Sometimes life feels impossible to deal with. And we may feel like there’s no way out. Whether you feel trapped in a job you hate, a toxic relationship, or stuck due to other circumstances, the overwhelming emotions can be paralyzing. Though it may feel like the whole world is crashing down at the moment, this is normal and often temporary. There are ways to escape feeling trapped that help you to move forward in your life with a clearer perspective.

Why do I feel this way?

When we feel trapped, we’ve reached our boiling point—also known as our emotional threshold.  We often have feelings of hopelessness, despair, sadness, anger, frustration, or fear. We may feel stuck in situations that have built up over time.  Or stuck in situations where everything happened all at once. This leaves us feeling like there’s no way out.

Feeling trapped when we overload our emotional threshold is normal. The emotions that you experience in these situations are ok. Feel them and try not to ignore or hide them. Being aware of these feelings can help you identify triggers and take steps toward healing. Tools like mindfulness, therapy, and social support can be helpful in allowing you to work through your feelings.

Self-care can help

During challenging times, it’s important to have a healthy channel for releasing pent up tension.  When you’re feeling trapped, taking the time to prioritize yourself can improve your overall mood and supplement your healing. Give yourself extra time to relax or try a new activity.

Here are some activities that help when you feel triggered and need to escape:

Finding support from others

Finding support from others is a good way to escape the feeling of being trapped. Simply having someone to talk to can make you feel less alone

  •  Talk to a trusted friend or family member. Having someone to vent to may help you process your feelings and allow you to face the situation with a clearer head.
  • Talk to a therapist. A therapist can view your situation from a different perspective and give you the tools to work through your situation. This may help you to gain clarity and find relief.
  •  Try a peer support group. Online peer support communities such as the Toucan app and Inspire communities are good resources for connecting to others and finding support.

Finding support, whether professional or otherwise, can help you to gain some perspective, giving you some clarity and relief. Try this resource to find mental health support in your area. Or click here for self-help resources.

Take it one step at a time

Overcoming the feeling of being trapped is a piece-by-piece process. It’s important for you to be gentle with yourself as you go step by step. Take time away from the things that trigger you whenever you need to. Give yourself the credit you deserve. And remember, you’re strong enough to handle this!


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