You know stress ( who doesn’t) ? Well, it turns out that big emotions can disguise a host of more nuanced feels, stuff like stress is just the tip if an emotional iceberg. There’s often a lot more going on down below. For example, perhaps it wasn’t that deadline frazzling you. It was the fact that your boss always subtly undermines you.
Stress in life is an excess baggage, what to do with your emotional baggage??
Addressing these buried feelings can lead to better psychological health, career success, and meaning in life.
Expand your vocab: if you don’t know what emotion you’re dealing with, you can’t constructively express it. To that end, write down five positive feelings like excitement, joy, passion, satisfaction, and hope. And five negative ones anxiety, fear, guilt, anger, and frustration. On palm cards. Jot the actual definitions on the back, and feel zero shame if you have to consult a dictionary. Each day, choose one card and try to notice when you or someone else is experiencing that sensation. Chances are, it will crop up. We all experience 10 to 15 emotions per day. Be aware of how various feelings affect your own body. Are you sweating? Do you feel optimistic? Keep it up until you can ID your emotions as soon as they start to surface.
Look closer: now that you have more words to work with, the next time you feel a really intense emotion, try to unpack it. What’s beneath this feel? Can you name two other emotions you’re also sensing? Say you’re mad that boo waits two hours to text you back. A little more investigation might reveal that you’re anxious about the strength of your bond after being burned by your last BF. Don’t talk yourself out of this- instead, sit with it for a second. Consciously feeling your emotions helps you move through them faster, when you deny or repress them, you are actually amplifying them.
Connect your feels: most emotions are trying to tell you something. To figure out what, try linking the feeling to your personal values. For example, if you feel nagging guilt, it could be that deep down you know you’re not being present for your mum during a health scare, yet family is super important to you. Recognising emotions and the data they contain will help you take appropriate action.
When your feelings involve other people, let them know assertively, directly and honestly. This might mean apologising to bae for being MIA, then booking a romantic trip. Or admitting you’ve been jealous of his work wife and that it makes you feel insecure when he texts her. Or letting your boss know that you want a challenge at work, then volunteering for a big project “ Emotions connect people” if you are not sharing yours you are not going to have a good connection with others.
If the issue is more personal maybe you’re mad at yourself for procrastinating on that novel you’ve Always wanted to write your best release will come from dishing to a close friend or noting your frustrations in your journal. Of course, not every emotion has an easy solve. Getting over trauma or major grief, for example, may require extra help from a therapist, who can provide effective coping strategies.