Have you ever had this happen? You tell yourself,
“Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry… keep it together… don’t cry” …
…… And then the water works.
Why can’t we control those damn emotions?!
Emotions are so inconvenient and messy — I know you probably wish you could set a separate time to deal with them (and that time would be NEVER).
But emotions are on their own schedule, responding within us to the world. We can’t control them by thinking them away, stuffing them down, or ignoring them.
And this is because they ORIGINATE in your body, NOT your mind. You cannot think away a stubbed toe and in the same manner, you cannot think away your sadness or anger.
All emotions have a purpose, and they are begging you to listen to them. It’s really important to set aside time to be with and feel your feelings.
Because hidden or unexpressed emotions are stored in the body. Headache, backache, upset stomach? These could be repressed emotions.
Here’s how you can work through your emotions in a healthy way:
- Acknowledge the feeling. Name it to yourself. For example, “This is sadness.”
- Listen to what the emotion is telling you. Is there something you need to accept? Is there a boundary of yours that’s been crossed and you need to speak up? Is there grief you need to allow yourself to feel?
- Let the feeling have some movement — that can look like crying, yelling (in a safe fashion), or expressing it through an exercise like dancing or running or kickboxing.
- If, after you’ve done all this, the feelings are still unresolved, ask for help. Talk it out with a friend or a therapist or an energy worker.
Feelings can intimidate us because we usually weren’t shown how to handle them in a mature way. But I bet if you try these steps, you’ll be surprised how much better you can feel.