How to Deal with Difficult thoughts and Emotions?
By Geordy Murphy
Have you ever stepped into a shower without knowing it was freezing cold?
Have you ever thought about how the body responds to the cold is a little like the way we handle emotions that are difficult?
Let me explain.
Emotions can be unpredictable and when we are hit by some difficult news, person in traffic or literally the sound of our alarm clock, it can feel a bit assaulting to us and we may not handle the situation just the way we want. Maybe we will avoid the situation. Maybe we will confront the situation or maybe we will ignore the situation. Many different reactions we can have; however, I think the main goal in many of our lives is to try to minimize the pain.
We want to feel comfortable and in control of things and so this is why we have the ability to regulate the temperature in the shower.
So how do we do this with our emotions?
I have thought of this analogy of the jumping into a cold shower unexpectedly because many of the clients I have worked have struggled with accepting difficult emotions and using avoidance or struggling with thoughts as a way of trying to deal with them.
I want to put this bug in your ear in regards to managing and dealing with uncomfortable emotions.
Sometimes we have to accept the uncomfortable emotions and feelings in order to take control of them. This might mean learning to sit with emotions and observe them rather than struggling to push them away or avoid them. It means,
Learning to sit in the cold shower.
If we practice observing our emotions and learning to sit with uncomfortable feelings, without getting caught up by them, it can be like observing the water on our skin. It is like observing the sounds, the smells and the sensations.
If you learn to sit with the emotions like the cold shower, we learn how to sit in our difficult emotions and tolerate them, and we may find out that we can learn to create distance from our thoughts as we learn to observe.
The thoughts and emotions will start to be more tolerable as you allow your self to stop, observe, breathe slowly and just notice.
Do you Need someone to talk to about difficult thoughts and emotions?
If you have difficulty dealing with negative thoughts or struggling with difficult emotions that come up, I would love to work with you more in St. Albert either in person or online. We work with both individuals and couples.
iMentalHealth Counselling in St. Albert will help you work on strategies and tools to help you meet your goals.