In hindsight I think it’s fair to say that 2020 has been nothing less than an actual “Rona-coaster” of emotions. There’s been so much that happened externally in the world, but all of that affects us internally; that’s exactly why I made this episode specifically.
Alright, I’m going to give you guys 4 STEPS to help you process your emotions…
*Cue awesome transition beat if you’re listening to the episode available to stream NOW*
STEP #1: Notice what your body is telling you.
This is everything you’re feeling physically. Are you sweating a little bit, is your stomach churning, do you have butterflies? (THAT’S A THING OKAY) Are you feeling any kind of chest tightness, is your heart skipping a beat and not in the good way because I know you know what that feels like.
These are all signs that you’re body is a little stressed out and if we don’t LISTEN to them and actually understand that we’re feeling this way, this could easily lead to exhaustion and burnout and before you know it you’re on bed-rest in a hospital and the only thing the doc can tell you is that you’re stressed out. Now you can put two-and-two together before getting a hospital bill for it.
The stress can even start attacking your body physically when you have all these built up unprocessed emotions; it’ll go to your organs your muscles, your body systems and really start eating away at you and it’s honestly PRETTY SCARY, but that’s why we need to start with these practices now and listen to our bodies when they are screaming and yelling at us.
STEP #2: Identify what you’re feeling.
Don’t just say you’re “sad” or “mad” because that’s only going to get you so far. Use some bigger vocab (because you’re a big kid now) and ask yourself if you’re HURT, ANGRY, JEALOUS, FURIOUS. BETRAYED. These bigger words carry deeper meaning with them and this allows you to start linking the trigger as to how you even got to that feeling in the first place.
Ex: “I feel betrayed.”
Then ask yourself: Who hurt me? Where was I when this happened? When did I start feeling this way? etc.
Before you know it, you have all these extra puzzle pieces that you didn’t have before to help you figure out where your feelings stem from. During this process it is SO important that you DO NOT judge yourself for what you’re feeling even if it’s an ugly emotion! I get that no on wants to say they feel jealous, but you have to be vulnerable and honest with yourself in order to effectively process and think through your emotions.
STEP #3: Accept what you’re feeling.
FULLY OWN IT. Denial is NOT part of this 4-step process. So if you’re going to deny your feelings, you need to start back at Step #1. When you deny your feelings they’re just going to bottle up inside of you and the last thing you want is that you start projecting your feelings on to other people, and not even random people but the people who you LOVE and care about! This is entirely a self-awareness game. Processing your emotions falls under the umbrella of self care. You can’t expect to take care of other people at the level that you want to if you’re not taking care of yourself mentally; there has to be balance. Only then when you realize you’re in a state of mind that you DON’T want to be in, you can start progressing toward a state of mind that you do want to be in.
(last but CERTAINLY not least)
STEP #4: Act to make the situation more peaceful for yourself.
This can be a completely different mental and/or physical state change. In terms of a mental state change; maybe it’s the best time to establish a mindful practice. Write your feelings down. LOOK. I don’t mean grab a pretty pink unicorn diary (which is cool too though) but literally grab a STICKY NOTE and a pen or the mechanical pencil you used in 7th grade and write down exactly what you’re feeling. Get it out from your head and bring all your thoughts into the physical world. This is for you to see, look at and really understand.
If you want to chalk on the sidewalk with a million colors GO DO THAT. If you want to carve it into a TREE that’s even better. I just want you to find a way to get it OUT from just YOUR HEAD. During this time, you are giving yourself permission to feel. If crying to a Taylor Swift album is going to help you feel them and/or watching The Notebook, then that’s EXACTLY what you need to do.
The key to all of this is that once you get out of those heightened emotions, you’re able to think more clearly and you’ll have a lot better judgement.