Hello, Feelings!

Friday, November 30, 2012

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Sometimes, simply being aware of your emotions is all it takes to get them under control. Running through your feelings in your head, saying them out loud, writing them down in a journal, or telling them to a friend are all ways you can recognize your emotions. At first, you might feel uncomfortable doing any of these. But with practice, you might discover a helpful way to deal with sensitive or difficult situations.

Spending time with your emotions will help put you in the driver’s seat, rather than letting your emotions take the wheel. Here are a few tips to help you explore what you’re feeling:

Breathe it in.
Just like stress, emotions don’t exist only in your mind. Your body responds to emotions too. Your heart might beat faster or your breathing might quicken. When your physical responses kick in, the emotions can feel even more intense. If you close your eyes and take some deep breaths, you can help calm your body – which can help calm your mind.

Name it.
Are you sad? Angry? Lonely? Anxious? Putting a name to what you’re feeling can be an important step in managing your response to it. You can try to just identify what the feeling is, not whether you think that’s how you should be feeling. When you identify the emotion you are feeling, you can learn more about what happened to make you feel that way. Then you can figure out ways to handle similar situations in the future.

Feel it.
Take time to truly feel and explore your emotions, as they happen or maybe later that day. You might try to describe the feelings and think about what triggered them. Was there something specific to the situation, or was something else really bothering you?

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