When we are caught up in our emotions, it can be very hard to interrupt that inner turmoil. That’s the problem with emotions - they can be so amorphous and sticky. They get into everything. Gum up the workings of our brains.
Just letting the feelings flow on doesn’t help. Neither does trying to ignore or suppress them. So what do we do?
This Business Insider article suggests several excellent scientifically-validated ways we can use our head to help us cope with our emotions.
What I found most interesting it that most of these are conscious actions we can deliberately take.
- Name the emotions. Facing our emotions to name them one by one can help us separate ourselves from them. We are not our emotions! By naming them we pull them from that swirling amorphous storm down into neat little labelled packages. Naming the unknown gives us power over them. If nothing else, we can now see what we are faced with.
- Practise gratitude. You don't actually even need to compile a list. Just the act of scanning for things to be grateful about helps. This is not about dismissing your feelings or diminishing your challenges. This is about interrupting the roller-coaster so you can take a breather or even get off the ride.
- Make the decision. Taking action feels good. If your emotional conundrum is around making a decision, it may be useful to just make the decision. “Good enough is usually good enough” is a good enough truism to followt of the time. If you are not mulling over a decision, decide to do something anyway. Go for a walk. Get a coffee.