OHI Program Tip: Difficult Emotions, Part 1
Difficult Emotions And Their Complicated Feelings (Anger is the bugaboo we all struggle with…)
While some people use the terms “emotions” and “feelings” interchangeably, there is a distinct difference. “Emotions” are associated with bodily reactions that are activated through neurotransmitters and hormones released by the brain. “Feelings” are the conscious experience of emotional reactions.
We identified the topic for this blog well before the current pandemic, but it certainly seems timely as we deal with quarantine worries, working from home stress, distance learning challenges for our kids, and just overall sadness resulting from social isolation. So how do we go about physically coping with difficult emotions, and productively dealing with the range of feelings they can elicit?
No matter the emotion — anger, depression, confusion, sadness — EVERY emotion is valid. Anger is a tough one for women because we’re taught that anger is unbecoming a woman, and we should just “be nice”.
Stop! You are entitled to your complicated feelings about a polarizing emotion like anger. So how do you work through uncomfortable feelings, and come out the other side positive and affirmed? The key is non-reactivity and mindfulness.
There are 6 steps to mindfully deal with difficult emotions and complicated feelings…
Step 1: Turn toward the bodily reactions to emotions with ACCEPTANCE.
First, identify where you sense tension in your body. You may feel it as a stomach ache, a tightening of your throat, or the pounding of your heart. Next, try to name the emotion you are feeling that is connected with this tension. Don’t push the emotion away. Stuffing it down will only cause it to bubble up and explode in different ways later. Listen to your body, and the difficult emotion it is trying to make you aware of. It is trying to help you wake up to what is going on before a major crisis occurs.
Step 2: IDENTIFY AND LABEL the emotion.
Try to acknowledge the presence of the emotion, but remain detached from it. Calmly say to yourself, “This is anger” or “This is anxiety”. Try to “just be” present with that emotion. Don’t let your feelings connected to your body’s physical emotional response catapult you into worrying about the future or the past. There’s no need to blame yourself for choices you made that brought you to this moment. Just identify the emotion for what it is.
Join us next week for the second part of this article where we lay out steps 3-6 for mindfully dealing with difficult emotions …
At Optimum Health Institute, we teach you all about detoxifying emotions. Learn how to feel, process, and understand the important role your emotions play in creating and maintaining health and well-being. Discover the healing power of forgiveness.
During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.