11 Ways to Deal With Difficult Emotions When They Come Up

Self-development is not for the faint-hearted. This is especially true when emotional healing is involved. To clear past pain and be the best version of yourself demands courage, commitment and endurance to withstand challenging emotions when they erupt.

To avoid pain we do three things: we distract, react or contract. We distract ourselves from feeling, we react and become emotional or we contract or withdraw into ourselves. When we are avoiding emotions, we cannot attend to them, and therefore, cannot heal them. Although confronting, the healing process allows us to release and let go whatever no longer serves us and become whole again. It is a process of transformation that leads to immense growth and satisfaction when the cycle is completed.

Therefore to enable self-empowerment, we must know how to manage our emotions and embrace opportunities for growth when they arise. Here are 11 ways to help you manage difficult emotions when they come up:

  1. STOP negative thoughts. This is about getting out of your head, out of the incessant monologue by bringing your awareness to your body and actually feeling your feelings.

  2. Sit in the GOO. Get into the rawness of your emotions. Lean in and embrace your feelings with courage, strength and a sense of detachment. Detachment is achieved by acting as the observer instead of the thinker. Observe your emotions without creating a story in a compassionate and mindful way.

  3. KNOW what you are feeling. Ask yourself what you are feeling and note the feelings. For example, I feel sad, frustrated, hurt, angry, lonely, scared or irritated.

  4. Know WHERE in your body you are feeling your emotions. This is achieved by locating the emotion in your body. Usually, emotional pain is stored along the emotional-Centre-line. This lies between our throat and lower stomach, including the spine. Being aware of where you store your emotions helps you have greater self-awareness, which will help you manage your emotions.

  5. Work with your BREATH. Use your breath to self-soothe and pacify difficult emotions. This helps to keep the mind centred and calm so that you can move through the cycle of your emotions.

  6. Get GROUNDED. Get your feet into sand, dirt or water to ground yourself back in your body. ‘Earthing’ is a great mindfulness tool that helps you get out of your head and embrace the power of the here and now.

  7. Use ESSENTIAL OILS. Oils such as Lavender Oil help you get calm and settle turbulent emotions. You can use oils in a diffuser, rub them into the soles of your feet or your heart chakra (my favourite).

  8. Ask yourself great QUESTIONS. Challenging your emotions is about questioning them and helping you transcend your pain.
    Great self-coaching questions include:
    What is this emotion about?

    What memory is this attached to?
    What am I holding onto?
    What do I need to let go of?
    What lessons do I need to learn from these feelings?

  9. JOURNAL your thoughts and emotions. Writing is a great tool to help you release pent-up emotions. Write out your thoughts and feelings freely and without judgement. Often when you read back your ‘mind-dump’ you can see your situation from a new perspective.

  10. Explore TALK-THERAPY. Create a safe space with a friend to help you talk through and express your emotions or work with a coach or therapist.

  11. MOVE your body. Clear out stagnant emotions by moving them out of your body. Go for a walk, dance, do some yoga poses, swim or simply shake out the emotion from your body. Having a massage is another great way to clear emotion out of the body.

Most importantly remember to have a growth mindset. This means you are not rigid with your thoughts and habits. Having a growth mindset means you continuously challenge yourself to find new ways to think and heal that lead you to greater feelings of confidence and empowerment. Every time you let go of negative emotions you let go of emotional blocks preventing you from being your full potential. Embrace the healing journey and set yourself free.

You may also enjoy The Importance of Crying 

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