Being emotional is not a bad thing. Having emotions often means we are fully experiencing life, and that we aren’t emotionally stunted. However, just because we have strong emotions doesn’t mean we need to have outbursts, alienate those close to us, or create problems in other ways. Emotions are there for us to learn, and understand what triggers us. In fact, the things that trigger us often do so because they remind us of a time we felt similarly when we were younger. If you’re struggling with your emotions and you believe they are getting the better of you, let’s take a look at how you can stop this from happening:
Figure Out If There’s A Problem You Need To Address
Having strong emotions is not the issue – it’s an issue when they are causing you trouble in your life. For example, your emotions may be:
- Causing trouble with your friends
- Making it difficult to relate to other people
- Causing trouble at work
- Giving you an urge to use substances to dull down your emotions
- Causing outbursts that you struggle to control
Remember, This is About Regulation
You’re not trying to repress your emotions, you’re simply trying to regulate them. If you try to prevent yourself from feeling your emotions because they are too difficult to deal with, you may experience anxiety, sleep issues, muscle tension, depression, and more. You need to find a healthy balance when it comes to feeling and expressing your emotions – not feeling any emotion at all is a cause for concern and could mean you’re just sweeping them under the rug and hoping they will disappear.
Label What You’re Feeling
- What are you feeling? – are you feeling confused, anxious, or irritated? Try to get specific.
- What has made you feel this way? – a friend made a comment that triggered you and made you feel stupid, for example.
- Does the situation have a different explanation that could make sense? – your friend may not have realized that a certain subject was sensitive for you, and may have genuinely meant no harm. ]
- What do you initially want to do to cope with these feelings? – perhaps you want to snap at your friend, or say something hurtful to them.
- Is there a healthier way you can cope with these feelings? – if you don’t feel calm enough or ready to address right away that what your friend said upset you, try going for a walk or stepping away until you can explain why you’d prefer they don’t do it again.
Accept Your Emotions
There’s nothing worse than getting into the habit of feeling guilty for having feelings and beating yourself up over and over again. Accepting your emotions is key. Oftentimes, kids are made to feel silly for having emotions. We need to realize that emotions are healthy.
Test Various Coping Mechanisms
Some people find it helpful to go for a run when they feel stressed. Some people like to roll up a newspaper and hit a pillow. Others meditate. Some take supplements and try water bongs. You might like to try a few of these things. What works for you will always vary to what works for another.
Give Yourself A Little Space
Remember, it’s ok to leave a situation that you find upsetting until you are ready to deal with it. Try distracting yourself until you don’t feel as intensely – just make sure you do come back to your feelings. Don’t sweep them under the rug!
Thank you for reading!