The Shortest Ultimate Guide To Dealing With Emotions

 / 

dealing with emotions

How do you deal with emotions like grief, anger, stress? Do you avoid them? Or cling on to them? Have you ever tried to take in the messages they contain?

Imagine you are sitting in a car, and you are driving down a lonely highway. Suddenly, in the middle of nowhere, a warning light goes off. Your oil pressure is very low. If you just ignore it and continue your drive, you run the risk of doing serious damage to your engine. You know you can get a tow, but this is going to take a while.

As you are considering your next step, you suddenly remember a trick about how you can short circuit the warning light. This would not change anything about the engine – it would still be starved for oil – but the low-pressure signal would no longer be blinking on your dashboard, and you could ignore it more easily.

Here’s the question: Should you do it? 

Unless you are seriously intoxicated (at which point you shouldn’t be driving at all), you won’t hesitate to say “no” to that impulse. Rightly so. Turning off the light will not do anything for you. The light is just the messenger and not the problem in itself. Instead, you would be better advised to take in the information and deal with the situation.

This is easy and intuitive to understand when it comes to external problems like car maintenance. It’s much more confusing, however, when the problems occur internally. When we are confronted with difficult emotions like anxiety, depression, stress, grief, anger, or loneliness, we are quick to search for the off-button on our emotional dashboard instead of taking in the messages they contain.

Read The Way You Express Emotion Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Make it stop! Give me the wine and cigarettes. Let me cancel this appointment. Engage me on social media. Show me the movies and videogames. Do whatever, but just make it stop!

This is often our first response when difficult emotions show up: We try to mute the signal. But,

Emotions Are Not The Problem.

They are merely messengers. And the messages they carry deserve at least to be heard. They often contain important lessons and can call us to helpful actions. Often they show us opportunities.

Fear might show us that danger is up ahead, and we better prepare ourselves. Loneliness might urge us to prioritize close relationships. Grief might open us up to what is important and meaningful to us while calling out for social connection and support. 

Children who can't manage emotions
The Shortest Ultimate Guide To Dealing With Emotions

Your dashboard doesn’t need to be covered up. It needs gentle attention. No, the dashboard isn’t everything – you still have a road to see and navigate. When emotions arise, you can ask yourself: “What am I feeling right now?”, and “Where can I feel it?”, and “What does my emotion ask me to do?”, and “What does this suggest I am yearning for?”. No one turns their driving over to a dashboard, but questions like these help our emotions play their proper role.

Read 21 Different Art Therapy Exercises For Different Emotional State

If it were just negative emotions, this “turn off the indicator” move would be bad enough, but we are similarly incompetent when it comes to positive emotions. Imagine noticing on your car’s dashboard that your fuel tank is full. Oh joy! You want it to stay this way, and so you decide to rewire so that the gauge always remains full. 

Wait, what?! 

And people avoid positive emotions too! When we feel joy we focus on how we will feel when it goes away, so we try never opening up to joy at all. That would be like the person who just disconnects the fuel gauge all together so that she will never be disappointed when the fuel runs out because she never allowed herself to notice it was full in the first place.

Wait, what?! 

All of this is self-defeating, and yet it’s exactly what many of us do when we feel happy or sad or anxious or hopeful or depressed or satisfied. We like feeling this way, and never want it to stop, and so we cling onto this pleasant feeling, in the hopes of never losing it. Or we detune so it won’t be noticed when it stops, as if numb is the definition of happiness. We dislike feeling this way, so we push it away as if feelings are the enemy.

Feelings are not just about like and dislike.

They are how our past and present impact us. They help train our ability to notice what is present, based on what we’ve experienced in the past. They’re like dashboard gauges that help us adjust on the challenges of our life journey.

“Control your emotions” doesn’t mean “avoid your emotions.”
The Shortest Ultimate Guide To Dealing With Emotions

Read 8 Ways Our Feet and Legs Reveal Our Emotional State

Emotions Are Temporary.

They aren’t meant to be avoided, nor are they meant to be clinged on. They are meant to come and go, flowing through you in their own time. They contain important lessons when things are off, and beautiful rewards when things fall into place. Allowing emotions to be there when they occur, to listen closely to their message, to feel them fully with neither clinging nor needless defense, allows them to serve their proper role.

Your emotions are not the problem, so feel fully, embrace the change, move forward, and learn how to drive.


Written by: Steven C. Hayes
Originally appeared on: Stevenchayes.com
Republished with permission
dealing with emotions pin
The Shortest Ultimate Guide To Dealing With Emotions

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

What Is Bed Rotting Trend? How Taking A Break Can Improve Your Well-Being

What Is The Bed Rotting Trend And How You Can Embrace It

Do you feel stressed and overwhelmed most of the time? Do you just want to take a break from all your responsibilities and just relax? Well, you are not alone. The latest bed rotting trend is taking social media by storm and it is exactly what we might need! 

If you’ve spent any time on social media recently, you may have come across a new trend called “bed rotting.” But what is bed rotting trend exactly, and why is it so popular? Let us explore the origins of the term, the reasons behind its popularity, and what it says about attitudes towards self-care and mental health.

What is bed rotting?

If you’re a frequent user of social media app TikTok, you may have come across a new trend called “bed rotting



Up Next

Why Women Don’t Immediately Report Sexual Assault?

Why Women Don't Immediately Report Sexual Assault: 5 Reasons

When it comes to reporting sexual assault, many women find it difficult to report their traumatic experiences. Some women end up not reporting sexual assault at all.

So, why do women not report sexual assault, and even if they do, why do they end up reporting sexual assault years later? Let’s dive deep into the reasons why women don’t report sexual assault. 

Key Points:

Victims of sexual harassment and assault often delay reporting, with only one in five women reporting sexual abuse.



Up Next

5 Mental Health Disorders And Their Significant Portrayals In Pop Culture

Mental Health Disorders Significant Portrayals In Pop Culture

We have all been there, haven’t we? Gone about perfectly fine in our daily lives while feeling something has been amiss. 

Attended parties and dinners with our friends, partaking in the beautiful collective joy that is friendship. Called or visited our parents and happily updated our networks on social media about our perfect lives. … that raise, that promotion, that new hobby, that new date, etc, etc.

And, what if, we came back to our nice apartments … and spent the rest of our ‘free time’ staring blankly into space, skipping meals, or crying ourselves to sleep? And, what if, when we picked up the phone to talk to someone to make sense of the chaos, why do we just sit through the endlessly scrolled contacts, switch off the phone, and go back to emptily skating through our otherwise amazing lives? 



Up Next

Unhealthy Guilt Syndrome: How It Affects Your Mental Health And Relationships

Unhealthy Guilt Syndrome: When Guilt Goes Too Far

Do you often find yourself feeling excessively guilty, even when you’ve done nothing wrong? If so, you may be struggling with unhealthy guilt syndrome. 

Ever wondered “Why do I feel so guilty over small things?” Guilt is an emotion that we all experience at some point in our lives. It can be a healthy emotion that helps us learn from our mistakes and become better versions of ourselves.

It can also serve as a reminder of our moral compass, nudging us to reflect on our actions and  right our wrongs..



Up Next

The 12 Stages Of Burnout: From Irritability To Exhaustion

The 12 Stages Of Burnout

Do you often feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and emotionally drained? Are you burnt out? You may be experiencing the 12 stages of burnout, a state of extreme stress that can have serious consequences for your physical and mental health. 

Let us explore the stages of burnout, learn how to recognize them, and discuss effective strategies for preventing burnout and maintaining your well-being. 

Understanding burnout

We live in a society where almost all of us are burnt out. We are physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted and often feel that we don’t have the energy to get up tomorrow morning and do the same things again. 

But what exactly is burn



Up Next

5 Lessons From The Happiest Countries In The World That Can Change Your Life

5 Lessons From the Happiest Countries in the World

5 lessons from the happiest countries in the world might just change your life for the better! Read on to find out how!

Happiness, a state of contentment and joy, is a fundamental aspiration shared by individuals across cultures and societies. It is a subjective experience that encompasses emotional well-being, life satisfaction, and a sense of fulfillment.

Happiness goes beyond fleeting moments of pleasure; it reflects a deeper sense of purpose and meaning in life.



Up Next

What Happens To Your Body When You Lie? 8 Physical Effects Of Lying

The Surprising Physical Effects Of Lying On Your Health

We all tell white lies from time to time, but have you ever wondered about the physical effects of lying? Have you ever wondered what happens to our body when we lie? Lies, both big and small, seem harmless but the consequences of lying build up over time.

It turns out that fibbing can have more than just social consequences. The physical toll that lying takes on your body can be quite alarming. 

Curious about what really happens in your body when you deceive others? Let’s take a deep dive into the surprising ways that lying affects our bodies.

What happens to your body when you lie

AI Chatbot Avatar
⚠️ Liza is in training with WMHA and may not always provide the most accurate information.