How to Deal with Difficult Emotions

What would happen if we actually faced our own emotions? Can we approach our emotions with compassion?

When we are dealing with challenging emotions like misery, despair, sadness, or loneliness, we tend to go towards one of these two options:

  1. We either repress the feeling, disregard it, and pretend that it never happened, or ignore it completely. We can then seek out a substance, an action or a person that dulls us or makes us forget what we’re feeling. Excessive sleeping, avoiding communication or staying in front of a screen or TV are all possible examples of this option.
  2. Or, we quickly react to this emotion, let ourselves be surrounded by it, and then try to stop feeling it. Some examples of this are when we act with anger in order to not feel pain, counterattack in order to not feel helpless, or by reaching for a substance, environment or person that makes us feel the other extreme of that emotion. Making impulsive and rash decisions are other reactions we may have in these circumstances.

But, there can be another way to deal with these difficult emotions…

These emotions can be difficult, but we can learn how to balance our mental system so that we can acquire the strength to withstand any kind of emotion. The first step towards achieving this is developing our senses of awareness, meditation, gratitude, and compassion.

Then, when we do feel a strong emotion, we need to acknowledge the existence of that feeling and notice its effects on our body.

For instance, if we feel helpless, first we need to notice the sensations it creates in our body. Then, we can check and see if there are any good emotions we can sense in ourselves despite the negative emotions that are also there. Does any part of your body sense good emotions? When you gaze around the room, are there any textures or colors you like? What about the sensations you’re feeling with your two hands? What’s important here is to bring our attention to our capacity to still feel better when we face difficult sensations.

And we need to let go of the biggest delusion:

Allowing ourselves to feel miserable doesn’t make us a desperate, pathetic and a depressed person.

Allowing ourselves to feel lost, doesn’t make us lost, or a messy person.

Emotions are meant to be felt, and they come and go.

What makes an emotion bigger and more rooted in ourselves is suppressing it, not feeling it. And trying to ignore it harms us more than the emotion itself.

With this in mind, do you think we can actually face our own emotions?

Can we see each of them with equal compassion, just like thousands of children of one family?

You need your sorrow as much as you need your joy, and you need the feeling of helplessness just as much as the feeling of being strong.

We are all human. We need to feel all our emotions. Can we acknowledge all our emotions as they are?

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