Difficult Emotions, Part 1


We hope you’re keeping safe and sanitized! Our latest blog post offers ideas to help you do just that as you navigate today’s uncertainties—by recognizing and accepting the emotions you’re feeling amid the current pandemic. Here’s part 1 of our 2-part series on processing emotions in a way that’s healthy…

What to do with difficult emotions? Anger is the bugaboo we all struggle with…

We set the topic for this blog post weeks ago, well before the current pandemic panic, but it certainly seems timely as we deal with quarantine worries, working from home stress, distance learning challenges for our kids, and just overall social isolation sadness.  What do we do with difficult emotions, and how can we work through them in a way that is healthy and productive?

No matter what emotion you’re feeling — anger, depression, confusion, sadness, etc. — EVERY emotion is valid.  Anger is a tough one for women because we’re taught that anger is unbecoming on a woman, and we should just “be nice”.  Author/Catholic/Buddhist Practitioner/Psychotherapist, David Richo, clearly lists the differences between anger and abuse:

True Anger ———————————————— Abuse, the Shadow of Anger

  • Authentic self-expression —————————– • Theatrical display
  • Is mindful (conscious) ——————————– • Is ego-driven (unconscious)
  • Is a form of assertiveness that shows respect——- • Is aggressive, an attack
  • Arises from displeasure at an injustice————– • Arises from the sense of an affront to an ego
  • Is meant to communicate—————————– • Is meant to silence, intimidate, or put down
  • Asks for accountability and amends—————– • Blames the other and takes revenge
  • Is about this present issue—————————- • Is often a build-up of past unresolved issues
  • Is in control (manages temper) ———————- • Is hostile, out of control (loses temper)
  • Treats the other as a peer—————————– • Treats the other as a target
  • Coexists with and empowers love——————– • Cancels love in favor of fear

Whether you feel anything from anger to grief, you are entitled to your emotions.  Don’t just stuff it down, or allow yourself to be overwhelmed by your feelings.  You need to work through them, and come out the other side feeling positive and affirmed.  The key to working through difficult emotions is non-reactivity and mindfulness.

Join us next week for the second part of this article…



David Richo, PhD. (2007). Human Becoming: Practical Steps to Self-Respect and Compassionate Relationships. Human Development Books


In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 43 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how to process difficult emotions just as we can teach you how to achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!

Emotional Detox is just one of the classes you will take during a visit to OHI San Diego or OHI Austin.  We can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. For more information, visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org or call us at (800) 588-0809.

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