Emotions are necessary for successful relationships of all forms. They can also be quite murky. Most people find it difficult to understand others.
Sometimes, our emotions can be like putting together a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
Most people struggle with expressing their emotions. It’s not the easiest thing to do. Some people can talk about their feelings, but for most of us, it’s a challenge.
Not only does expressing our emotions make us vulnerable, but it can also make us feel inferior to others.
But our emotions are significant parts of ourselves. They help us make decisions. Without them, our lives would be no different from the robots we make or the computers we use. We would just follow a set of codes like mindless robots.
Emotions can also become harmful if we let them rule over us.
How, then, do we balance the good and bad of emotions and express them instead of resisting them?
Try these tips:
1. The first step is to identify your feelings. The sad reality is, many people seldom investigate their emotions as they occur. We make snap judgments and react impulsively to them without thinking.
- Such emotions tend to hang over us in time, clouding our thoughts and behavior. It’s important to embrace your feelings and reflect on them instead of suppressing them. Take some time to pinpoint how you feel in a given situation.
- Explore those emotions in detail. This action helps in creating a better understanding.
2. Resist the urge to judge your emotions. We tend to jump to conclusions and label our emotions as good or bad. For example, we might begin to feel angry over a situation. But that anger causes us to feel guilty because it seems as if we’re irrational.
- You feel sad because some of your friends enjoyed a happy hour on Zoom, and they didn’t invite you. And yet, you discard those feelings because doing so doesn’t feel like “the right thing to do.”
- Instead, you judge your feelings and focus on what you “should” be feeling. Instead of judging your emotions, look through them like a neutral bystander. Avoid trying to make sense of them right away.
- Realize that your feelings are not facts. Because you feel one way does not mean it’s the truth. When you resist the urge to judge a feeling, it drops away naturally, and you can express it better.
3. Find ways to express your feelings mindfully and safely. Everyone responds to emotions differently. You may have some strategies that you use, such as journaling, that can help make you feel better.
- Regardless of your method, always focus on expressing them rather than judging yourself for having them. Speak to a friend about them. Write them down. Maybe painting can help you express your emotions.
- Expressing your feelings can help you feel less frustrated, angry, or upset.
4. Practice pausing. When you feel emotions, such as anxiety, anger, frustration, or stress, they often take over your mind. As a result, you might start expressing your feelings by saying something dangerous or lashing out at someone.
- Instead of letting your negative emotions take over, try using some techniques to help you control them. Some methods include pausing and breathing exercises. A few minutes of pausing can give you time to collect your thoughts and calmly make a decision.
- You can also take the time to do some deep breathing or slow, rhythmic breathing to help you calm down and let go of anger.
Remember that any type of emotional outburst can be dangerous. So, no matter what emotion you’re feeling, try to keep calm and practice pausing so that you can express it without shouting, name-calling, or physical violence.