How to deal with difficult emotions mindfully?

How to deal with difficult emotions mindfully?

“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it."  - Nicholas Sparks

This fast-paced life and ever-increasing pressure from our work, society, and relationships have affected our minds, which has resulted in stress, and it has given rise to some difficult emotions such as anger, pain, fear, uncertainty, confusion, loneliness, etc. 

These difficult emotions can be dealt with effectively through mindfulness. One must broaden one's horizons of thought and attempt to see the bigger picture. It can help in the healing process and give hope for the future by addressing its core.

One can practice mindfulness by following some steps that are mentioned below. These steps will help you deal with your difficult emotions and eliminate them permanently.

What is Mindfulness?

According to Wikipedia, “Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one's attention to the present-moment experience without evaluation, a skill one develops through meditation or other training.”

It is a mental state that anyone can achieve by being aware of emotions, feelings, intuitions, and the surrounding environment. It is a skill that people practice having through meditation, therapy, and many other means.

9 Ways to Deal with Difficult Emotions Mindfully

Oprah Winfrey (TV talk host and philanthropist) mentioned in an interview that she had a nervous breakdown due to extreme anxiety which later on made her feel numb towards any pain. This is the worst stage of dealing with emotions which can be prevented by practicing some methods mentioned below:

1. Learn to acknowledge your emotions

First, you need to address your emotion whether it’s negative or positive, don’t try to push them away as they will come later to haunt you. Use mindfulness and acknowledge your emotions whether you are feeling sad or anxious.

It’s nothing wrong to have these emotions while managing your work or relationships. Don’t try to interpret it, just observe them.

2. Identify and accept your emotions

After acknowledging your emotions, now you have to figure out the reasons behind them.

Like why you are feeling this way, what has caused it, or how long you are experiencing this emotion. These questions will help you in identifying the issue and move one more step towards solving it.

You may have heard the term “performance anxiety” related to the artists that perform on stage. A singer named “Adele” has admitted that she suffers from this issue, as the thought of performing before thousands of people makes her go numb and self-doubt her skills.

Learn to accept these emotions instead of dodging them. You can say, “This is anger” instead of saying “I am angry.” This will keep you detached from these negative emotions that may harm you badly.

3. Try to solve it with logical reasoning

“I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” – Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)

Once you have started accepting those emotions, it will become easier to break them down. After you begin labelling you will start getting unattached from your emotion. Your mind will identify it as a situation, not as a life-long feeling.

Start thinking about the logical way to solve your problem. Like after coming from an interview when the thought of failure comes to your mind. Convince yourself that it is only a thought not reality. The reasoning is important here to tackle your emotions. It will make you see your issues more clearly and you will be able to deal with them mindfully.

4. Distraction is temporary; Search for the root cause

Oftentimes, people tend to distract themselves with their burden of work and not address their emotions properly. They might succeed in dealing with this but in near future, they may start experiencing problems again.

Instead of distracting, you should work on finding the main cause of that feeling. For instance, you come home frustrated every day after the office and don’t like the food or don’t enjoy time with your family members. You start disliking everything and either you try to hold up your anger or blurt it out on your family members.

Find the real reason for your behaviour. It could either be the pressure from this new project that you are handling or some uncertainties or the way your seniors/juniors are treating you. Work on finding the main problem and solving them rather than blaming others.

5. Maintain a journal to keep an account of your emotions

According to researchers, journaling helps in reducing stress, and anxiety and makes you see a pattern of your negative thoughts. It allows you to keep a record of the feelings and thoughts you experienced and how you dealt with them at that time.

TV series actress Jennifer Aniston practices meditation and journaling to combat anxiety and negative emotions. Start journaling, as it has some psychological effect on our mind and can ease the pain.

6. Never try to control or bury it

Whatever you feel, don’t hide it by thinking about its effect on your mind. Don’t feel the need to control them every time. Treat them as a part of your life. You can’t stop them, it’s something that is bound to happen.

You cannot blame yourself and think that why it is happening to you only. These overwhelming emotions are faced by everyone but most of them figure a way out of it. So, never think of controlling or burying your emotions, open your mind and work on finding solutions.

7. Believe in self-healing- “Nothing is permanent”

You have to train your mind in believing that no emotion is permanent. It is a cycle, that ranges from low to high. So, if in one moment you are feeling sad or lonely, eventually you will be able to grow out of it and start feeling well.

Give time to self-heal yourself by practicing meditation or involving in some activities such as gardening, honing your cooking skills, or practicing some dance moves. 

8. Become more grounded

Some grounding techniques help you to reconnect in the present moment. It makes you feel more grounded by distinguishing which emotion is real and which one is the result of your overthinking.

Kara Nassour, LPC, NCC recommends following some grounding techniques to slow your mind and process your emotion. It involves identifying a few things that you can see, hear or touch. It helps you to have a better understanding of your emotions and become more aware of your present life.

9. Take help from Therapy

It is for people who are suffering from stress and depression for a longer period. They can take the help of a professional and try some therapy to deal with their issues. Some of them are Dialectical behavioural therapy and Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy.

Dialectical behavioural therapy mainly focuses on emotional regulation, acceptance, and mindfulness. It helps people to find their life reality and behaviour pattern and reduce any odd behaviour that is harming them.

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy helps people to separate themselves from their feelings and become more aware of their emotions. They learn to eliminate negative emotions and overcome stress in their life.

Final Thoughts

Feeling low and unproductive is something that we cannot control. However, we can learn to accept our feeling and emotions of all kinds and acknowledge them. Then we can try to find the real reason behind it and its solution. We can reason with them and deduce what is reality and what is just a mere thought.

Every individual is different, and they process their emotions differently. So, take your time and find the best way to deal with them.

About the Author

Smitha is a Delhi-based professional Content Writer and Editor who shares her perspectives in various niches like personal development, mental health, social issues, circular economy, and more on diverse platforms.

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