Yesterday I wrote about how to deal with stress and anxiety. Today I’m writing about another very important topic: dealing with your emotions. Everyone deals with emotions in different ways. People with anxiety, depression and addiction tend to have trouble dealing with emotions. I personally have struggled with expressing my emotions properly mostly because they are usually uncomfortable for me to feel.
Feeling Emotions Can Be Uncomfortable
The uncomfortability of feeling emotions lead me to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol which is the worst thing you can do in my opinion. Doing that is bad because I just end up bottling up my emotions by numbing them which is very unhealthy. By numbing your emotions over a long period of time you will end up exploding at some point and it will be extremely overwhelming.
Certain emotions are easier to experience like happiness. Others are hard to deal with such as sadness, anger and fear. Everyone needs skills to deal with negative emotions, some people have them naturally others need to practice which is fine. As long as you’re handling your feelings in a healthy way you’ll be on the right path. Unfortunately some people deal with emotions by hurting themselves or self-medicating which must be avoided at all costs. Self-medicating will only bring you down and feeling worse.
What To Avoid Doing
Avoid drinking alcohol or using drugs to help you deal with any uncomfortable emotion. The reason it’s bad us because in order to begin the healing process you first need to identify the feelings you’re having and by numbing them you will not be able to do so. Also when you’re angry, sad or fearful avoid using violence or self-harm because not only can you end up hurting yourself but you could very well hurt someone else too.
What To Do In Order To Properly Deal With Your Emotions
- Identify you’re emotion. First off you want to be able to find out what you’re going through and what emotion you’re feeling – Ask yourself if you’re feeling one of the 4 main emotions: Anger, Sadness, Happiness or Fear. Here is a list of emotions to help you identify what you’re feeling.
- Talk to someone. Talking to someone about how you’re feeling is an essential way to heal. Talking is always therapeutic because you need to express yourself. Tell the person how you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way. Find a person you can trust and make sure you don’t hold back. If it’s a person that loves you unconditionally then they shouldn’t judge you and actually will give you advice too. You need to find someone that will listen to what you have to say and not try talking over you. Just ask them to listen because it’s important to you. If you don’t have someone like that in your life then speak to a therapist. The therapist will have the skills to listen and give you proper advice.
- Try to breath and relax. Breathing and relaxation will help you calm down and regroup with yourself. There are many breathing techniques online to learn. One that I use is breathing deeply and counting slowly to 10 or even 20 if needed. Here are some great breathing techniques.
- Try grounding yourself. Grounding yourself is very important during times of heavy emotion. When grounding you want to bring yourself back to the present moment. Try to stop thinking about the past or the future and focus on the present. You want to be living in the moment and tell yourself that the uncomfortable feeling will pass and that it’s just temporary. Also try using smell, taste, hearing, taste or touch to bring yourself back to the present moment. You can try listening to calming music or smelling beautiful flowers or even eating something you enjoy.
- Meditation and prayer. You can try to help calm your emotions by meditating or praying to your higher power. Also, as a routine you should be meditating twice a day for 15 minutes. I do 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes before going to bed and it works like a charm.
- Change your negative thinking. When your thinking negatively it impairs you because your thoughts lead to your emotions. Basically when your thinking bad you start feeling bad. Actually, people with anxiety and depression generally have frequent negative thoughts. The trick that I
- use that works is to change the negative thought in to a positive one. For example, instead of telling yourself you’re having a horrible day and focusing on the negative things that happened that day think of the positive things that you accomplished that day like making your bed, it could be something small but that’s ok. Also tell yourself that the day will get better and genuinely try to make it better by taking positive actions. Do things that make you feel happy and better. There’s a good saying: In life you have 2 choices when you wake up in the morning: either you go back to sleep and keep on dreaming or you wake up to realize your dreams.
- Start Journaling. Journaling is very therapeutic. I personally journal everyday at least once a day. I write down how I feel and I express my emotions on paper. It will make you feel so good because it’s like telling someone else how you feel but it’s even better because its personal and know one has to know what you wrote. Write about how your day went or is going, write how you feel, write what your proud about doing that day. Write as much as you need, sometimes it’ll be just a paragraph long other times it could be a few pages but I guarantee you will feel better after.
- Make a gratitude list. Either tell yourself or write down what you’re currently grateful for in your life. It could be something as simple as being grateful for having kids or having a hot meal but something is better than nothing. Try to write or think of at least 5 things everyday and it will make you feel a lot better.
Try to practice using these things everyday and when you’re in pain. They will help you get through your tough emotions. It’s normal that some things will work better than others for you and at different times and for different feelings you’re experiencing.