Life is filled with disappointing, unhappy and depressing situations. Whether it’s losing your job or going through a breakup, those emotions are heavy.
Often times, we as humans don’t know what to do with heavy emotions. We may turn to sabotaging coping strategies or choose not to deal with the emotions all-together. Unfortunately, engaging in any of the mentioned behavior patterns only leads to resentment and distress.
So, it leads us to ask, is there an algorithm to managing emotions?
When dealing with negative emotions, practicing mindfulness is an awesome tool that’ll help you learn how to cope. Mindfulness is the act of taking in the moment without judgement. It’s with the hope that soon, you’ll gain clarity over those scary emotions as opposed to trying to control them.
But, with emotions comes a roller coaster of chaos. It’s hard controlling your reactions when you’re genuinely upset. However, learning how to become mindful of your emotions will help you take control of that roller coaster and start constructively expressing yourself. Let’s see how.
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
In order to learn how to manage your emotions, you have to first acknowledge them. Holding onto anger is just a cover up for intense sadness. Acknowledging that you are hurt because of a certain situation gives you an excellent starting place.
Try stating your feelings out loud or to yourself. This validates your feelings and makes them real. If you have to cry, don’t hold yourself back. The key to this step is avoiding the need to control.
2. Sit With Your Emotions
This is a popular technique used to treat individuals with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Individuals are encouraged to sit with their emotions even if it’s uncomfortable. It’s with the hopes that soon, they’ll build a tolerance for that feeing and stop letting it control them.
When you start feeling sad or anxious, allow the feeling to stay with you. Feel every ounce of that emotion without trying to make it stop. This will further help you to validate how you’re feeling.
3. Pin-Point the Cause of This Emotion
After you’ve gotten to a stable place, it’s time to do some personal digging. Identify what caused this outbreak of emotions. Often times, it’s not the situation itself, but the meaning behind it.
For example, if you’re boyfriend forgot your anniversary, you’re likely not upset that he didn’t purchase you a gift. The emotion goes deeper than face-value. You’re upset because you think he doesn’t value the relationship; and that hurts!
Understand why you’re feeling so strongly about something and address it accordingly. You’ll find that it takes some introspective work to find the source of many emotions.
4. Seek Understanding
After you’ve allowed yourself time to feel and analyze your emotions, it’s time to develop a positive coping strategy. The key is to still implement mindfulness techniques as you inadvertently plan your future.
Ask yourself, “What do I need in this moment right now?” Some options could be to take a break from the situation and move on to something else.
Another might be to effectively deal with the problem, so you don’t have to worry about it. The key here is to have a deep understanding of what your mind and body needs in the moment. This will help you from making rash decisions.
Being mindful of your emotions makes you a happier and balanced person. You aren’t confused as to why you’re feeling a certain way.
In addition, you have clarity that can help you make the best decisions moving forward. Practice being mindful in how you understand yourself and you’ll begin to see major, positive changes.