Emotions are normal human reactions. There are six primary and basic emotions that humans have. They are: joy, fear, sadness, disgust, anger, and surprise. Though some of these are popularly considered more desirable than others, it is a normal part of human life and experiences. In some situations, for some people it is possible for emotions to be unusually strong, causing them to be overwhelmed by them. Though emotions are generally normal, Sometimes they disrupt our daily lives. Every single person is equipped with strategies for emotional regulation to deal with difficult situations. However, not all of these coping strategies are healthy or adaptable. Some individuals have unhealthy strategies which may work for the time being, but are injurious to the person in the long run or could result in an anticipated damage. One example of such an unhealthy strategy of emotional regulation is escapism or avoidance. For example, when a person anticipates a situation to be uncomfortable, they tend to avoid the situation. This is known as avoidance and is an unhealthy coping strategy. Another example of commonly used unhealthy coping strategy is use and abuse of alcohol and other substances or engaging in self injurious behavior when dealing with uncomfortable emotions. It is important to get rid of such unhealthy strategies of emotional regulation and replace them with healthy ones.
Accept: It is important to accept your emotions as your own, whether negative or positive, and whether comfortable or uncomfortable. Emotions are natural experiences. Due to societal constraints, we are often thought to restrain them. Such a restraint on emotions causes them to build up. To a great extent that it overwhelms us. Thus, it is important to accept our emotions as it is without criticizing them or needing to ignore them. It is also important to accept that you are the ones feeling those emotions And acknowledge the existence of them.
Identify: Identifying emotions that are most uncomfortable for us and the easiest for us could also help in emotional regulation. Equally important is. Understanding what ideas and thoughts we have about these emotions. An example would be a person thinking that it is weak to feel sad. Such a person would find it hard when they feel sad due to their thought that sadness is weakness. Exploring the negative thought patterns associated with emotions would help in identifying the emotions that we are feeling and also acknowledging them, Just reducing the chances of improper coping.
Physical needs: The mind and body are intricately connected with each other. If our mind is unwell, then our body will also suffer, and vice versa. Thus, it is important to get a good night's sleep, eat healthy and exercise daily. Taking care of physical needs can positively impact our ability to effectively deal with emotions.
Positivity of life: As humans tend to focus only on the negative aspects of our lives. Such sort of selective attention towards the negative details could bring up more negative emotions than is comfortable. Thus, shifting our focus to more positive aspects in our life could help in bringing positive emotions.
Understand the emotion: As absurd as it may sound, most of the times we mislabel the emotions that we are feeling Or fail to understand what emotions we are going through. It would be beneficial to try and understand what emotions we are feeling at the moment as well as why we are feeling it at the time.
Strategies: Strategies such as belly breathing or deep breathing visualisations, counting from 0to 10 can be helpful in reducing the intensity of the emotion. Practising relaxation methods can also be helpful.
Communication: Sometimes the problems with emotional regulation comes from our inability to communicate them properly. Developing better communication skills and using them to express emotions would be beneficial in stopping the escalations of the intensity of emotion.
Faulty thoughts: Sometimes our faulty thought patterns are the ones that cause emotions. To be heightened. Identifying such faulty thought patterns. Is important in such scenarios. An example of such a faulty pattern of thought would be ‘My family hates me’ ‘I am a failure’. Turn away from such faulty thoughts and come up with rational alternatives. ‘My family is angry at me for doing ….., I can make it up to them by apologising and not repeating the mistake’ ‘I failed once, let me try again’. It is important to treat yourself with respect and the care that you would show any other person.
Take a break: Sometimes it is possible for our emotions to be too much for us. If it is a situation In which you can take a break, take a break, go for a short walk, have some food and get something to drink. It is essential to know when your body and mind needs a break.
Self-compassion: It is important to set aside time for yourself every single day. In a world where everyone is critical, it is important to be compassionate towards yourself. Spend a little time being positive towards yourself, and remind yourself that you are worth it. Engage in self care. Gratitude journaling is also another effective way through which we can inculcate positive attitudes and feelings.
Social support: Humans are social beings. Seeking support from friends and families whenever necessary can be beneficial for your emotional regulation. If you require a more professional sort of help, Do not hesitate in calling a mental health professional.
Positive self-talk: As a part of self-compassion, it is beneficial to talk positively off yourself and to yourself.
Emotions are a normal part of life. Every single person experiences emotions every single day. However doubt though they are normal if they become too much and too overwhelming, consulting a professional would be beneficial. We are biologically wired to feel emotions and they are adaptable in many different ways. An example would be fear, without which survival of the human species would not have been possible. Remember, these are your emotions. Acknowledge them and feel them. There is nothing to be ashamed about feeling emotions.
Kaizen Wellbeing is an online therapy platform in Dubai, UAE that caters to South Asian community. There is a dearth of good therapy establishments that accommodate the mental health needs of the brown community. We aim to bridge that gap by providing you quality and affordable care by qualified and warm therapists. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or +971 50 961 8796 and book your first session towards understanding yourself and other’s better.
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