Mindfully Coping with Complex Emotions
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Mindfully Coping with Complex Emotions

Mindfully Coping with Complex Emotions

Life can often move quickly. The demands of your relationships, daily tasks, and work-related stressors can leave you feeling fatigued and overwhelmed with negative thoughts and an unproductive approach to life. If you keep living trying to keep up, difficult emotions such as anger, confusion, fear, loneliness, and sadness can begin to unravel both your personal and professional success gained in recovery.

Emotions are powerful forces in your life. When there is balance, there is clarity, and when there is clarity, you have focus. Attaining balance, clarity, and focus helps place you in the best position to face your challenges and overcome them. One major proponent to achieving such traits can be utilizing being mindful of how you are feeling.

Being mindful enables you to become aware, calm down, slow down and soothe yourself while simultaneously becoming in tune with your needs. In this space, you will have the opportunity to respond thoughtfully rather than react. Here are some ways you can act to be mindful and slow down your thoughts and take control over your perceptions and behaviors.

Lean Into Your Emotions

When negative emotions take hold of you, they can have you reacting before you realize your behaviors. A response could create an unhealthy cycle where you always feel like you are “behind the emotion.” An effective way to identify when a particular emotion is coming is first to try and notice where it is in your body. It might present itself as a stomach ache, tightening in your throat, elevated heartbeat, and tension elsewhere. These physical signs are indicators that your body could be hanging onto and storing stress.

Understanding how stress affects you physically can help you act to reduce stress before the emotion manifests. You might look at exercise, pursuing a hobby, changing your nutrition, and re-prioritizing your schedule to decrease the likelihood of absorbing unwanted stress.

When the emotion does present itself, i.e., anger, anxiety, sadness or, depression, instead of suppressing it, lean into it. Try to understand and listen to these emotions. Are you trying to wake yourself up to something? Listening to and accepting your feelings helps you identify how you feel and avoid a complete emotional shutdown. It also enables you to stay in the moment and think about what has happened to cause you to identify the way you feel.

Identify Your Emotion

Instead of saying “I am angry,” try recognizing the emotion by saying, “This is anger.” In making this tiny adjustment, you're acknowledging its presence while simultaneously empowering yourself to remain detached from it. Doing so helps to take some stress and pain out of what you are experiencing. It will also help you stay in the present versus placing you in a negative-looking future or the negative spaces from the past. Sometimes when you create unforeseen scenarios or get caught up in the past, you can start to blame yourself for how you are feeling.

Accept Your Emotions

Much like leaning into your emotions, you also do not want to deny what you are feeling. Acknowledge that the emotion is present, whether anxiety, grief, sadness, or another emotion. Mindful acceptance helps you embrace complicated feelings with compassion and understanding.

It might help to think about a loved one who might be having a difficult time. What would you say to comfort them? You would not judge them or be harsh when responding to their emotional needs. Now, think about yourself and lend the same amount of care and comfort. Hold these images and phrases within; this way, you can gain the power to calm and soothe yourself. After enough practice, you might come to realize you are not your anger, grief, sadness, or stress, and thus these emotions will soon become fleeting. Opening yourself up allows you to create a space of awareness, curiosity, and expansiveness to apply to yourself and your relationships.

Question Your Feelings

Once you can recognize and calm yourself after experiencing a complex emotion, you can then take a moment to explore what happened. Exploration includes:

  • What triggered you?
  • What caused you to feel this way?
  • What kind of discomfort did you experience in its onset?
  • Did it come from something someone else said?
  • Did it come from within?

Further, ask why you felt this way by looking at your expectations or judgments surrounding the specific situation. Do you see a pattern? Investigating the root of difficult emotions helps you gain empathy and insight into what you are experiencing. It will also help you discover things from a new perspective.

Being mindful while dealing with emotions takes time and work. Remaining kind, compassionate, and patient with yourself will provide you with the answer to overcome difficult emotions. At START UP RECOVERY, we help you build the relationship you have within and with others. We offer an environment where you can take time to explore, discuss, and learn about your emotions. We also believe that personal growth and success are earned and never taken for granted. We are not a treatment center; we exist to transform lives. If you are currently struggling to manage your emotions, which is holding you back from getting the most from yourself, it is time to seek help. At START UP RECOVERY, we offer 24/7 admissions to ensure that we are available even if you need to talk. To learn more, reach out to START UP today by calling us at 310-773-3809 Start your journey to transformation today.

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