How to deal with your emotions? Obviously this question addresses more the negative than the positive ones.
To some extend and in some situations, we can be tempted to let ourself engulfed by our emotions. It’s the easy path. Say hello to your dear friends “self-pitying”, “victimisation” and “negative self-talk”.
In those moments, I feel like greeting them by a “Hey, how have you been? Long time no see!”, but unfortunately they still visit me too often.
How can one day feel like perfect and the next one feel like the total opposite without any apparent valid reason?
Covering everything about emotions would be a big challenge as this topic deserves a lot of attention and a lot of discussions. Therefore, in this article, I will speak about how we should best deal with our emotions and why.
Emotional pain and its physical manifestation
Let’s pause for a moment. How do you feel right now?
Can you tell what are your type of thoughts? To make it simple, let’s classify thoughts in one of those two categories: positive and negative.
Positive thoughts induce positive emotions, while, guess what? Negative thoughts create negative emotions.
From there and to answer the initial question the answer is now pretty straight forward: to deal with your emotions replace your negative thoughts by positive ones. Easier said the done, I know, but IT IS that simple.
I don’t know about you but when I feel super negative about just everything I just want to hide myself, usually under the blanket of my bed, and sleep until the next day, knowing I will be better the morning after.
Since I’m not a baby anymore (oh, really? what a surprise!) and I can’t make a scene just because I want to shout at everything and everyone and can’t hide under that blanket from 2pm onwards, well I have to somehow find a way to deal with my emotions to avoid hurt anyone unnecessarily (or at least stop the process before it’s too late).
So here I am, all grumpy wishing for it to pass, but it won’t. I feel it in my tummy. The anger is here and wants to come out. It won’t happen, I won’t let it happen. And because I have been told that refraining emotions isn’t good either, I have to do something about it, I have to DECIDE to get better.
Dealing with negative emotions in a healthy way
From my little experience, there isn’t any magic recipe, and by magic I mean, nothing you can get from the outside world. The magic happens from within. As I wrote earlier, you have to decide to do something about, to take action. Having to think about this article and about my own approach, I realised that, once again, communication is key.
Now matter how you do it, let it out in a non-violent way.
Write down without too much thinking
I guess everyone has his own way to deal with negative emotions, but again, the challenge is to do it in a healthy way. Right now, for example, I’m writing those lines. It helps. Journaling has many benefits and one of them is to help bring clarity and getting your mind to focus its attention on something else. I usually write in a journal. This way, I can really let go of the shallow annoying stuff and I rapidly get to the real issue.
Speak up in a calm, detached way
Another way that works for me is to set aside my pride for a moment and talk to the person, who triggered my pain to explain the emotions I’m experiencing. I know that I’m not my emotions so I make a point to get the other understand this: my reaction has nothing to do with that person. It’s something between me and myself.
Sometimes it works well, sometimes it takes me more time to open up, but it’s definitely worth it.
Introspection will give you answers
Introspection is key. Take a step back and observe the emotion. What is it really saying?
- You’re not angry at your partner because he didn’t do what he said he will. You’re angry because you had a long day and you wish you would have more time to do what matters to you most.
- You’re not impatient with your mom just because she forgets things you’ve discussed before. You’re worrying because she’s getting old and you don’t want to accept it.
Do you see the difference?
Your emotions are messengers, welcome them
We can welcome our emotions and thank them for the message delivered. Now, what should we do with that message? Well, it’s up to us to decide but ignoring it won’t solve the issue in the long run. When you decide to face it in a responsible way you can then take appropriate actions.
- Frustrated because you can’t do as much as you would like to? Prioritise your actions. The day has only 24 hours anyway. It might be that you like too many different things too. That’s great but it shouldn’t become a burden. Focus your attention on what’s important and what matters most to you at the moment.
- Worried because you realise your mom isn’t the young and healthy person you used to know? Well, this is unfortunately part of life. You’re now a grown-up adult and you may have to take care of your parents at some point, the same as they took care of you when you were little. There is nothing else to do but accepting that new reality.
Whatever you may feel, remember to be gentle to yourself, acknowledge the emotion and let it go. Don’t hold on to it. Although I know it’s tempting, it will just hurt you more than necessary. Some emotions need more time to pass than others. It’s okay.
“This too shall pass”.
How does the emotional pain manifest in your body? How do you deal with it to go back to a balanced state? Share your experience on this topic in the comments.