Allow your emotions to be

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When something bad happens, you’re allowed to feel frustrated, angry or disappointed – in fact, it’s normal and a sign that you’re human! Most importantly though, by allowing your emotions to be you’re doing yourself a big favour: you can only deal with emotions once they are felt. Suppressing or bottling up emotions unfortunately doesn’t make them go away. Instead, they’ll just sit there bubbling under the surface, building up pressure until something else happens and they explode.

What You'll Need

  • Acknowledge your feelings.
  • Journal

What You'll Do

  • You don’t need to ‘do’ much for this - it’s more about not doing things! Notice what you tend to do when you feel upset: it could be fitness, eating, drinking, shopping, venting or talking with a friend, retreating back in your shell, mindlessly watching TV. Become aware of the behaviour you default back to, so that next time when it happens, you can pause for a moment, take a few deep breaths and acknowledge what you’re feeling without trying to wish it away. When you do this, it’s important to distance yourself from the emotion or feeling: your emotion isn’t YOU, it’s simply a temporary visitor. Instead of saying to yourself ‘I’m sad’, say ‘I feel sadness’.
  • Once you’ve acknowledged your feelings, ask yourself if you want to do anything with them (sometimes just acknowledging them is enough) and if so, what that is.

Tips & Warnings

  • Just a final note: this can be an overwhelming process, so it might help to have a journal or trusted friend nearby to get things of your chest.
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