Strong Emotions

How to handle them.


My heart was racing, my palms were sweaty and my mind couldn’t focus on anything other than the phone call I was going to have to make in 20 minutes.

A few posts ago, I mentioned one of my biggest fears is showing up fully in the world and putting myself out there. One of my other greatest fears? And truly, I mean fears, is thinking someone I perceive to be in an authority position is mad at me or that I’m in trouble with said person. I got to experience that particular fear recently. In the past when a situation like this arose, my first reaction would be to get really defensive. And then maybe cry. And complain. And blame the other person. All in all I would essentially act like a child. Not that I’ve done any and all of those things in the past. At work. Ahem.

As much as I wanted to hide, I sat with my fear. I labeled it. I breathed it in. I dropped into my body and described exactly what I was feeling: my heart is racing, my palms are sweaty, my diaphragm feels tight. I just sat and felt the fear. I didn’t try to push it away, even though I really wanted to. I didn’t react to it. I didn’t try to distract myself in an attempt to avoid it. I just felt it. When it was time to pick up the phone I was ready to go. My fear dissipated almost immediately.

If you’re facing similar strong emotions and want some relief, labeling the emotion as best you can and describing how it feels in your body can be a really effective way to get a little space between you and the emotion. And, it doesn’t create any drama. Only when we resist, react or avoid emotions is when we get into trouble. Feeling an emotion, processing an emotion is the only way out. Our bodies and brains were created to process emotion. There's no emotion we can't feel. No emotion that our bodies aren't able to process.

As my teacher, Brooke Castillo says: the worst thing that can happen in any situation is you feel an emotion. Emotions are why we do or don't do anything that we do in our lives. If we're willing to show up and feel negative emotions, there's nothing we won't be willing to do. There's no dream you can't go after if you're willing to feel negative emotions on purpose,  so get out there and feel terrible! 😉

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