My Coping Skills:

Dealing with Difficult Emotions

How can I deal with difficult emotions?

The first part of dealing with difficult emotions is knowing what causes you to feel these emotions. Many things can cause us to feel mad, sad, or scared. Once we recognize these causes or “triggers,” we can then work to do something about it.

A second part of dealing with difficult emotions is being able to engage in coping skills to help you calm down when experiencing a difficult emotion.

What are coping skills?

Coping skills are any positive activity that makes you feel good and that is not harmful to yourself or others. They are essentially things you do to make yourself feel better when you are experiencing unpleasant emotions. There are many coping skills that people use.

Here are some examples:

Count to 10

Give yourself some time before you react

Deep Breathing

Breathe in through your nose out through your mouth

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Tensing and relaxing your muscles in a sequenced, meaningful way


Paying attention to the present moment and noticing your thoughts and emotions, and how your body is reacting.
Understanding how thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are related can help us use cognitive and behavioral strategies to make choices that result in more positive outcomes.

Positive Activities

Talking to friends, listening to music, reading, taking a shower/bath, writing in a journal, exercising, etc.
Different people use different coping skills. It is important for you to experiment with some of these suggestions and figure out which coping skills are most helpful for you.

Dealing with Difficult Emotions

Coping Skills Challenge

Deep Breathing Practice

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Practice

Mindfulness Guided Imagery Practice

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