In this day and age, individuals are usually encouraged to suppress their feelings and emotions for several reasons. Your job wants you to remain professional. Kids are taught that expressing emotions makes you weak. But all this avoidance of feelings can cause them to fester and grow into serious issues such as anxiety and depression. This is why it is time to stop avoiding your emotions.
How To Stop Avoiding Your Emotions
Detaching from your emotions is prescribed by many meditation experts and leaders who have mastered the art of staying calm. We’re humans, so we’re inevitably going to experience the whole gamut of feelings. That being said, we can choose to observe them rather than attach to them. That means when you feel a surge of anger, call it out. Say, “That’s anger I’m experiencing because of XYZ. I know that this will pass. Your emotions are real, and it is okay that you’re feeling them! Spend time processing your emotions in a safe space.
The number one tool you can use to stop avoiding your emotions is applying mindfulness to your life. Mindfulness is taking time out of your day to spend with yourself, your thoughts, and your feelings.
Mindfulness will teach you who you are as a person and how to accept yourself just the way you are. It can also teach you about how and why you feel certain emotions, and you’ll learn to express them properly instead of burying them within.
We all have things that leave us on edge. Sometimes it’s an event or a person (like a visit from your mother-in-law). Sometimes we’re more anxious due to more significant issues, leaving us unsure of our safety and well-being, like when a severe illness is going around. Whatever the case, anxiety is adept at derailing our lives and keeping us from accomplishing what we want and need to.
Life is effortless when you approach it with grace and ease and be open to receive. What quality of emotion do you infuse into your daily experience? What comes back to you in return?
Deal With Your Emotions Immediately
A common tactic in emotional repression is when you experience something that you resolve to deal with it later. The problem is, you rarely actually end up dealing with it later. This is why it is good practice to decide to work through your emotions when they come around.
If someone says something that upsets you, tell them that, right then and there, and then the issue can be resolved immediately. This is much better than burying the pain of the hurtful words until they grow to be something worse when the words may have been a simple misunderstanding.
How do you handle this kind of nervous worrying? If you’re lucky, you eventually learn how to take it in stride. For some people, their coping skills aren’t healthy. For others, they flounder, trying to find their way. If you’re in these latter groups, consider this: Visualization is a proven skill shown to reduce anxiety and create a calmer and happier you. Let’s explore how.
3 Visualizations To Stop Avoiding Your Emotions
Try these for a Calmer, Happier You
Go Somewhere Else
Feeling especially fearful? It’s time for a trip to feel someplace safe. For some, this might be the beach. Or perhaps you’d feel more at home by a mountain lake or city café sipping coffee. Wherever you feel the safest and most at home, you want to go there now in your mind. Start by sitting back and making yourself comfortable. Close your eyes and picture yourself in your favourite place. Add in every detail you can to make this experience as real as possible. Include all your senses in the background. Breathing deeply, holding yourself in this place until you feel calm and somewhat refreshed.
Unwind with some String
Feeling all tense and coiled up inside? This usually comes when you’re holding back too many emotions. Picture yourself carrying around all these knotted emotions tangled up with words you’ve wanted to say all day but couldn’t. Make all these feelings into an imaginary ball of yarn. Now sit back and take several calming breathes as you withdraw this ball of yarn and hold it in your hand. Do you feel the weight? Good. Now drop it on the floor, holding onto the end of the string so that the ball rolls away from you, unraveling as it goes. Watch all the strands of yarn unwind, disappearing as they do. Stay in the vision until the entire ball is unwound and gone, and you’re feeling lighter and more relaxed.
Shut it Out
Our thoughts can be noisy things. We hear so many voices in our heads, reminding of us deadlines, things to do, and people to see. Add to this the negative self-talk which creeps in occasionally and the half-heard phrases we’ve carried with us, which sound suspiciously like our parents, and you’ve got a lot of chatter and no peace. For this kind of problem, visualize yourself in a room with a big open window. Set all these voices outside the window. Now, take a deep breath and shut the window firmly. This is a nice thick double-paned glass. You can no longer hear the voices when the window is closed.
With visualizations like these, you tell your mind to calm. You take back control where you need it most and set your feet back on a better path. Remember, you’re in charge of what goes on in your head. Don’t let anxiety set the tone for you.
Overall, it can be a challenging task to learn to stop avoiding your feelings. But if you are going to live a happy and healthy life, you must learn to express your feelings to yourself, and others, in a respectful manner. So, start with a bit of awareness, acceptance and action. Soon you’ll find you’ll no longer feel like you need to hide your emotions, and in fact by creating this new found freedom, you will experience life with more grace and ease.
Known as, “The Soul Illuminator”, Jennifer Regular specializes in helping Thought Leaders, Creatives and Visionaries direct the life they live so they can create global impact, make the impossible possible, and fulfill their life mission. She is an International Speaker, Author of Embrace Your Power: A Healing Journal of Self-Discovery, and the Host of Wise Woman Wednesdays and the Wisdom Speakers & Seekers Podcast. www.lightingthepath.ca