7 Tips for Dealing with Heavy Negative Emotions
Hello everyone and welcome back to the blog!
As the blog and channel have grown, so have my anxiety, frustration, and stress. It always sounds like a fabulous success to have hundreds of people interacting with your work until... hundreds of people are ACTUALLY interacting with your work.
I have been feeling increasingly dreadful towards my blog, and it has caused some tension in my personal life. My husband, God bless him, has been quite patient, but I have been dealing with a lot of heavy negative emotion.
So, as I like to do, I thought that today I would translate what I'm going through into a blog post! Let's talk about some tips for dealing with heavy negative emotion.
1. Take time away from everyone/everything
Maybe this is just for Introverts, but taking time away from people you might be harsh with, situations that might overwhelm you, and just... life in general, can be an incredible method of freeing up your headspace and even your heart-space.
I find that it even reignites my curiosity and creativity, but it mostly allows me to unwind and sort through my feelings in privacy. When dealing with heavy negative emotions, it's almost impossible to avoid having them spill out onto those around you.
The way that I DO avoid this for the most part is by going on a little journey to a peaceful place where I can be alone. I will go out in nature, to a coffee shop, or really anywhere that I'm anonymous. Here, I take the time I need to begin sorting through everything.
2. Write, write, write
There is nothing better than journaling out your heavy emotions. Instead of dumping it on a friend, my husband, or a therapist we can't afford, I've taken to journaling. As you know, I am of course a writer, so journaling my problems truly helps me get in touch with what is actually going on.
I've journaled my heavy negative emotions since the fourth grade. I take a junky notebook, an inky pen, and just go to town writing out my frustrations. I take the first round to shout at the world and get out some feelings. Then, I'll go through the words and write the problems again, and again, and again, until I have found some clarity and calm.
But seriously... no one wants to write angry thoughts into a cutesy Kate Spade inspiration journal, so buy a junky one from the dollar store and go to TOWN. There are actually some pretty heated entries in my junky middle-school journal, outlining the betrayal I experienced when my best friend chose to do a science project with another girl instead of me LOL. Oh to be young and innocent.
3. Google that nonsense!
I am completely serious about this tip as much as I am also NOT a professional therapist. When dealing with heavy emotions, many of us don't have a strong understanding of what we are actually experiencing. This is when yours' truly always turns to her friend (and enemy) GOOGLE! In my search history, you will find queries typed in along the lines of "how to forgive a friend who betrayed you," or "what to do to overcome serious jealousy," or "how can I express to my husband that I'm angry with him."
I usually read an article on Psychology Today (God bless those people,) and look for tips and tricks to objectively and healthfully deal with my emotions, conflicts, resentments, etc. I've been doing this for years, and there is just something about someone with a PHD writing an entire article for your personal problem that makes you feel like you just visited the therapist. Be careful with self-diagnosing, but if the issue isn't too serious or life-threatening, a good google search can shed a lot of light. Sometimes it's just nice to know you're not alone, and/or crazy LOL.
4. Face the emotions
I am one of those horrid people who says "I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine" when asked what's wrong until I finally explode three weeks later. Not cute... I know. I've learned that this is because I don't want to face my negative emotions, feel pain, deal with conflict, or have anyone mad with me. How could someone so conflict-avoidant cause so much conflict?!
The reason is that those emotions don't go away! As hard as I try, those emotions are going to come out unless I deal with them. I've heard that it's really healthy to just view emotions as something you're experiencing that will pass, rather than your state of mind for eternity. So admit when you're grieving, admit when you're angry, and admit when you're resentful: it's a step forward.
5. Face the facts
Now, it can be really easy in a conflict or when we're feeling all sorts of feels, to look only at our emotions and how someone made us feel, but we also need to pause and be reasonable and factual. This is probably my LAST instinct, as I am very emotional, but it has always helped me resolve conflict in a much more nuanced and compassionate way. Interestingly enough, facing the facts actually allows for much MORE compassion and empathy than just focusing on emotion.
It is through the facts that I am able to put myself in someone else's shoes, to really take hold of their thoughts and to experience things from their perspective. Facing the facts of what happened also forces me to look outside myself and see what I've done wrong as well, or how I've contributed to my own pain and suffering.
6. Get over it, or confront
Oftentimes our heavy emotions have to deal with other people. Typically in fact, most of the drama, frustration, and conflict in our lives results from the interactions and miscommunications with other people. This means that we often need to have a showdown with someone, or get over it.
I usually get over things and find myself forgiving small things, but sometimes I just can't, and there needs to be a necessary confrontation. That's not a bad thing though! I think many of us have been taught to fear relational confrontation, but view it like pulling out a splinter: it will hurt more the longer you leave it be! Small splinters usually remove on their own, but big splinters need some manual labour in order to exit the skin.
So put in the effort, energy, and courage it takes to confront the conflict. Write a letter or write down your thoughts if you cannot express yourself well, and be courageous.
7. Move forward and away from the emotion
Now, this doesn't always work, but part of my advice for dealing with heavy negative emotion is to identify what's causing it and then take a plan of action. If it's an identifiable conflict, deal with it or the person, but if it's abstract frustration with yourself, your looks, or things in life you don't love, sometimes it can be healthy to stop overanalyzing everything and to put your energy towards other people.
I have found that in my own life, when I sit in front of a mirror and stare at my hips, I get upset that they don't look like an Instagram models, or that all my healthy eating has still left me with major fat stores on my hips. Essentially, I'm creating emotional trauma for myself.
Instead of spending time on that, which is honestly pretty self-centered anyways, I have begun to put my energy outward s and into the world, (which is probably how we ended up with this blog on the Internet LOL.) Now I'm not amazing all the time at what I do, but I do know that putting energy into loving others helps me love myself more than putting energy into identifying my flaws.
Alright everyone, thank you so much for tuning into this Friday listicle! Don't be too worried about me though, I'm dealing with all this emotion one step at a time!
I've just been so drained and anxious as this blog and channel have been growing. It's a lot of pressure to feel like you have to put every foot in the right direction and please everyone. I'm slowly realizing that it's not possible, AND that my real life matters more than getting more views, likes, or whatever.
So bear with me my loves, and know that if you struggle with dealing with heavy negative emotion, you are not alone.
Stay strong and buy a junky journal.