The best way to manage your emotions when you feel down is to feel them!
Even if it sounds simple, you’re going to see that it is not as simple as it looks.
Whatever emotions you are going through that you want to change or manage, you first need to accept that those feelings are natural. They make us human but what we can do is to catch them, feel them and then choose again! And that’s when you can tell you manage your emotions like a pro.
If you are reading this blog, you’re most likely a person who likes to control your life. You are a person who wants to help others, are passionate about your career, want to make a difference in life. You are a person who tends to schedule everything in your day-to-day life so that you have the control… This list can go longer but if one of them resonates with you, then you’re going to get the most out of this blog post and finally feel free from your control freak mindset.
Let’s look at “the mind” first: How does “the mind” work?
If there is any uncertainty, the mind wants to go against it or escape from it (a.k.a. fight or flight). Having the experience with the coronavirus created uncertainty for all of us and, let’s be honest here, our minds have been freaking out!
The good news is, this is normal for everyone. Uncertainty brings resistance and resistance brings on emotions, a roller coaster of ups and downs.
No matter what we deal with in life, it is always the same mind that creates our truth. Only the scenario changes every time 😉 So, we can always create a positive truth for us and be peaceful rather than a victim.
Why don’t we learn how to manage emotions with a real example from life?
The best way for me to help you is to give an example from my own life and you can think about yours.
My recent emotional experience was losing my grandma, my mom’s mother. I chose this example because it is the most recent and painful experience that I had and still my emotions are kind of fresh but I’m in a position where I can manage them.
First of all, let’s look at the current (control freak) version of me. When I first heard that I lost my grandma, I did what the control freak does.
How the Control Freak Acts When There is a Pain
You pretend that you are ok. You want to observe how others respond to the situation and you start telling yourself some affirmations such as; “it’s ok, I am ok, I can get through this..”
And that is exactly what I did when I experienced my grandma’s loss. We lost her in July 2020.
At the very beginning, I was numb. Then a couple minutes in, I was watching my mom’s response. She was also numb. My grandma was living in another city, about a 4-hour drive from where we live with my parents. Therefore, when we got the news, we had to get on a road. So the first couple hours passed with us trying to pack some clothes and make sure to leave the house safe… etc. On the road, nobody talked for probably an hour or so. Then, we stopped to get gas and that’s when the emotions started coming to all of us. The strong, control freak version of me was gone and my hands were up for the sadness. I burst into tears, so did my parents. But it didn’t last long because we had to find a way to the cemetery and call some people to inform them. Again, my control freak had taken over control. And I pretended that I was fine…
Let’s pause here and think about your experience.
Did you see the pattern of feeling fine and then down? You probably have had or will have a similar experience if you are a strong person.
The roller coaster of feelings continued for months until I finally followed the steps that I’m going to share with you now.
3 Steps to Feel Good
When you feel sad, jealous, separated from others or whatever you feel when you have those moments, CATCH yourself in that moment.
– Ask yourself what am I feeling right now?
– Why am I feeling this way?
Then think about your answers and FEEL it. No, really feel it. Don’t distract yourself because it is not a good feeling. And that’s what your mind will try to do, your mind will try to escape from the pain. But what happens when we distract ourselves or get distracted from our feelings? Those feelings will come stronger later and they hit us in an unexpected time, place and the way that it’s going to change our mood. So stay in the feeling, embrace it like how you embrace the feeling when you are so happy. After you feel down enough or enough to understand that it is not the stage of emotion you want to be in, pause…
Start thinking about how you would like to feel and how you would like to see yourself in that situation. CHOOSE again how you want to show up for you and for others. CHOOSE to feel good, CHOOSE to spread love, CHOOSE to congratulate someone and put yourself in his shoes because he had an audience that you want to have, it means that YOU CAN have it too. When somebody has something that you dream of, it doesn’t mean you cannot.
Follow the same steps you just read and repeat this important sentence to yourself “If somebody has what I want, I CAN have it too. If it is too close for me to see, then it is so exciting that I CAN receive mine pretty soon!!”
Perspective is everything and life is made of our CHOICES. So choose wisely and even if you fail then CHOOSE AGAIN.
Now, I have a powerful exercise for you to be present and practice gratitude.
Coffee o’clock Exercise to stay STILL and find your JOY
First of all, find your most loved drink, coffee is mine
Then, I want you to hold that cup, find a quiet place. A place where you can focus on YOU and not be distracted with people or too many sounds. Most importantly phones, laptops, turn any electronic thing off and away from your quiet place. This is HUGE! You need to be willing to invest in yourself or the rest of this practice won’t be helpful and you will be wasting time. With that being said, the place can be a patio, a room, an office garden, or an office break room… You can find the best place that works for you. Once you know where you’ll be and what you’re going to drink, we are halfway there once the environment is set, and our cup is poured to help us be in the moment.
The second part, before jumping into anything on your to-do list for today
I want you to hold your cup, become fully present in the moment, if your drink has a scent, bring the cup close, take a deep breath in to prepare and then slowly take a small sip. Take a deep breath, close your eyes for a few breaths and feel your entire body, do a mental body scan, notice the energy flowing through your body. Stay there as long as you want, and then slowly, gently open your eyes and look around. Did the color change? Did things get a little bit brighter? Pause, what do you hear, what things do you see and then bring the attention to the body. Take another deep breath in, hold, let it go… Think of the word gratitude, think about what you are grateful for in your life. What are the things you have right now and really appreciate (family, friends, good health, good finances)? You may be having a hard time, but still think about what you have overcome and how you can embrace that gratitude from that and shift things to a more positive energy source. If you want, you can write them down and read them out loud later.
Do this first thing in the morning or after a long day, whenever you feel yourself getting away from the present, or going too fast when you realize you need to be in the moment with yourself… take 10 minutes.
Here are some steps that can help you to manage emotions, stay calm and decrease your anxiety level when there is any uncertainty in your life
1. Take a deep breath and continue breathing for a few minutes. Take your time on this, no rush.
2. Recognize what’s around you can be an object or people, then recognize how you feel. Seeing the place like you have never been there before, will help you to slow down and feel the calmness.
3. Feel the feeling; whatever it is. Every feeling is important to acknowledge and then let it pass. In that way you can move into the next feeling. Hopefully, it would be a better one.
4. Bring your attention to the present moment and talk to yourself by acknowledging the current situation of your life. Say this to yourself “Everything is ok, I am ok right now and “now” is all I have.” This saying will help you to stay in and/ or come to the present moment.
5. Start doing something different than what you were doing when you start feeling anxious or fearful. This will change your focus and your energy.
After doing these, you’ll recognize that your energy level will be changed, and you will be more in the “now”/ be present.
If you liked what you read and want more tools to change your perspective and eventually your life, let’s connect! 🙂
Here is a little but powerful gift from me:
3 Exercises to Evolve Your Life/ E-Book
Until next time, stay with joy…
If you have enjoyed How to manage your emotions when you feel down, you might also like to read How To Overcome Depression For Good