In life, we are all bound to face turbulent times. This could be as a result of loss of a job, heartbreak, loss of a loved one, economic downturn, a bad decision or suffering a major setback. While facing turbulence is totally normal, how we deal with it determines the effect it has on us. Knowing how to deal with your emotions during such times is good for your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. If you fail to properly deal with these emotions, you will end up turning them inwards and blaming yourself, eventually pulling yourself into depression.
Here are 5 steps you can use to take charge of your emotions during turbulent times.
Identify the emotion
The first step to dealing with a negative emotion is identifying what you are really feeling. Find a quiet and comfortable place and sit in silence. Close your eyes and think about what you are feeling. Try to recall the circumstances that brought about this feeling. Try to describe the circumstance and the resulting feeling in great detail. While you do this, you should try to take the vantage point of an observer, as though the event is happening to someone else and you are merely watching.
Acknowledge and accept the emotion
When we experience a negative emotion, we may try to deny or ignore it, to be stronger than the emotion. However, this makes it more difficult for us to get over it. Instead, you should accept that you are experiencing that emotion. For instance, if you are feeling angry, acknowledge to yourself mentally by telling yourself that “I am experiencing intense anger right now.” Accepting what you are feeling enables you to take action to deal with the emotion.
Remember it’s just a feeling
The best way of dealing with a negative emotion is to remember that it is just a feeling that will pass. When faced with negative emotions, most of us take them personally, as though the negative feeling is a definition of who we are. When you understand that it is something temporary, it gives you the hope and motivation to deal with it. Tell yourself that even if you are feeling this way right now, it is nothing but the trough of an emotional wave, which will soon be replaced by the crest of positive feelings.
Investigate and respond
Once you have calmed down, try to investigate the negative emotion and understand what brought it about. How did you respond to the situation that caused the emotion? Was it the thoughts you adopted in response to the situation? Is it a habitual reaction you have or was it as a result of a set of beliefs and values? Once you understand this, you can control your response to the situation, thus helping you to reverse the bad feeling.
Be confident in your ability to handle this, now and in future
Have you ever experienced a similar emotion again? Did it break you? Chances are you were able to overcome it. If you handled it again in the past, then you should be confident in your ability to handle it again, now or in the future. This will spur you to take action knowing well that it is not a permanent situation, and that you can handle whatever life throws your way.