I feel emotions very very strongly and I never understood how others didn’t. I went to China freshman year of college, and I was so overwhelmed with pain, panic, exhaustion and the tiniest amount of excitement. I almost had a panic attack worrying if my Chinese would be as good as my friends, I almost had a panic attack worrying if I’ll make any friends, I almost had a panic attack when I happened to have met some attractive boys- everyday a few new terrors were added to the list and I just couldn’t take it. Every day was a struggle just to get out of bed. However, no one else seemed to be struggling as badly as I was. Everyone seemed kind, outgoing and personable, but they could have been hiding some pain as well. The point is, throughout my life I have dealt with overpowering emotions. Sometimes they create so much awe, joy, happiness and creativity, but they can also be the source of exaggerated torment, pain, anxiety, depression, and anger.
If you deal with strong emotions on a regular basis you know how hard it can be to deal with. If you get angry your inner rage becomes like a blood thirsty beast, when you become sad you convince yourself that your life just isn’t worth living, and if you become fearful you become like a helpless, defenseless shell of a person desperate to avoid being destroyed by what you fear.
So what can you do about powerful emotions? It can be so hard to think when all you can do is feel pain. What has worked for me is letting go of that illusion of control. I feel fear sometimes because things happen that I cannot influence and I cannot have a hand in changing the outcome of so I become afraid of the unknown. There is really nothing that we do control in life and just knowing that is liberating. The other helpful tip is to try to identify and rationalize your emotions. Sometimes I can’t tell what the hell I’m feeling, but taking a step back to observe what I feel and why I’m feeling them helps for me to rationalize my thoughts and the situation.
First, you have to want to bring yourself down and rationalize these feelings. What I mean by that is that often times when we get angry we like to see the fight to the end because we believe we are 100% justified and correct. While sometimes it’s true, most of the time it just keeps us from getting to a solution because we can’t look past our own anger. So you have to force yourself into a place where you can rationalize with yourself. When you get to that point, try to pick apart what your feeling. Here is my typical thought process: Why am I angry? Am I being selfish, jealous,offended or defensive? What made me angry? Was it what my boyfriend said? Why is that bothering me? Is it worth getting this angry about? Was he trying to be mean?
Managing your emotions is NOT easy at all. I apologize if I gave that impression, but you must learn to do so for the sake of your sanity. You’re reading this article so that means that your heart is in the right place, so bravo for taking the first steps! The skills you’ll need to manage your emotions don’t happen overnight but rather over time. You will need to practice these skills so that your emotions don’t get the better of you when things get rough. Use these methods of rationalizing to push through your emotions and think more clearly. What tips do you have to add about managing powerful emotions?