Human beings have devised countless ways to aempty dealing with unpleasant emotions. Because this reality is so common, it is not a shame to experience it.
However, when we avoid uncomfortable emotions, they persist below the surface. Learning how to handle annoyance for a short period of time helps you to let go of the emotion in the long run.
Some call it sitting with your emotions.
The legendary Mr. Rogers taught us that everything mentioned is manageable. This good news can be applied when it comes to processing emotions in a productive way.
If we can sit with our emotions, we can develop healthy coping mechanisms.
What does it mean to sit with your emotions
It starts with a change of perspective. You always have the choice to see negative or bad emotions as a curse. You can see them as something you can complain about or, more likely, be oppressed. However, this perspective usually leads to deeper resentment and more uncomfortable feelings.
Sitting without emotions requires acceptance. You understand that such feelings are inevitable. Therefore, the healthiest option is to create ways to get rid of them. This may include:
- Short circuit the desire for immediate action
- Looking for the underlying causes
- Keep track of your emotions and causes in a diary
- Trying different approaches to managing hard emotions
- Asking for help
Let’s explore some self-help ideas to get in touch with your emotions on a regular basis.
Some ways to sit down with your emotions
Name your feelings
As you practice the acceptance discussed above, it really helps to name what you are feeling. Your first instinct may be to think, “I’m so crazy right now.” Try replacing it with “This is anger”. This detachment may seem subtle, but it is huge. You can edit something better if you do not agree with it.
Focus on emotions as temporarily
Another way to reduce the power that your emotions can have is to recognize that they are passing – sometimes very quickly. Let this awareness prevent you from acting on the impulse to fight your emotions. They do not define you.
Read more: Deal with difficult emotions using emotional regulation skills
Tune in to your body
Without failure, you will experience your emotions more intensely somewhere in your body. Connect with the physical presence of your emotions. For example, it can be manifested by pain or tension or heat or trembling. Move if necessary – stretch, walk, take deep breaths, etc. Let your body guide you to a non-emotional form of resolution.
Literally. Do not react or suppress an emotion until a predetermined time has elapsed. What you do during this time is up to you. Why not use it to do all the other things on this list?
Identify and monitor your actuators
Your uncomfortable feelings did not arise in a vacuum. Practice identifying the source. What causes you and why? How often does this happen? The aforementioned journal is a very valuable tool for such work. It will also be extremely helpful during your treatment sessions (see below).
When your emotions are too great
Learning to sit with your emotions in a healthy way does not mean that you refuse any struggles. Our emotions have the ability to overwhelm us. All the self-help tips in the world may not be enough. Thus, the first step in managing your emotions may simply involve contacting a qualified professional.
When you commit to regular therapy sessions, you allow yourself to consciously sit with all your emotions – comfortably and uncomfortably.
We would love to hear from you and offer you the support and guidance you are looking for. Read more about improving your emotional well-being and contact us soon for a consultation when you are ready.