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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5839
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am incredibly sensitive to my emotions and the emotions of

Customer Question

I am incredibly sensitive to my emotions and the emotions of others. I re act with physically to stress, like burning sensations under my skin, and shoulder pain. What can I do to re direct my though patterns to improve my well being, and change the course of my day into productivity and forward thinking instead of dwelling and living in the past and the hurt of the past...
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like you are under enormous stress right now. You mentioned that you are selling your home, going back to school, making custody arrangements for your children (a lot of emotional stress there) and you have a history of abuse. It is not surprising that you are feeling physical pain in reaction to your feelings.

Some of the actions you are taking are very good. Seeing a psychologist will help you express your feelings, give you support and help you find ways to cope. Support groups are also excellent ways to get support and get your emotions out. Both of these things are going to help you re direct your emotions better and probably will have a great effect on your physical reactions.

Another thing you can try is exercise and changing your diet. You may already have done this, but I thought I'd mention it in case. It is very common advice to say that exercise and diet help, but they really do. Exercise alone can increase your endorphin levels so you have a greater sense of well being and it also can help you feel more in control of your body and subsequently, your feelings. Your stress level goes down and you sleep better. Not to mention the knowledge that you are healthier and more able to handle everyday challenges. Diet also goes hand in hand with this.

Relaxation techniques can help as well. Learning to relax can help you focus better and give you a more centered feeling, particularly when faced with a lot of stress. You can do this through learning relaxation techniques, listening to calm music or even learning how to have fun. Here is a guide to help you get started:

Thankful lists and grateful lists can help you learn to look forward and appreciate your life now. Whenever you feels overwhelmed, it is good to notice the things in your life that are going well. It re focuses your mind and helps you relax and you get to see the positive. To start, keep it simple. Be thankful for being able to see, for your job, health, etc. As you practice, you can list more advanced things.

Don't ignore your problems. By ignoring them, you don't solve them but you do spend energy trying to suppressed how you really feel. By talking about your feelings and allowing yourself to express your thoughts and emotions, you can heal.

Make goals and challenge yourself. We all need something to work towards and something to look forward to. Start small. Make a goal for the following week to do something you have not done before. If you usually stay in on Fridays, go out and meet a friend.

Be sure to check with your doctor so you know that your pains are not physical. Getting an "all clear" from your doctor will help you focus totally on your emotional health.

I hope this helps. Let me know if I can help any further,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I have been limited in my excercise and in my state of depression I have been isolated. I have few friends that are close to home and part of selling my house, going back to school are to re-establish my friendships in a new direction. I am living in an area where the culture and language are not mine and this is not helping. 2 hours from family and friends. I am worried about being addicted to this state of being, this health and the physical symptoms are making me ill. I need a release of anger and stress that has been building up throughout the relationship I had with my ex. I am bitter and angry (part of grief? or a part of past hurt?). I accepted and tolerated her as best I could with the tools I had while in the relationship. Outside the relationship I am hurt and angry because she says admittedly that she knows she hurt me in the past and she does not care. I am a loving father and good man, I have guilt and shame of an affaire within me, which my ex spouse agreed to survive. This affaire happend at the end of my marriage. She agreed to survive the affaire. She then betrayed me and terminated our family as it was. I believe she is a good woman, a good mother, but she is beyond reasoning and would rather be alone now then reconcile. I am acceptign some things and the stress is enournous, you are right. I currently share a business with her and the custody of the children. However the strain on my well being is affecting the quality of life and my over all health. Hypersomnia, depression, lethargic, my patience is way down...which is affecting my work...

In short. I know myself and my limits are exceeded in strress and all I want is to be free of the upheaval and grief...

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information. It helps.

It sounds like you have a lot of grief. Your emotions have been up and down severely recently and you have lost a lot. Your life is in turmoil so it is not surprising you are feeling stuck and are physically stressed. Plus you are limited in your ability to express how you feel being in a strange place with little to no access to family and friends. So seeing a therapist and joining support groups is all the more important in helping you deal with how you feel.

Working through grief is a slow but important process. Grief has stages. Some people go through all of them and some through just some. Here is a resource to help you:

Grief can cause you to feel depressed. You have lost a lot and depression is a natural reaction. Being impatient is as well. You are not feeling well and when your emotions are in turmoil, your normal way of seeing things and responding to circumstances is going to be different. Sleep and energy levels are also affected. These both are symptoms of depression as well as grief.

Here are some other resources to help:

Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends, 3rd Edition (Rebuilding Books; For Divorce and Beyond) by Bruce Fisher

Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life, Revised Edition by Abigail Trafford

The Grief Recovery Handbook : The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death Divorce, and Other Losses by John W. James and Russell Friedman

Grief Recovery Workbook: Helping You Weather the Storms of Death, Divorce, and Overwhelming Disappointments by Ray Giunta

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

With help, you will work through the grief and you will find once you do, these symptoms will let up or completely disappear.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you so much, all of this is very dsound and good advice. I was skeptical of this site, but I was reaching desparation yesterday. I am better today, saw friends last night, and have work this weekend. I will be busy and active and have started to compartmentalize my symptoms. Concious effort to feel the saddness and anger for a limited time. In a sense that when I feel sad I let my self feel sad, I live that and express that and only that for a block of time. Then I set that aside and move on with my day, when those feelings or other feelings arise I face those for some time, and then carry on without letting those emotions drive my day.

I am going to see someone this month and this will help and offer relief I am certain. Impatience has been one of my wors traits for myself. I am very hard on myself and have really begun to understand the phrase; take care of yourself. Loving ooneself and what is as it comes has been what I thought I was doing for my entire relationship that I was in. I did, but without due care to my actual feelings. I used pot as a coping mechanism, not to excess, but to deal with stress, I used healthy mechanisms too like movies, and breakfast outings with my kids, and play with my kids, gardening, renovating, and creative development for my business. All of which benifitted my spouse too. Much of my anger comes from the real tangible things that I did for her were not anything near selfish or narcisistic. I did them because I knew it was making my life more comfortable and also benifitting my spouse/family. I was called an asshole for this way of life, a selfish man, useless, and much more. All of the comments and insults were delivered in a manner to hurt; and I was told it is because it is the only way that I will listen.

Are the management ideas that I mentioned above alright for my emotions, and also what would you recommend for acceptance issues?

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Those are good management techniques to help you. But they are more stress relievers than anything else. Expressing your feelings through recognizing them, letting yourself feel them then integrating them into your life it the best way.

For example, when you experience the death of a loved one, you feel sadness and grief. You may cry, become angry, be depressed, etc. There is no way to go around these feelings, you need to go through them. They become the focus of your life for a while. Then when you recover, you still feel them they are just milder and not your main focus anymore. So in the future when you recall the person you lost, you may feel sadness and some grief, but the feelings do not overshadow your life like they once did.

So in your case, you feel strong emotions about your marriage. Right now, it's ok to let them be your main focus. You are working to move through them. Coping with them may include time with your kids, movies and other activities. But you still need to feel those feelings in order to recover.

Accepting your feelings is just a way of allowing them to be in your life until you recover. It's like going through a phase. Feel the feelings, experience them and you will know when it's time to move on.


If you are happy with your answers, please click accept. Experts are not reimbursed for their work otherwise. Thank you!!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

All of this communication has been exceptionally encouraging. I know and I believe this is temporary. I know and believe too that the emotional road is neccessary to experience to move on, truly move on. Otherwise I will not grow as a person and that would be tragic. I have had much change and much loss. I have high hopes still for a successful future and a feeling to be visualing again new dreams.

What about over thinking issues, catasrophising, and imagining furture scenarios that do not exist yet? I do this often which does not help. I worry that I am ego centric. I think about how I feel and others feel in the way that I treat them. Except I dont give myself the same coutesy.

For instance I am ofte late. I end up putting myself under pressure on purpose and then I am stressed about it. Today I did exactly that, but the experience was better when I realized that being late is just being late. I am never really on time with anything so to fix this I need to take the pressure off myself to be on time.

My worst time of day is mornings and evenings. I am alone and I am unmotivated. I do watch movies, old habit, and I sleep in as late as possible. How would you see anyone alleviating self pressure and self loathing? How do I make the emotion not have an impact on the action?

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

I would like to continue, but I require reimbursement before I can answer further questions.


TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5839
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I understand, You have been very helpful and I appreciate you taking the time for me. I am happy to pay for the service you have offered me some peace of mind through much of the ideals in which I believed in whne things in my life were full of forward momentum and I was able to include myself in that happieness.

Lack of a better word I feel broken. Defeated or collapssed. I blame myself for not finding ways to reach a level of clear and open communication with my ex. She believes it is alright to be aggressive and violent to get what she wants. Invasive and it is not a shared b elief of mine at all. It was too great to overcome and I ended the relationships trusts with and affaire. She returned the favour with a vengeful and ver personal attack with an affaire. We are both living through this time of upheaval and I would rebuild my life with her should she want to, btu she does not.

Why do people who have been abused feel as thouigh their abuser deserves love and attention anyway? I was not sexually abused as a child, or physically beaten, I was not neglected or berated. My home was loving and my parents were present for the most part. My father in the military and unable to express emotions well, but I do. My mother loving and encouraging. I want to accept that I love my ex still despite her agressions and be able to move on. I love her despite her nature as I know underneath it all is a vulnerable woman who eeds what we all need, love and appreciattion. I gave that to her and she hurt me. So why do I still love her?

Why am I hanging onto a broken dream? What comfort does it have to be invested emotionally in a life that was? All of thaat having to do with acceptance and then beig able to move on. facing these losses is real and painful, but I need to move on...

Thanks again...

Expert:  AgapeDoc replied 6 years ago.
If I may, address some of your concerns..... First of all I believe that Ms. McCoy has given great answers and guidance to your situation. Yet it seems that you are still stuck on the "why" things are the way they are.
If you want to feel better, I strongly suggest that you research solution focused counseling and even try and find a solution focused counselor to help you move on. You see the answer that you seek are not related to the questions that you are stuck on (in my humble opinion).
If you are like others that I have encountered in my practice (and based on your post's it seems like you are) you will not get past the past until you refocus from problems to the solutions. I have seen this many times. Ultimately it is up to you.
I added this post only because I have seen this so often in my private practice. Like all experts, I stand by the guarantee that Just Answer makes to it's customers, but if you are satisfied with the answer that Ms. McCoy has provided or that I have provided (or both) please don't forget to click on the green accept button.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for the accept. I have answered your new question and it should be waiting for you under your answered questions.