Let’s get real here. Most of our lives are fast-paced, and filled with family, relationships and work stressors. This along with an increasing pressure of technology including social media can take a toll on you. As a result, intense emotions like anger, sadness, fear and loneliness, just to name a few can arise.
Emotions like these are the most powerful forces of energy in your life and not handling them properly will set you up on a downward spiral that will be difficult to snap out of.
The good news is that there are simple ways you can start implementing now, to lessen the intensity of difficult feelings, and even using them as triggers to turn them into positive states.
Here are three of my favorite and simple techniques that I use when dealing with intense emotions:
1. Step back and Observe
Recently, I’ve been busy with my coding projects and have spent a lot of time by myself in the week with little to no socializing. And one day when I was in the middle of fixing up some codes, all of a sudden, I was hit with a wave for loneliness and a strong craving for connection.
My mind went on a trip with all kinds of not so helpful thoughts such as “Why are you so alone?”, “You’re going to be lonely for the rest of your life”, “What can I do to escape this feeling?”.
Then, luckily, my inner voice said something else: “Syed, this is just a feeling. It is temporary and it will pass. C’est la vie – This too shall pass.” The lonely feeling was not so serious anymore, and I could relax, focus and get back to work.
By listening to my inner voice, I stepped back and observed the feeling of loneliness as “just a feeling”. It helped me loosen the grip of intense emotion.
Often time, when we experience intense emotions, our natural reaction is to take the feeling so seriously. We naturally associate the feeling with ourselves in it and become possessed by the feeling.
If we step back, if we become wise and become an observer, we can say “this is just a feeling. This is not me and it will pass.” By doing this, we can watch this feeling and even get curious about how it functions. Only then we can find the freedom, release and a choice to feel bad or good. There we can find our sanity and calm the storm.
2. Accept What Is
When we are stuck in an intense emotion, most of the time, we are resisting the present moment. We’re trying to change our reality, change other people or a situation that is not in our hands. We are resisting what is.
There’s an incredible power that comes from acceptance. When you accept your feeling instead of resisting it you don’t let it bottle up inside. Bottling up emotions will cause it to bubble up and explode later, resulting in more difficult emotions or even a complete emotional shutdown.
3. You’re not alone
Sorry to break it to you, what you are feeling now, is not unique to you. There are hearts around the world experiencing the emotions you are feeling at this moment. Instead of thinking about your disappointment, think about everyone’s disappointment. Every human being is experiencing the emotions that you are going through. There’s sadness and aches in your chest? Feel it as it exists on so many other chests in the world.
Imagine the kids, the adults, people in your city, people across the world, feeling the weight of disappointment. By doing so, you will realize your emotions are not personal. Everybody goes through them and it is completely normal.
Give these techniques a try and see which one works for you. And remember, whatever you’re going through it will pass.
“C’est la vie – This too shall pass”