Feeling too less, feeling too much? Are you battling with your emotions? We all experience unexpected waves of emotions. Some of us drown in them whereas some learn to rise above and develop a protective shield against difficulties. These emotions of sadness, guilt, depression, loneliness, hurt that we don’t want to feel are actually a part of our coping mechanism. You won’t be able to overcome any emotion until you “feel it”.
When you suppress your feelings, they bounce back with a greater velocity, thus causing more damage. This is where therapists tend to use a healthy process to help you deal with your feelings i.e. “Emotion regulation” or “Self-regulation”.
Now, what is self-regulation?
It is a term mostly used to define an individual's capability to manage and respond to an emotional situation effectively. People tend to use emotion regulation approaches to deal with challenging situations several times each day, knowingly and unknowingly.
Here’s how you can practice self-help strategies-
Know what your triggers are, be mindful
It is important to know what prompts your feelings. It can be a repetition of some pattern, an addiction like drugs or alcohol, a person, and it can even be some kind of situation that you face regularly.
Take a moment to experience your feelings completely and notice what strikes its intensity. Start exploring if this change in your mental state is creating any impact on your body as well. Do you feel sensations in your gut? If your chest feels heavy more than usual? Any kind of headaches?
Don’t be judgmental. Sometimes, what you think you are feeling is not exactly your emotion at that time. For example- You might perceive your disappointment in a situation as anger because of the hike in anxiety.
Start identifying your numbing behaviors
Numbing simply means turning off your feelings (for a matter of fact, you can’t, not entirely). We try to shut our feelings when we feel discomforted by them. Everyone has different ways of numbing their emotions and it may happen unconsciously as well.
We try to find an escape or distraction to avoid our emotions like playing games, watching web series, sleeping for long hours, or doing the exact opposite by staying too busy. It is important not to go over the limit line. Excess of anything is dangerous.
Don’t pretend as if you are completely normal
‘Feeling your feelings’ is an unavoidable process for humans. When you try to attempt such suppression of emotions it leads to increased anxiety, muscle tension, sudden behavioral changes, and substance abuse.
Know that, it is okay to be emotional. Accept your feelings. You can try some exercises, yoga, or indulge in any of your favorite happy to boost your happy hormones at that time. Maintain a balance between “overwhelming emotions” and “no emotions”.
Keep logging your mood
One of the best ways is to maintain a journal and spill all of your emotions into it. It is a proven way to help you release anxiety and enhance the light-hearted feeling. If you are not a journal person, just log in your mood every day on The Wellness Corner app to track patterns and changes in your mood. Bonus- As soon as you log your mood, the AI-enabled app will suggest insightful resources to help you manage your emotions.
Last but not the least
Your emotions can be very useful information that you can use to manage your behavior. Try thinking about a situation where you got hyped up but you somehow found a way out. You’ll recall the last time you faced such an experience and what worked or didn’t work for you. Hence, every single time you’ll come across a similar pattern, you’ll eventually get better at it (regulating emotions).
Adopt cognitive reappraisal (change your thinking patterns and actions) - “I stayed up late yesterday, couldn’t get up early, didn’t reach office on time, remained frustrated and sleepy throughout the day.” The emotion here is frustration which can be managed next time by being punctual. “I’ll sleep on time, get up fresh-minded, reach office on time, and complete all my tasks mindfully.”
Remember that it’s not easy to tweak a pattern. It needs perseverance, patience, and dedication. All you got to do is- keep working towards achieving the state of self-awareness and make it work in your favor.
Good luck, you can do it !