Emotions: How To Deal With Them

In my previous entry, I talked about why it’s important to feel and acknowledge our emotions. And I think it’s important to consider how we can work through them. So, in this entry, I’m going to write a bit about how to deal with emotions.

There are a number of techniques that one could try to work through their emotions in beneficial ways. Each person will find benefit in a different technique. And this is not a comprehensive list; these are a few I’m aware of and that I’ve tried. I’d rather recommend ones that I’ve done and that have had some degree of success for me. But in seeing these different techniques and what they do, you might be able to consider a technique that can work for you.

The key in any of these techniques is to acknowledge the emotions you’re experiencing. If you choose to journal, writing down the feelings—being open and honest about them—and digging into where they came from is how you work through them. You’re not going to experience a benefit from making art if you’re not exposing the emotions.

The goal is to feel, but push that feeling into something productive. Otherwise, we simply continue to ignore them, or unleash our harmful feelings onto others. So, here are a few techniques I’m aware of to deal with your emotions.

Journaling

This is my number one. I always go to journaling for working through anything. And I do this because I’m a writer; writing has always been something I love and that has helped me. So, sitting down to write is beneficial for me. But I recognize writing doesn’t have the same power for everyone.

The way I do this is by actually writing down whatever I’m feeling emotional about. This requires a lot of honesty. You can’t be scared of putting the words on paper. You have to be willing to do that, no matter what it is you’re working through.

Some people find that this makes the thing feel real. Writing something that’s caught in our head or our emotional space can make it feel more tangible. And I get why that makes people uncomfortable, but that is actually the point. You’re putting it down on paper to make it real, so you can confront it. It’s no longer taking up the space in your head, and cycling around on repeat, constantly upsetting you. Make it real, confront it, so you can feel it and acknowledge it.

I use journaling both for emotional conflicts and for dealing with trauma. It’s not easy, but I do find it’s worth it. What we’re trying to do with these emotions is get them down on paper, so they’re not stuck inside of ourselves, festering and getting worse. Expressing, feeling, and acknowledging them allows them to flow, which is what we’re looking for.

Art

Making something creative is a great way to express your emotions, especially when you’re struggling to form the right words. Paint something. Draw and sketch. Heck, find a coloring book and focus on adding color to a picture that speaks to you at the moment. If there’s an art style that you connect with the most, go for that as a creative outlet for your emotions.

The point of doing something like this is to connect with what you’re feeling now. So, if you draw or paint something, don’t think too much about what you’re creating. Just let the art take you where you need to. You might find that what you create actually reflects what you’re feeling. It’s an expression and essentially getting those feelings out of yourself and putting them into something else—something productive, so we’re not taking it out on people that don’t deserve it.

So, sculpt, paint, collage—whatever type of art fits with you can be an outlet for your emotions. And you might find you’ve created a beautiful piece with emotions that don’t feel quite-so beautiful.

Act

This one I’d categorize as any physical output that allows you to expel the emotions. So, is your chest feeling tight and you just want to explode? Scream into a pillow just to get that feeling out; let yourself feel it and expel it from your body. This way, the yelling and screaming doesn’t happen to someone else.

If you’re feeling just super aggressive and you can’t really figure out why, go for a walk in nature, play a sport, or do some exercise. Something physical that can be an outlet for the emotion you’re feeling.

I find this technique is good for emotions that are more aggressive or angry in nature. Being able to act can help get that feeling out of your system, so you don’t take it out on others.

Remember: the action is meant to help let the emotions flow through you. You’re not ridding yourself of the emotions; we can’t do that. What we’re doing is finding a way to feel the emotions, but do so in a way that isn’t harmful to ourselves or others. Hitting a punching bag when we’re angry is much better outlet than screaming at your partner.

The benefit of doing these physical activities for a feeling like anger or aggression is it helps get that feeling out of your system, while doing something productive. So, you’ll come out feeling better and perhaps in a better place to communicate your feelings.

Therapy

This should be an obvious one. But it’s also a tough one.

For some, therapy isn’t accessible. Whether because they can’t get to a session; there are no therapists that meet their needs in their area; or it’s unaffordable. Unfortunately, this is a reality that many people deal with. Therapy has a ton of benefits, and having it be inaccessible for a number of reasons means many can’t get it, even if they want it.

For others, they might have a bias against therapy. Let’s be real: mental health hasn’t been taken seriously until recently. And emotions? As I said up top, most of us are encouraged to push away negative emotions and power through. So, talking to a therapist regarding emotions? Many people won’t consider that for those reasons alone.

But the reality is that therapy and a qualified therapist can help us understand, work through, and deal with emotions. And, really, this should be the first suggestion. While many of us might be okay just journaling or doing some art therapy, others might have very extreme emotions needing to be worked through. In situations like that, starting with a therapist or counselor is HIGHLY recommended. I firmly believe that we all have the ability to heal ourselves and work through our own stuff, but when we’re struggling and working through a lot, having a counselor who can help you with that work is 100% worth it.

So, please don’t knock therapy. It really can make all the difference.

Final Thoughts

These are a few suggestions for how to deal with your emotions. Hopefully, some of these ideas resonate with you, and maybe have given you ideas on ways you can work with your feelings, rather than ignoring or suppressing them.

I do want to stress: do not be looking at these tips as ways to stop having emotions. Or that they will solve the issues tied to your emotions. These suggestions may help you start to recognize the value in your emotions and how to use them better. But emotions are here to stay, so don’t expect them to go away. And whatever caused your emotional reaction? Well, that is up to you to solve, my friend.

But working in this way should help you see that your emotions have a purpose, and they can help you grow. So, maybe next time you’re struggling with some heavy feelings, you can turn back here for ideas on how to deal with your emotions in a more balanced way. Thanks for reading, and I’ll catch ya next time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *