Working through difficult emotions

Emotions are powerful because they have the ability to affect the way we think and act, but we don’t need to be a slave to our emotions. Painful emotions such as anger, grief, hurt and despair are all natural human emotions and are unavoidable from time to time. We might not like how it makes us feel and it can be scary if we don’t know when and if these feelings will go away

It is understandable that we would want to fight or suppress these difficult emotions however doing so can increase our pain and suffering. It takes time, patience and understanding to work through difficult emotions.

Try to allow some room in your life for difficult emotions, it is possible that what you are doing or not doing could be perpetuating the problem long after the initial trigger. Whilst you may not have any control over the situation, event or person that may have prompted the initial distress, you do have control over your reaction, what you choose to focus on and the perspective you choose to take.

Constructive ways to deal with difficult emotions:

  • Express your emotion e.g. cry if you need
  • Try to accept the emotion and trust that it will pass
  • Talk with someone who is going to validate your feelings
  • Treat the emotion as a passing event
  • Write down some of your feelings
  • Focus on the facts and not your assumptions of the situation
  • Breathe deeply several times
  • Look for what the emotion is telling you

If the emotions are too strong and you are struggling to cope, counselling can assist you to build tools on how to manage and overcome your problem.

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