When we avoid our feelings, our moods and our emotions we are increasing our own vulnerability and the likelihood of being overwhelmed by them.
I spent a weekend trying to be nice with someone around me whom I didn’t particularly care for. Their behaviour was rude and unnecessary and by my suppressing some strong emotion I began to feel frustrated and irritated. The more I pushed the feelings away and behaved the opposite to how I really felt the more those feelings began to pop out in random ways such as being irritable with innocent others around me.
Even though I’m a counsellor I’m a human being first and as much as I try to practice what I preach there are times when I have situations, just like you, that are difficult to deal with.
In suppressing those feelings that day I was like a champagne bottle waiting for the cork to explode, nobody knew what was going on and the only person who was suffering was me! What I would also mention was that I was only bottling those feelings for a short amount of time and if I had continued to supress them then a whole back log of mixed emotions and feelings would build inside me each pushing and fighting with each other to get to the top of que and then being squashed and pushed back down again. Imagine what it feels like when you are in line waiting for something and then get shoved to the back again. Not good eh! Well this is what it's like for our emotions.
So whilst I was reminding myself of how I can deal with my own situations and the emotions, feelings and moods that arise from them I thought that I would share some of that with you.
Getting to know your feelings, your moods and your emotions along with your state of mind can help you to understand what’s going on for you and why.
Our feelings are in response to our emotions and they affect our daily well-being and mood.
Blocking our emotions can create emotional stress which is not only linked to mental health but also to physical health such as heart disease, headaches, autoimmune disease, insomnia and intestinal problems. Release the back-log and deal with them (in a safe way of course!)
So what can you do to release some of that stress?
You can try getting to know your feelings.
When you get to know your feelings and emotions it can help you to release your emotional stress as well as help your physical body. For some people it’s easy and for others it takes a lot of effort. Remember we are all different unique human beings.
Some tips to help are:
1. Get familiar with some basic emotions. The basic ones are joy/happiness, anger, sadness, fear, disgust and surprise. You can familiarise yourself by sitting still and taking a few moments to remember a time when you felt each of those emotions. When you do this remember to look after yourself. Perhaps organise something to do for when you have finished, such as, making a cuppa, calling a friend or going for a walk. If it helps, you can use journalling/writing to deal with any strong emotions or talk to a friend or make an appointment for counselling.
2. Familiarise yourself with words to describe your feelings and moods. Use your journal to explore how you feel and have a list of descriptive words at the side of you so that you have something handy to refer to.
3. Get to know how the emotion/feeling affects your body. You can use mindfulness to do this by spending some time noticing how it feels in the various parts of your body. For instance;
ANGER is often held in the head, lower back, hands and shoulders
ANXIETY is usually found in the chest and in breathing
HEADACHES are often due to nor being able to control situations and being frustrated or anxious.
4. You can use prompts to help you journal/write about your feelings. Here’s a few to get you started
VALUED - when I feel valued I feel appreciated 😃
Journal prompts: How do I value myself? What are my strengths? What do I value in others? Of course I mean the self worth kind and not money!
INSECURE - this feeling might arise for you if you have uncertainty about a relationship or finances - it certainly does for me!🙁
Journal prompts: What do I feel insecure about? Where does that stem from? Does it go deeper than that? Can I think of a time when I was able to overcome my insecurities?
FEAR - Being insecure might lead to feeling fear – fear comes from the threat of danger or anxiousness and stress. Fear can cause me to behave irrationally. 😧
Journal prompts: What am I fearful of? Is my fear realistic? How can I overcome my fear?
POSITIVE - When I’m feeling positive it’s usually because I’ve overcome or achieved something. To me it’s about having an optimistic mindset and not dwelling on the negative stuff which I cannot change. 😃
Journal prompts: What am I positive about? How can I be more positive? Can I change the way I think about my negative responses and be more positive?
These prompts are here to help you look at the way you feel. If it brings up difficult emotions Try talking to a friend or taking some time out doing an activity you enjoy.
I hope that some of this has been helpful. Just by acknowledging feelings puts us on a journey of discovery as to why they are there.
Always remember that you have choices and what works for one person doesn’t work for another. Take time out for selfcare.
Sometimes we need some extra help with processing and understanding our difficult or strong emotions and that’s where selfcare in the form of counselling can help.
To make an appointment for counselling you can call me on 07478754839.
Don’t struggle alone!