It’s normal to feel a wide variety of emotions, but sometimes they can be so intense that they seem to take over our lives. When this happens, it can be challenging to overcome them.
“What worries you, masters you.”
Often we grow up thinking it’s “weak” to show our emotions. So, we fall into the bad habit of stuffing everything inside, only for them to explode at the worst times.
Furthermore, since everyone else hides their pain, it can make you feel very alone. But, in reality, you aren’t the only one feeling this way.
If you want to be brave and strong, try processing your emotions. This is sometimes what you need to do to heal.
However painful it might be, you are stronger than your emotions. You have the power to overcome them. But if you need a helping hand, don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist.
Why it’s essential to process your emotions
“The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.”
Holding in your emotions will cause emotional outbursts or an overall depressed mood.
Although being stoic is respectable, acting like nothing ever bothers you isn’t realistic.
Ignoring your emotions is a surefire way to create inner turmoil, and that leads to all kinds of other problems. For example, you might end up blowing up in a rage of fury for something ridiculous. So, it’s best to process your emotions so you can be done with them.
Even though it can be challenging to process our emotions at times, we need them to survive. They are signals that tell us if something isn’t right or if we need to take action to keep ourselves safe. When we don’t process our emotions, it often leads to stress, anxiety, depression, and other negative consequences.
However, there are ways that you can learn how to handle your emotions.
The following tips are how you can process your emotions so they won’t hold you back anymore:
1. Realize your emotions
“Feelings are something you have; not something you are.”
–Shannon L. Alder
First, you’ll need to notice what exactly you’re feeling. Take a minute to ask yourself what emotions you’re feeling and why. Write it down or answer it in your mind.
Are you judging these emotions? Do you feel that they’re unacceptable somehow?
2. Allow yourself to feel the emotion
Training yourself to deal with emotionally difficult feelings can help you get through them in the future.
But this doesn’t mean it’s helpful to dwell on them. Don’t let these fueled thoughts run away with you, stay in control. You’re trying to learn why these feelings exist and what triggers spark them.
Try to remain calm as you observe your thoughts regardless of how painful they might be. Be mindful of your breathing. Breathe in for a few seconds and slowly breathe outward. Be with the emotion and experience it.
3. Learn from your emotions
“When anger rises, think of the consequences.”
Think of your emotions as tools to help you better understand yourself and the world around you. In order to use our emotions effectively, we must first understand them.
Then you can take back control instead of letting them control you.
4. Accept that you’re having the emotion
“What you resist persists.” – Carl Jung
A vital part of the process is to accept that you’re feeling sad, angry, or hurt. Name the emotion, and it’s power is transferred to you.
When you’re wrapped up in the energy and drama of these thoughts, it can feel overwhelming. But when you say for instance “I’m feeling sad because my cat ran away.” Then you can react calmly.
Fighting against it only makes it stronger. It’s normal to feel upset when upsetting things happen, so there’s no reason to deny it.
When you accept it you take the power the emotion had over you and you gain the advantage. Then you can learn what you needed to and can heal from root cause of the emotion.
5. Shift your focus to gratitude
Now, shift your attention from what was bothering you to the present moment. Look around you and realize that although your situation isn’t perfect, it’s much better than it could be. Point out the people and aspects of your life that you’re glad you have. Some people have no home, cell phone, or loved ones. Write down everything you’re lucky to have in life. Then dwell on that for a while.
6. Find a healthy way to release your emotions
“There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.”
– George Eliot
Use mindfulness to realize when your mood takes a nosedive so you can react rationally. A great response is releasing negativity with drawing, writing, singing, or playing a sport. You’ll find that you feel so much better when you stop hoarding useless misery.
7. Write Your Thoughts and Feelings Out
Another way that you can process your emotions is to write your thoughts and feelings out. Writing allows you to get your feelings out of your head so you’re not as distracted by them. When you’re writing, don’t worry about what other people might think about it. No one needs to read it but you. Also, you need to be open and honest with yourself to get to the root of the problem.
8. Pinpoint how you usually deal with negative feelings
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”
– Viktor E. Frankl
Realize how you usually deal with negative emotions to steer yourself toward a healthier path. Our subconscious tries to protect us from pain, so it will distract you from dealing with issues. As a result, things are piled up into a mountain of emotional baggage. All that baggage can make you look like a hot mess.
9. Stop consuming negativity
Think about all the stressful negative information you allow in your mind every day. It’s almost constant, and we feel desensitized from it. However, it still affects our mood and well-being.
So, consider taking a break from certain people, social media, and the news. Strive to be on the lookout for fear-mongering and “us vs. them” speech. It only fuels anger and fear. Furthermore, the more you engage in it, the stronger these emotions become.
10. Let go of the uncontrollable
Often it’s the uncontrollable events in life that cause negative emotions. But stressing or obsessing about these things is pointless. It’s best to realize that you have no control over it and to let it go.
In short, knowing how to process your emotions rather than letting them take over your life is incredibly valuable for anyone.
When you take the time to feel your emotions rather than hide from them, you enhance your well-being and quality of life. It’s also important to remember that feelings are not always accurate or rational, which is why it’s important to process them. Then you can regain control of your mood and no longer be led by your emotions.