- When feelings are uncomfortable, most commonly we look for ways to avoid what we are feeling. Give yourself permission to experience the emotion fully with no interruptions or distractions. Sit down once or twice a week to ask yourself: How am I feeling at this moment? It may take some time for the feeling to surface, but face the emotion.
- Place a name to the emotion. Sometimes we are unaware of what we are feeling because we haven’t identified the emotion. Keep a list of different types of emotions close by so you are able to acknowledge the feeling.
- Connect your feelings with your thoughts. Sometimes we are disconnected from our feelings and thoughts. When you feel intense emotion, it is always best to join associations between your feelings and thoughts to form greater insights. Ask yourself, is what you’re feeling consistent with what you are thinking? If not, where is the disconnect? Locate it and try to find patterns of your thought process and your current emotional state.
- Connect your feelings with other situations. Sometimes we prevent ourselves from realizing that our feelings could be linked to similar situations where we experienced the same emotion. Ask yourself where have I felt this feeling before? Doing this might help you tackle whether your current emotional state is reflective of the current situation, or of another time in your past.
- Now that you have experienced your emotional state by looking inwardly, focus attention outwardly on how to cope with emotions constructively so that coping becomes a skill, a way of living. Writing, journaling, creating quotes or self-affirmations, finding music that inspires you, reading and learning from others are all ways to make sense of your feelings.
Focus: Individual Issues, Domestic Violence Recovery, Self-Esteem, Anger & Aggression