It’s Monday morning, and you’re on top of the world. You’re feeling great about yourself and ready to tackle the day. Life is good! Until suddenly, it’s not. You just received a request for a huge work project that’s due ASAP. Meanwhile, you’re stuck in traffic behind construction on the highway. Your friend from out of town just had to cancel her plans to visit you. In just the span of an hour, you experience a wide range of emotions, from happiness, joy, calm, to panic, frustration and sadness — all occurring before you even ha
d the chance to have your morning coffee! If any of this sounds familiar, congratulations, you’re human! We all experience emotions, but not all of us may know how to handle them in a healthy way.
How do you experience emotions?
We all experience and interpret our emotions differently, but here are some different archetypes you might resonate with.
“The Tidal Waver”
You might experience emotions very deeply. It’s easy for everyone to know exactly how you’re feeling because you wear your heart on your sleeve. At the same time, when life circumstances happen, you experience a flood of emotions as strong as a crashing tidal wave. Going from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds is sometimes hard to process because of the sudden rush of feelings floating inside of you.
“The Carpet Sweeper”
On the other hand, you might be less familiar with your own emotions. When things happen to you, it’s easy to just sweep it all under the rug like it never affected you. “This is completely fine, I’m fine!” you say to yourself. It’s easier to just not go there. Meanwhile, your emotional responses are stored deep down inside of you like buried treasure. You might not discover them until years later when another similar event and/or trauma brings them to the surface.
“The Numbing Agent”
Some people might be completely numb to what they are feeling. Rather than processing their emotions, they simply just go through the motions. Also known as emotional detachment, people might struggle to connect with others on a deeper level. Especially during the past year and a half, living and working in a heavily virtual environment changed the way we interact with others and foster relationships. Many of us were expected to carry on at our jobs, business as usual, going from one Zoom call to the next with a smile on our face. Some were expected to be parents, teachers, caretakers, and employees all at once. It was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel at times, as one day bled into the next.
So what do we do with all of these feelings?
To quote the late motivational speaker and author, Dr. Wayne Dyer, “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Instead of seeing feelings as things we have to control or manage, why not dig deeper into the very elements that make us all human? How might we be able to shift our perspective to see and appreciate our emotions in a new light?
Here’s a simple process to work through your emotions in a productive way:
Recognize the emotion: What am I actually feeling in this exact moment? Where in my body is this emotion showing up? Is it a tightening in my throat, a tingle throughout my spine, my heart racing in my chest, etc.?
Explore deeper: Now that I know what I’m feeling, how can I be more aware of any thoughts/beliefs or patterns that trigger these emotions? How does this impact my level of stress, motivation, or ability to take action, both personally and professionally?
Choose a new emotion: How might I be able to choose another emotion that serves me better in this situation? Once I have that, what new perspective/belief/mindset can I have to take positive action?
Act on it: With my new way of thinking/belief, what steps can I commit to this week to move forward?
Need some ideas of what actions to implement? We’ve got you covered!
Simply observe your emotions with non-judgment: You are not wrong or bad for feeling the way you do!
Write in a journal: Take a few minutes each day to write down what you’re feeling, checking in to see if any repeating patterns come up.
Meditate: The silencing of our mind not only leads to relaxation and inner peace but sometimes provides insights into ourselves and others that we could’ve never expected.
Move: Dance it out, go for a run, do yoga, and/or whatever feels good for you! By moving our bodies, we are able to release the stagnant energy we may be carrying from unprocessed emotions
Talk through it: Whether it’s venting to friends or family, or seeking guidance from a professional therapist and/or coach, you are never alone.
No matter how you decide to manage your emotions, know that it is a never-ending journey. As we grow, change and evolve, so too do our thoughts, feelings and actions. If you are ready to make more sense of what you are feeling, our team at Karen Natasha Coaching is ready to support you through it, step-by-step!