To handle your emotions with emotional ‘literacy’ (learning) is the key aspect to coping.
Emotions are essentially messages from your inner (unconscious) brain to trigger conscious (reaction) brain; this part of your brain controls physical reactions and survival techniques (if we feel ‘anxious’ we often want to get away from, stop or change the situation, for example).
Emotions carry valuable clues to navigating you through the most difficult situations but we need to learn to interpret them otherwise they can be quite destructive and undermining.
Here are the two ways in this destruction and undermining affects you;
- They totally block or cloud your ‘thinking’ brain, the bit you need to use to make decisions and resolve issues. This paralyses your action because you quite simply ‘don’t know what to do’. Instead of being aware of the feelings in that moment, accepting them but only allowing them to sit as a passenger with you for a while, it’s possible to fall into the trap of letting them get into the driver’s seat and take full control of your thoughts and actions.
- The longer term effect comes from unresolved emotions which come from past experiences of difficulty. These emotions are like unopened mail, piling up, underneath your ‘thinking’ mind. It becomes a nagging, toxic feeling which drains your energy, narrows your thinking, makes you shrink from it or makes you self destruct – it can hold you back and take a heavy toll on your health
There might be feelings of resentment in there that things go strongly against the way we want them to go, the loss of something (your ‘lightness’, your fun), inconvenience or hardship.
For those feelings, acceptance, gratitude, wisdom and courage might be your best friends in regaining peace of mind instead of accumulating more toxic baggage.
There is always an opposite source to those feelings there somewhere. Look for hope, opportunity and contentment in yourself and allow that to grow, however small it starts. Focus on it.