It happens to the best of us. We get caught up in moments that get the best of us and make us feel an extreme of one emotion or the other. I use emotion as a vague term here as it can be both positive or negative.
Positive emotions – now that’s the easy bit to deal with. Overwhelming positive emotions such as joy or excitement are usually perceived as positive and welcomed with open arms. Other emotional states like anxiety, nervousness or anger however are the harder bunch to deal with and hopefully, these 4 steps below will help in one way or the other, to help you deal with overwhelming emotions.
1.) Acknowledge it. Don’t pretend that it’s not there. If you do, you might be able to successfully ignore it once or twice but it just adds up and eventually, it will catch up with you. Don’t feel the need to apologise for how you feel. Own it. Don’t let anyone shame you into feeling like it’s wrong to feel how you do. Remember, it’s not the emotion itself that is bad (or good), it’s what you end up doing as a result of it. You’re human and being human means having emotions. Acknowledge how you feel and say how you feel out loud, even if just to yourself.
2.) Understand the cause of it. Emotional responses usually have a trigger. This could be external, from people around you or even inanimate objects in your surrounds… or alternatively, it could be internal. Whatever the case, you need to stop for a second and think “Why do I feel this way?“. This is a very important step as understanding why you feel the way you do, is a key step to dealing with that emotion. In the same way you can have leaves on a tree without branches (or indeed a tree without roots), understanding the case of your emotions is a key dependency of your emotional state.
3.) Have some perspective. Once you understand why you feel the way you do, the important thing to do (and perhaps the bit that easier said than done) is to have some perspective here. Think about what this ‘thing’ that is causing you to feel the way that you do truly means and try to do so objectively. If you’re struggling with this, this might be the point where it’s helpful to pool in some resources from your most loved and trusted ones and have the most objective ones of the lot help you get that perspective. Explain why you feel the way you do them and detail the cause as much as you possibly can. It’s so easy to get lost in a specific moment in time that you lose all perspective and so its helpful to get that some of perspective back even when that means relying on someone else to help you do this.
4.) Take action. Do what you need to do to make yourself feel better. The general rule here is that as long as you don’t cause harm to anybody or to yourself, then you should do what you need to make yourself feel better. Use this emotion as the motivation you need to make changes that will ensure you feel better. Not only will actually changing the situation that has made you feel these overwhelming emotions help you once you’re able to get to a solution you want but the process of taking action to put yourself in a better places will actually help you start to feel so much better and remove that overwhelming feeling bit by bit.
Hopefully, if you’re able to carry out all 4 steps, you’ll find you will be able to cope better with your overwhelming emotions and live a much more balanced life.