Everyone has emotions and it is especially important that we deal with those feelings in the most positive and healthy way. Our inner emotions are those that we feel and think about; however, most often those around us are not aware of them until we behave and/or respond negatively or positively. Naturally, the positive behaviors are welcomed responses; it is the negative ones that usually causes the most problems at home, school, in relationships, etc.
Not sharing your inner emotions can not only lead to negative responses and/or behaviors, but it can also damage relationships and lead to other serious mental conditions like depression and anxiety. Here are some tips to help you deal with your emotions before they lead to a negative outcome.
Tip #1: Be aware of what you are feeling
No matter how small you may think something is, if it is impacting you mentally and emotionally, it is a big deal. If left unchecked, it can lead to some negative responses and/or behaviors.
Example: You and a sibling or friend are playing a game and you lose. You become mad/angry and throw something across the room.
Tip #2: Accept what you are feeling
After you are aware of what you are feeling, accept those feeling(s) to be valid. Do not try to deny or avoid them. No matter the feeling(s), they are your true feelings, and you must accept them.
Example: Accept that you are mad/angry; this is a natural emotion. No one enjoys losing.
Tip #3: Explore
Now that you are aware of what you are feeling and you have accepted that emotion, allow yourself to explore the feeling(s). Ask yourself these questions and allow yourself time to answer them: Why am I feeling (name the emotion)? How do I know that I am feeling (name the emotion)? What does my body want to do?
- Why am I feeling angry? Possible answer: I always lose, and I want to win.
- How do I know that I am angry? Possible answers: I feel hot inside; my heart is racing.
- What does my body want to do? Possible answers: I want to cry, or I may want to say mean things to my sibling or friend.
Tip #4: Share what you are feeling
It is important that you share what you are feeling with someone you trust, preferably a parent, counselor, teacher or another trusted adult in your life. Sharing what you are feeling with someone will help you explore and release the emotions with which you are dealing. Sharing your inner emotions will also afford others the opportunity to know and understand you better. You will also learn positive coping methods from sharing.
Example: You share with your trusted person that you are feeling angry: “I feel angry that I always lose and I want to win sometimes.”
These four tips will help you to manage your emotions in the healthiest ways. It will help you to deal with your feelings as they arise and not allow them to fester inside, which causes more problems overall.
Begin practicing by naming your feelings as you become aware of them. Listen to your body; it usually gives you indicators that your mood/emotions are changing. Give yourself time to learn these skills; remember change does not happen overnight. It takes intentionality, time and patience. Sharing your inner emotions will feel weird at first, but keep at it; it will make you wiser and stronger. A stronger you is a better you, and it also benefits others. Remember, you are worth it!