Dealing with emotions or controlling emotions is certainly not an easy thing to do. But brain research tells us that the simple task of identifying feelings and naming them can help.
Today, while driving 65 miles an hour down the highway, a deer ran out across the highway. It was so fast, there was nothing I could do, but hit it. The day before I had made a hasty financial decision, that I was now feeling uncertain about. I kept thinking, "if my husband was still living, he would have helped bring a more balanced perspective to this decision."
These two events collided in my mind in such a way that by mid-afternoon, I could hardly get beyond them. I kept telling myself that I should feel thankful that I wasn't hurt in the accident, but I wasn't. I kept reminding myself that no financial decision is the end of the world. I made the best decision with the information I had. But I couldn't let the negative feelings and thought go. They became runners on an endless track in my mind.
Of course it didn't help that my husband was killed in a traffic accident. I wanted to shout into the sky, "If anyone out there is listening and cares, I've had enough already."
Finally I went outside for a walk. As I walked I remembered this brain research I had been reading about. New studies on the mind are telling us that if we identify feelings and name our emotions we help to quiet our mind and feel better. I had nothing to loose, but negativity, so I decided to give it a try by expressing emotions I was feeling. As I walked I said,
"I feel angry because this accident happened."
"I feel annoyed at the extra time, cost, and inconvenience this means."
"I feel anxious about my financial decision."
"I feel insecure about possibly having made the wrong decision."
"I feel trapped by circumstances beyond my control."
"I feel alone in this situation."
And on and on until I ran out of feelings to identify.
I had read the articles related to these studies, but I was still surprised as how well it actually worked. I felt my shoulders and neck loosen. I felt a sense of peace fall over my whole body. And in the end that feeling of gratitude that I kept telling myself I should have, naturally came over me. As I honestly named the real emotions I felt, the stirring anxieties left and I had new space to be truly thankful that I was alive.
How are you dealing with emotions? Try expressing emotions that are circling the track in your mind.
More articles Related to Controlling Emotions or Identifying Feelings
Two sections of this site that are also helpful in dealing with emotions is the Grief Journaling section and the Dealing with Grief through Photography section. Although this is a grief website and this sections are geared toward expressing emotions during grief, they are also helpful for those dealing with a wide variety of losses in life and the resulting emotions.Return from Dealing with Emotions to Journey-through-Grief homepage