Destructive behavior is often associated with individuals not dealing with their emotions in a healthy way. Repressed emotions are often referred to as “festered anger” just waiting to be released. And insurmountable joy often results in tears because the emotions are so overwhelming.
Those are examples of three different emotions with very different outcomes. However, what glues them together is one concept: not properly dealing with the feelings at hand.
What Are Feelings?
Feelings are natural reactions to a specific stimulus. When you cry during a sad movie, your brain is reacting in an emotional way. When you jump for joy at a job promotion, you’re likely excited about this new opportunity.
One journalist aptly quoted, “People who can clearly identify how they are feeling in times of intense distress gain access to information that can be used as input to manage problems, make judgments, and make progress toward meaningful goals.” So, the idea is if you’re able to deal with your feelings, whether negative or positive, you’re able to make noteworthy changes in self-development.
Although that sounds simple, understanding your feelings can be tricky. In fact, certain disorders are triggered as a result of not dealing with stressors or stimulus appropriately.
In order to determine if you’re dealing with your feelings appropriately, you have to first lose the idea of judging your feelings. One of the basics of meditation is allowing thoughts or feelings to occur without judgment. This helps your mind and body feel a tolerance to those thoughts and process them as potentially useful information without evoking an emotional response. This allows you to develop the best plan of action in a constructive and concise manner.
How Can You Determine if You Deal with Your Feelings?
Since feelings and emotions can be so overwhelming, it can be hard determining if you handle them properly. Often times, we think we’re dealing with our emotions in a constructive manner when we really aren’t. Let’s consider a few personal questions you can ask yourself to determine if you’re effectively dealing with your emotions.
Do I Express Myself?
One of the building blocks of emotions is effectively expressing yourself. If you leave your emotions bottled in, you’re not properly addressing them. This could lead to resentment and destructive behavior. Speak your needs and your mind in a manner that’s comfortable to you. This will ensure that your needs are being met and that you aren’t holding on to painful emotions.
Do I Cope in Productive Ways?
We all have our bad days. Sometimes it’s easy to pour a glass of wine and binge watch your favorite series for a few hours to forget them. While that can be therapeutic, doing so in excess could be self-destructive. If your ways of coping are interrupting your daily life or preventing you from performing your daily tasks, perhaps you aren’t addressing your real feelings properly. Instead of doing unhealthy activities, determine what the root of your stressors are. Then try to develop a solution to your problem. This will save you from making unwise choices and coping dangerously.
Am I In Tune With My Emotions?
Do you find it hard expressing yourself either positively or negatively? If so, you may be insecure with your true feelings. This could result in not living your full truth. Meditation is a great way to connect with your emotions and reveal how you really feel about important matters. This will help you bring those emotions to life and express them.
When you deal with your feelings, you’re saving yourself from years of anger, distress, and heartbreak. Connect with yourself and identify your true emotions so you can live a healthy and fulfilled life.