifetime of pain because of trial and error.

Sounds good? Let's dig in.

Toxic Mind-set 1: Why is this happening to you?

It's one of those things. 

You never thought it would happen to you. Now you're so broken, you believe "you'll never be the person you used to be again."

This phrase characterises our first toxic mind-set perfectly. I call it... 

The blind man on motorway mind-set.

The blind man on motorway mind-set fools you into thinking that you are somehow exempt from emotional difficulties. You are oblivious to the fact that an emotional threshold exists for everyone.

Including you.

You are either empathetic to the emotional struggles of other people, believing it will never happen to you.

Or you simply believe that mental health issues are not real. You have a strong opinion that mental illness is for weak people.

However, the biggest problem with the blind man on motorway mind-set is that due your lack of knowledge about the emotional threshold, your way of managing emotional issues turns you into an "emotional accident waiting to happen." 

It's like you're walking on a motorway blindfolded.  

Oblivious to the cars flying towards you at hundred miles an hour.   

But because you  are blindfolded...

You are thinking "This is just a walk in a park."  

And you are not aware of the true impact of everything that's happening to you .

This puts you at risk of a massive mental health breakdown. And the breakdown becomes a hundred times more likely if unexpected traumatic events are dumped on your laps.

Here is a true life example of how this mindset can trap you.

A mistake that leads you to a life of emotional hell

Jim was a department manager. 

He believed himself to be robust and secure emotionally. And knew he could handle whatever life threw at him.

Jim had a great job.

He could afford holidays with his family 3 times a year. He worked with a team of supportive people. For over 15 years life was exactly the way he wanted.

Then out of the blue, Jim was made redundant.

And years after, he was left frustrated unable to find a job that gave him the same sort of satisfaction. In fact he often found himself heavily criticised, undermined and bullied in most of the jobs he got.

Eventually, Jim lost confidence in himself and got stuck in a cycle of self-criticism and emotional meltdowns.

This left Jim thinking...

“This cannot be happening to me,I am strong, I can cope and have always coped with pressure. Why is it different this time? I used to be confident and able to cope with things. I have lost the old me and I am afraid I'll never be able to cope again.”

What was Jim's mistake?

You see, Jim’s problem was not really because he had lost his “old confident self.” In fact his old confident self was still there, buried beneath all the pressure and pain he was going through.

Jim’s problem was that the blind man on motorway mind-set fooled him to think he had inbuilt coping skills. 

As  such he unintentionally failed to learn necessary skills. Skills that would  have made him robust to face unexpected traumatic life events.

Now, I met with Jim in therapy. 

I showed him how to learn the necessary skills he needed to cope.  

And within two months,  he was able to bounce back to coping emotionally. He reported feeling even more confident than he did before.

I will reveal the exact steps I shared with Jim later, first let's move on to the second mindset.

Toxic Mind-set 2: Why you are often overwhelmed and freaking out

It's so disheartening..

Feeling like there are people watching...

Waiting to see if you'll fail.

Now you are on a mission to prove them wrong. 

Bent on proving to yourself that you've got what it takes to succeed.

So you work hard. You deal with your problems. You worry about your problems. You put on a front so no one can see that you are struggling.

But there's an unforeseen problem.

A problem that will keep you living in yesterday's regrets.

A problem that will rob you of your best years if you fail to notice it and do something about it.

And the problem is caused by our second mind-set which I call...

 The road runner mind-set.


Ever noticed how in the cartoon, the road runner seems impervious to crashing into obstacles, always miraculously surviving regardless of what it does?

Well, in much the same way, the road runner mind-set tricks you into thinking you can push yourself non-stop without consequences. 

It tricks you into focusing a high percentage of your attention and energy on dealing with your life problems.

But since real life is not a cartoon, dealing with things in this manner will force you into a lifestyle that smashes you into your emotional threshold regularly.

The result...

You are broken, vulnerable, fatigued, and you feel increasingly powerless to problems you can't control.

Here's an example that illustrates the road runner mindset perfectly.

A mistake that will leave you feeling powerless and useless.

Out of the blue, Eunice’s husband left her for another woman. 

He left her with two under 10 year old kids with no financial support. 

Eunice became adamant that she'd show her ex she can survive without him. So she pushed herself hard and kept going through it all on her own. 

Eventually she started experiencing panic attacks. Constantly snapping at her kids and feeling guilty about it. Waking up in the mornings feeling low and demotivated.

Feeling frustrated with herself because her mind knew what she wanted to do but her body was not letting her do it.

When Eunice came to me for therapy, she explained her struggle like this.

“Got too many problems, too confusing I could not describe them or analyse them...

You know, the first thing you ask is how you ended up in this place, I mean you've worked so hard. It’s like everything that you feared is now there, now happening…

What do you do? You can’t move, you can’t see tomorrow, you just get up and are like, well this is it, I am here I can’t do nothing…

You end up feeling like there’s no way out… and even though some people will say to me don't worry things will get better. I ask but how, and when? Is it really?”

What was Eunice's mistake?

You see, the road runner mind-set had tricked Eunice into believing she could only deal with her difficulties by doing something tangible. 

She didn't realize she needed to sustain herself emotionally as well. 

This would have prevented her from crashing into her emotional threshold.  And helped her remain energized, clear minded and motivated to deal with her real life issues.

I met with Eunice for three months in therapy and helped her learn the coping skills she needed. This helped her to stop crashing into her threshold.

After this, Eunice reported that she was in a much calmer place. Her life difficulties were still present, but she was managing things better. 

She was making fewer wrong choices and achieving her day to day goals without feeling exhausted and drained like she used to.

What exact steps did we take to achieve this result? I'll be digging more into that later.

First let's move on to toxic mind-set 3

Toxic Mindset 3: Why medication, yoga, exercise and even counselling is failing you.

Living with anxiety and depression is a battle.

Waking up every morning to the sinking realization that your life is much the same as it was yesterday.

Terrified that your very state of being will push you over the edge again, constantly threatening to leave you behind your peers.

And when you've been in this battle for long, tried all medication, been through all types of therapies with no progress, you end up with a sinking feeling that leaves you with the questions like...

"Is this the only life I'll ever know?"

Fortunately, it does not have to be this way...

There is a proven (but often overlooked) way to free yourself of these endless loops of anxiety and depression.

The only problem, there is a sneaky system at play that will nullify the effectiveness of anything you do to cope better with your anxiety and depression.

This sneaky system is spear headed by our third toxic mindset which I call...

The boomerang mind-set.

You know how boomerangs come right back at you once thrown? 

Well, this brazen mind-set does exactly the same thing. 

It shamelessly throws all your efforts to cope right back in your face, whilst tricking you into believing it’s working fully in your favour.

You fall prey to the boomerang mind-set when you are fully aware that you are not coping emotionally.

And you've become convinced that an emotional threshold exists because of one of the following reasons.

  1. You've had a drastic life event like a stroke and you've been told that this was due to stress.       
  2. You've become sick and tired of long-term emotional health issues like depression and anxiety and have sensed that an invincible barrier is always stopping you from keeping healthy and functioning well in life.       

  3. You've attended therapy and have been made aware of the foul consequences of ignoring your emotional threshold.

Due to this awareness, you've come to accept that you need additional help to keep your stress levels under check. So you opt-in for things like medication, yoga, counselling, meditation etc.

But, something painfully strange happens.

Disconcertingly, depression, anxiety problems and stress related problems keep returning no matter how hard you try.

Why is this happening?

I’ll explain using an example from another former client mine.

A Mistake that leaves you feeling like a dog chasing it's own tail!

John was a high achiever who had a stroke. 

His Doctor warned him to take things easier so John decided that the best thing was to start attending yoga classes.

And amazingly, yoga actually helped. 

It was like his battery got a full recharge!

Then John returned to his busy life and everything seemed fine until he started to feel under pressure again. And what did he do?

Yes that's right... 

Back to Yoga classes again. 

John became devoted to weekly Yoga classes. The energy recharge took the edge off his stress levels just enough to enable him to carry on with his weekly responsibilities.

But when John came to see me for therapy, He complained that his stress levels were still destructively high. 

Here’s how he described his feelings.

"…don’t get me wrong, yoga is helpful, but I am still constantly wound up on edge inside. On the outside you may see calm and balance but inside everything is compounded by like ten or a hundred"

What was John's mistake?

The truth?

Yoga was only treating the symptoms of John's problems. The roots remained untouched.

This pattern holds true if you rely on medication, exercise, meditation, counselling and other similar things too.

It's a boomerang life where your core issues feeding stress, anxiety or depression never gets addressed and resolved.

The outcome?

You settle for less.

You settle for little or no improvements to your emotional well-being. 

And as such, you are stuck with a relentless long-term mental-health problem.

Heart wrenching isn’t it?

But, can I just take a second to encourage you by saying…

If you have found yourself in a vicious cycle of anxiety and depression where you’ve lost the ability to find your way out.

I’d like to encourage you to take heart. 

Go softly on yourself.


It's not your fault.

You see this pain you are enduring…

It’s like fighting a literal soul demolishing war inside your head. Not just once, or twice, but every single day.

It is exhausting. It is draining.

If that’s not enough to make a person feel lost, I don’t know what else is.


The reason you are struggling to cope IS NOT because something's wrong with you. It's NOT because you aren't trying hard enough.

It's because you've been trying really hard but unknowingly going in the wrong direction.

And if you "KEEP ON GOING."

You’ll lose your opportunity to find more effective ways of coping through the difficulties you encounter.

So, to avoid all that trial and error, click the link below to discover how to stop the 3 toxic mindsets from ruining life for you.

Move on to...

The 6 essential skills to fast-track you from struggling to coping without spending a lifetime doing It.

In this article, I am going to reveal  6 key coping skills that will explode your ability to cope successfully with pressures in life, work and relationships exponentially.

First of, there are loads and loads of skills you need to learn to become super effective at coping emotionally. I have just hand-picked 6 skills that I find helps to fast track you from struggling to coping without wasting too many years doing it.

Ready? Here are The 6 essential skills.

Skill No.1: Notice the"GOOD THINGS" that sabotage you

In an attempt to cope, you have been focusing all your energy on cutting just the bad things out of your life.

You work hard at dropping your negativity...

You try to stop getting so impatient, snappy and irritable...

To try your best to get rid of all the unproductive things in your life.

But this is a TRAGIC MISTAKE.


Because, unbeknown to many...

The things that actually sabotage your ability to cope emotionally tends to be the good things in your life.

And these good things are deadly because they usually assault you under the radar.

But before you kick me out and slam the door in my face...

Here's an example to clarify what I mean.

Pat believes her emotionally manipulative husband is her only problem, so she diverts all her energy at dealing with him.

The problem though is that Pat has always had a natural tendency to let things go easily.

She'd always seen this as one of her good virtues.

Sadly, Pat doesn’t realize that this tendency to let things go easily is the real threat to her emotional well-being in this situation.

Because it has literally trained her husband to grow into the habit of taking her for granted. Her most prized moral tendency of letting things go easily is the root of her marriage problems.

But the sad thing is...

Pat could carry on like this for many years without realizing it.

This is how the good things in your life can easily cripple your emotional well-being.

Still not convinced?

Here's a list of 36 more good things that will sabotage your ability to cope emotionally

Skill No. 2: Master the skill of positive future watching

Notice that I did not say positive thinking

Positive future watching is an entirely different skill and is a hundred time more beneficial.

Ironically trying to do positive thinking at all cost will put you in a negative life, more often than not.

Let me explain...

You see, the way we think about our future determines how motivated we feel in the face of difficulties.

It determines how quickly we fold under pressure. Here's an analogy that explains what I mean.

Imagine 500 armature soldiers with sticks, forks, swords and arrows waiting feverishly on the enemy to do battle.

There is a deep silence as one soldier points out into the horizon. The dust clears to reveal a long unified wall of shields and enemy soldiers.

You can feel the wave of anxiety as the band of 500 soldiers quiver with uneasiness. They know this is their last stand. Should they bolt, should they beg?

Then suddenly, you hear a strong clear confident voice speak above the hustle and bustle. Everyone hushes as they listen to their king.

He speaks words of courage and of hope. He makes them believe they can still win.

Now the band of 500 soldiers are running down the field towards the enemy.  Shouting almost as if they have won the battle already.  

Fired up with so much confidence even though their fate seems dim.

They believe they can win.

No! They believe they WILL win.

No! They believe they’ve already WON.

There have been many tales of battles won against all odds like this. So it in not entirely impossible.

This analogy embodies Positive future watching perfectly.

Without this skill, your world becomes dark gloomy and lonely. You see threats and negatives in everything. And the motivation to move on dies out.

But when you learn to approach the things that defeat you with that powerful "I can win" attitude..."

You'll gain a fresh sense of purpose just like the band of 500 armature soldiers. 

And this will ignite the confidence and stamina to fight your corner in life. And may even enable you to win some battles you could otherwise have lost.

Skill No 3: Develop mind over mood power

Did you know you have a real physical emotional brain inside your head working against every thing you want to do?

No joke!

It is called limbic system. Its major role is to protect you from threats and keep you addicted to good things.

The sad thing though is that to keep you protected, your emotional brain will also stop you from growing and making progress in life.

If this is news to you, it’ll surprise you to know your emotional brain can take control away from you whenever it wants to.

That’s why,

  1. If you struggle with anxiety, you’ll often wonder why you can’t let go of thoughts you know are not rational.

  2. Or if you feel depressed, you’ll be baffled with why you can’t stop thinking negatively about everything.
    Even when some of those things are actually positives.

These are both examples of your emotional mind taking control. It sabotages your ability to think or act logically.

Knowing how to take control back from the emotional mind is therefore essential. Because doing so helps you remain clear minded and focused. It stops you from freaking out when in distressing situations.

Here is a link to a useful and insanely simple technique that help my client achieve mind over mood power. I call it the Bonjela Technique.

Skill No 4: Master the third person's perspective.

This one’s a biggie!

I call it the curse of knowing yourself.

Ever wondered why it is so much easier to offer advice and solutions to other people.

While it is so much more difficult to come up with solutions for your own difficulties?

This is because you are more wrapped up in your own problems than you are with the other people's problems.

The emotional hype whilst addressing your personal difficulties interferes with your objectivity.

And stops you making effective decisions which then prolong negative experiences.

On the other hand, it is amazing how objective we can become when we are dealing with other people’s problems.

I like to refer to this objective perspective as “an observer’s perspective.”

Using the observer’s perspective turbo charges your ability to cope effectively with whatever life throws at you.

Here's an article that details how to develop your observer's perspective.

Skill No. 5: Take advantage of the power of neuroplasiticty.

Ever wonder why it's hard to forget how to drive a car once you've learnt how to drive?

It's all because of something scientists call it neuroplasticity. 

You see, the more you repeat anything, the more you are likely to grow pathways of neurons in your brain. 

These pathways helps you form habits. And once you form anything into a habit it becomes extremely easy to do.

Imagine being able to be in a happy place habitually.

Or imagine being motivated, full of energy and joy by habit.

You see, neuroplasticity helps you cement all the other skills in this list into a strong foundation that will never let you down.

Once you have achieved this, like many of my former clients, you'll wonder why you ever had any emotional struggle in the first place. 

One day, you’ll just realize that the situations that used to crush you emotionally, don’t have the power to do so anymore.

Watch this quick video about neuroplasticity.


Skill No. 6: Treat your life with absolute importance.

“I treat myself worse than a dog”

This was how one of my former client’s described his lack of time for himself.

Mr Richie (not his real name) is a business tycoon who suffers with mixed anxiety and depressive symptoms. 

In his day job, he knows that it's highly important to hold regular business meeting for all his businesses and he does so without fail. 

Even when he's not well.

In the meetings, they talk through potential threats and problems to the company, and work out different strategies to keep afloat.

Mr Richie is frustrated with himself for not being able to get a handle on his depression, but he never once stops to have a productive meeting with himself.

He expects to just cope emotionally without exploring potential threats and problems to his emotional well-being Just like he does for his businesses.

He does not spend anytime reviewing his progress or exploring more ways he might improve things.

But here is the crucial question.

Hand on heart, how much time do you spend, "one on one," with yourself?

Have you checked in on yourself lately?

Have you reviewed the things you are doing to keep emotionally well? Or do you just keep on going with an expectation that things will slot in to place eventually?

Have you gotten so caught up in living your life for others. Only existing for your friends, your boss, your kids, your partner or everyone else.

Always thinking of yourself last.

Well, It is time to grow a selfish bone and spend more time working on yourself. Because, without doing this your life will end up knotted with distressing mistakes..

Without doing this, the 3 toxic mindsets will invade your life with pressure, pain, stress, frustration, anxiety and depression. 

Everything  you hate.

And yes, putting in the time to learn these 6 essential skills may feel like a lot of work when you first start it.

But which would you rather have...

Something that requires a lot of effort from you that guarantees success at achieving peace, happiness and fulfilment in life...

Or something that's easy to do which just temporarily puts a sticking plaster over your struggles.

I'd like to encourage you to stop thinking of the efforts for learning to cope as a burden, and instead look at it this way...


When babies are born, a good parent doesn't just abandon them. They support them, care for them, even fight for them for years or even decades after they're born.

Yes it's a lot of work, and you get really tired sometimes, but that little baby is a piece of you. And you know in your heart that you'll do absolutely anything to help them succeed.

Well, here's the thing...

Your effort to cope better emotionally is just like this baby. 

It's a piece of you. 

Drawn from your heart, and mind, and soul. 

And if you'll care for it... 

If you'll fight for it... 

It will develop a powerful ability to bring precious victories into your life. 

It will take on the world for you and grow into something that not only blesses you, but will bless your parents, spouse or partner, kids and your friends as well.

In the beginning though, it's just as delicate and vulnerable, just like this baby. 

And you have to decide, are you going to be a good parent, or a bad one?

Are you going to treat it harshly, whipping it ferociously with a horse whip in order to bully it into order?

Or are you going to support it with all the energy and all the love you have?

Because you see, that's what it takes to cope effectively. You have to be willing to accept that the journey will full of many falls, hurts and bruises. 

You have to be humble enough to stand back up and dust yourself off with care and love. Not because it a necessity!

But because it's your honour, It's your privilege. It's your God given responsibility.

That's how I feel anyway.

And if you feel that way too, there's a lot more I can teach you about how to strengthen your ability to cope emotionally. 

The coping skills I revealed to you here in this article really works.

 But it's also just a tip of the iceberg. 

There's so much more you can do if you are really committed to coping successfully emotionally. 

And if you want, I'll teach you. Just click the link below to get free access to relevant helpful guides and videos on coping better emotionally.

Okay, take care and I'll talk with you soon.

By Adewale Ademuyiwa (StressTherapist)xx