Whether you show them or not, emotions are one thing we all have in common. Some may find it easier to express what they’re feeling, while others tend to keep things bottled up. No matter your personality, it’s important to listen to your emotions. Some, like jealousy or anger, can be extremely difficult to deal with. Understanding what our emotions are telling us is the best way to work through those feelings.
Your emotions are psychological (and sometimes physical) reactions to your thoughts. So in order to understand why you’re feeling what you’re feeling, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate what’s going on deep down. Here’s what I take from certain emotions and how I get past them:
This one is HARD to swallow, but it’s usually telling me that I’m feeling insecure and need to work on my self-confidence. It can also mean that I’m not spending enough time on self-care. To get out of that headspace, I’ll put away social media, write down what I’m grateful for, and take a long bath.
I don’t get mad often, so I know that if I’m angry, then someone or something has treated me wrong, or I’m reading too far into it. If the problem is important to me (say a fight with my boyfriend), I’ll spend time resolving it. If it doesn’t feel important (say a friendship that has been feeling “off” for some time), I’ll leave the situation as is and move on. Often, all I need is time by myself and to vent to my mom.
If it’s something I know I did wrong, apologizing is a no-brainer. If it doesn’t feel like I’m in the wrong, then I’m likely caring too much about what others think. I try not to harp on feeling guilty if I don’t feel responsible for it, and instead take my mind off it with a show. Because a little trashy reality TV always makes me feel better about my life ;).
I think this is my most common negative emotion, and I know it’s prevalent with people my age. I go through a process of 1. What’s the worst case situation (it’s usually not THAT bad). 2. Is there anything I can do in this moment to feel less anxious? If so, I do it, and if not, I… 3. Eat a healthy meal, pound some water, limit the booze, and get a good night’s sleep or nap. All good things for the mind AND body! These life mantras always seem to help me during times of anxiety as well.
Resentment is one of those emotions that sometimes takes a while to recognize. It can hide beneath frustration, impatience, or anger. But once I identify it, it’s actually pretty easy to get over. I’ve noticed that 99% of the time that I’m holding resentment towards someone, simply addressing it and talking it out lessens my emotions. Honesty goes a long way with this feeling for me!
Obviously there’s not always a way to fix how you’re feeling, but understanding why you’re feeling that way is a good place to start! Do you have any thoughts on reading and dealing with emotions?
Photography by Andrea Posadas