All human beings experience emotions. Emotions are a critical component of your life and survival. Therefore, you will experience a broad range of emotions; sometimes they are comfortable, sometimes they are uncomfortable. While experiencing unpleasant emotions is a natural part of existence, you might experience uncomfortable emotions more frequently in recovery and especially early recovery because your mind is still processing and adapting to your newfound sobriety.
Learning to sit with your feelings and accept your emotions rather than neglect them is beneficial to your overall wellbeing and growth. Facing your feelings helps to nourish your emotional intelligence and positive thought process. Unlike conventional intelligence, which poses a strong innate component, emotional intelligence is susceptible to significant changes and improvements. Let's further examine the methods you can use to help you face your feelings and bring about more positive change to your overall thought process and wellbeing.
KNOW YOUR EMOTIONS
Learning how to observe your emotions is the first step to helping you learn about and identify how and why you're feeling a certain way. Mindfulness is essentially the ability to sit with your thoughts and feel the kinds of ideas going through your mind. Taking the time to do this will help you connect with your thoughts and feelings concerning events, memories, situations, and future events and situations. Over time you will then be able to identify why they affect you. It is a good practice to use a notebook or phone app to record your thoughts during these sessions. You can then begin to see if any certain feeling makes you:
Remember that this process is about understanding how and why you feel specific ways concerning your experiences; therefore, you should never judge yourself. Try to affirm with yourself that you can manage a feeling after you have written it down. Whenever you feel like you cannot cope with an uncomfortable feeling, you can always reference what you have written down to reaffirm and reorient yourself.
THE ART OF MANAGING EMOTIONS
Managing your emotions can be very difficult; however, you can get better at it with practice. Use your mind to your advantage. Your perception of emotional discomfort becomes influenced by the kinds of thoughts you allow your imagination to create. Whenever you feel like you are venturing into negative territory, try to think of pleasant things and loved ones.
While you should never run from how you feel, sometimes you need a healthy distraction before returning to a negative thought. Healthy distractions aimed to improve your mood help you reassess the negative thought with more logic, perspective, and less influence of fear from the thought and emotion. You can practice breathing techniques, watch something that makes you laugh, and speak calmly.
Sometimes you need to let your thoughts "cool down" before returning to them. If you feel inferior, think about how far you have come and what you have gained. Thinking this way helps to encourage you to focus on your strengths and better understand that you have the capabilities to overcome your challenging thoughts and emotions.
When you try to avoid something for longer periods without actively trying to change your mood, it will likely bother you more. Cultivating acceptance is essential in coping with your feelings. Accepting that you feel uncomfortable about certain emotions does not mean that you are giving in to the emotion. It is a promise you make to yourself that you will face the challenge. Acceptance also means letting go of things beyond your control, such as another person's perception of you. Understanding that you cannot control things is freeing, and it helps you deal better with what you can control.
CREATE A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT
Your surroundings influence thoughts, feelings, and emotional responses. Often, something that triggers you can send your mind into a state of uncomfortable feelings and irrational scenarios. Similar circumstances can bring about different reactions. Individuals perceive and process information differently. Some get upset when it rains, and others become angry when sitting in traffic. However, some like the smell of the earth when it rains, while others don't mind sitting in traffic because they can listen to their favorite podcast or music.
Your respective attitude can affect the way you handle your emotions. Adopting a positive thinking style helps you approach things with more optimism. Knowing your triggers and creating an environment that enables you to avoid or overcome those triggers is also crucial in supporting an overall better mood. For example, if watching the news first thing in the morning causes you anger, don't watch the news; instead, listen to your favorite music. Turning positive thinking into a habit benefits can help you maintain social interactions, manage anxiety, and raise your self-esteem.
Learning how to face uncomfortable and negative feelings takes motivation and desire to do so. However, sometimes finding the motivation can be difficult. At START UP RECOVERY, our approach helps you find inspiration by realizing your goals and aiming for achievements. We understand that negative thoughts can interfere with the overall vision for success, which is why we will help you discover self-confidence and resilience by connecting you with a network of other motivated and optimistic individuals. At START UP RECOVERY, we will help seek change in your personal and professional life, including cultivating delight for even the simple and ordinary things you have. Remember, negative feelings and emotions themselves are not necessarily uncomfortable; they are, in fact, normal. However, if you feel that you cannot sit with your feelings and experience your emotions, it is time to seek help. Find out more by reaching out to START UP RECOVERY today by calling 310-773-3809.