At some point in our lives, we've all been told to "suck it up" or "just get over it." But what happens when you can't just push your emotions aside? When they start to impact your work, your relationships, and your overall wellbeing, then it is time to stop trying to hide from those feelings and emotions and start to address them.
Many of us have experienced major life transitions, confronted issues with our relationships or experienced stressful and conflicting emotions. Our emotions are there to help us get through life and provide us information about the world around us. However, we don't always know how to handle them. Sometimes we might minimize our negative emotions by hiding from them, while other times they can become overblown and overwhelming.
The truth is that some feelings are going to be harder to deal with than others. However, it doesn't mean there's something wrong with us. Or that we are not capable of exploring and addressing those feelings.
Rather than trying to push those emotions aside, we should learn how to recognize them for what they are, realize when they are getting out of control and actively counteract them. This can be done by taking care of yourself physically and emotionally.
The following tips can help you process your emotions in a healthy way:
1. Recognize that you're feeling something.
The first step is to simply acknowledge that you're experiencing an emotion. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's actually surprisingly difficult for some people to do. If you're used to pushing your feelings down or away, it can be tough to let yourself just feel them. A wheel of emotions or an emotions list chart is a great tool to help you identify your emotion(s).
2. Try to understand where the feeling is coming from.
Once you've acknowledged that you're feeling something, try to take a step back and understand where that feeling is coming from. What happened right before you started feeling this way? What thoughts are going through your head? Are there any outside factors that might be affecting how you're feeling?
3. Don't judge yourself for having the feeling.
It's important to remember that there is no such thing as a "bad" emotion—they're all valid and normal reactions to the things that happen in our lives. So try not to judge yourself for having the feeling, and don't beat yourself up if it doesn't go away immediately.
4. Find a healthy outlet for the feeling.
Once you've identified the feeling and why you're experiencing it, it's time to find a healthy outlet for it. This might mean talking to a friend or family member, journaling, or even just crying it out if that's what you need in the moment. The important thing is that you don't bottle up your emotions or try to push them away; letting them out in a healthy way will help you deal with them in a more constructive way.
Remember, implementing the above tips in your everyday life will be trial and error. Practice compassion towards yourself as you begin to pull back the layers. If you feel like you need some extra support or if you begin to notice changes in your work, your relationships, and your overall wellbeing, it might be time to seek professional help.
Aspen Counseling & Wellness specializes in helping individuals and couples create successful and happy lives. We understand that life can be stressful, and we're here to help you manage life's concerns.
If you're ready to take the first step towards enhancing your emotional wellness, contact Aspen Counseling & Wellness today.