Dealing With Your Emotions Tips and Techniques
We have previously looked at what emotions are, emotional awareness and how repressed emotions may show up in your life This section will make use of the practical tools you can use to deal with the wide-ranging spectrum of your emotions.
Most people do not know how to deal with their emotions for the simple reason that they were never taught this basic but essential life lesson.
Emotions are reliable indicators to identify what is really going on inside, so the more you listen to your emotions, the more in tune you will be your feelings. You will start to fine tune the process and become more intuitive.
A Practical Guide to help you deal with your emotions:
- Recognise your emotions
It is important that you recognise all your emotions and not just the good ones. They all exist as a necessary part of your individual make-up.
When the emotion comes up, do not try to repress it. Allow it the space to present itself and do not be frightened or intimidated by the negative emotion but recognise it for what it is. An emotion! It is knocking at your door as a communication device to help you untangle and better understand where you are in relation to an experience past or present, a person, a circumstance or event, a place or a physical or mental condition.
Do not close the door to your emotions when they come knocking but rather provide the internal space for then to be heard.
- Label your emotions
Because so many people are out of touch with their emotions it is quite common to feel an emotion but not know what it is. For example you may feel really angry about losing your job. However after further introspection and assessment of your ‘anger’, you realise somewhere deeper, it is in fact fear.
Now that you have labelled it, write it down. ‘I feel fear’. The emotion is now tangible. It is in the space your choosing. An exercise that works well with my clients, is to symbolically dispose of the emotion. You could bury the piece of paper in your garden or shred it and blow it to the wind. You may find burning it works for you. Either way, you have symbolically taken control of it.
- Express your emotions
No matter what, emotions must be expressed. Do not ignore the emotion when it comes up, deal with it there and then.
Emotions do not last when you express them. Even little emotions that you say do not matter have a way of showing up in different faces or different places. When the emotion rears its ugly head again, it is likely because you did not deal with it the first time around.
If you feel sad and need a good cry, cry! If you are feeling happy and excited about a recent accomplishment, express it through laughter or do something you enjoy. If anger is bubbling away at the surface, take it out on your pillow or vent it on a punch bag. Whatever you do, get it out, otherwise like a cancer, it will reap havoc and destruction.
- Transfer your emotions
In the world of psychology it is termed a ‘cognitive change’ by which you can ‘think’ differently about the emotion. There are two methods that are used in cognitive behavioural therapy which you can easily apply to deal with your own emotions:
- Labelling and Letting Go
I mentioned labelling above, so let’s delve a little deeper in to how to ‘let it go’.
- Letting go the Emotion
Yes, it really can be that simple. Sit with the emotion without trying to push it away or ignore it but identifying what the emotion is. Start to explore the emotion so that you are absolutely sure . Ask quietly or in your mind’s eye ‘what is this emotion’? The response: it is ‘agitation’.
Now that you have given it a label, say quietly, ‘I feel agitated by the sound of her voice’ or whatever the emotion is. It now has a label, you know what it is, each time it comes up, let it go!
This method seems to work well because it puts you in the driver’s seat of the emotion. You are in control of the entire process and at the end stage, you choose to let it go. You have power over the emotion rather that the emotion having power over you!
There are other methods which give you power once you label an emotion which I touched on briefly above. If you label your emotion by writing it down, you can perform a disposal ritual. You can burn it in your backyard, shred it and blow it into the atmosphere, you could even bury it in your garden or put it in shoe box and stick it in the loft. If rituals are not your thing, simply decide to let it go in to the domain of your mind.
There is something about labelling that conveys a sense of ownership. Think about the early pioneers discovering remote territories. They were quick to plant their flag and name the newly discovered land which they would then claim as their own.
- Reframing (Cognitive Restructuring)
Reframing is a choice you make to put a different interpretation or spin onto the circumstances that present in your life. It gives rise to Shakespeare’s famous quote:
‘There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so’
The way in which you filter and interpret events in your life makes so much difference to the way you feel about it and how it affects you.
So you lose your purse on the train while rushing as usual to work. Do you think ‘oh my God, this is terrible’,’ this always happens to me’, ‘I’ll never get over this’. Or do you choose to reframe the experience and say ‘what can I learn from this?’ ‘this is what I needed to slow me down’ ‘great I can go shopping and get hubbie to buy me a new purse’.
Reframing is not deleting or ignoring the emotional impact of a situation but a really powerful means of re-scripting the scenes of your life.
- Embrace your Inner Child
Inner child therapy is a subject all on its own which I will only touch on here. The concepts surrounding inner child therapy support the process of dealing with your emotions in a child-like way. What do children do when they are upset? They cry. They often throw tantrums too, though I do not suggest you do that in the corporate environment!
Without delving too deeply into the tenets of inner child work it is a great approach in dealing with your emotions?
Tears can be a wonderful healing technique and you are guaranteed to feel much better after a good old cry. Notice how settled a child becomes after a heavy bout of tears. After all the drama, the only thing they need, is for you to gently rock them to sleep.
If you have suffered from trauma in your childhood allow yourself space for comfort. Visualize comforting your childhood emotions by wrapping yourself in a snuggly warm blanket. Comfort yourself as a child and hold yourself lovingly.
Children love to laugh and do so naturally and instinctively. Laughter is good for the Soul and is great for healing pain and sorrow. Do not repress your laughter, feel it from the pit of your stomach and belt it out, enjoying every moment of it. You will see how infectious it is too!
Read more about your Inner Child by clicking here
I have really enjoyed writing this part of the website which allows me to share invaluable tips and information that really can transform your life. I should know, it transformed mine!
Emotional health is so fundamental to your well-being and can be enriched by the simple things in life such as communing with nature or extended moments of pure silence. Getting in touch with your Inner Self in this way puts you in perfect alignment with the Spiritual energy to assist in the healing of your emotions.
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