Emotional health like physical health is so vital to having a balanced and productive life, but in many cases it’s a topic that gets swept under the rug. I was raised in a family that taught me to suppress my emotions. So as an adult, I have to continuously work on improving my emotional intelligence. Emotions are there for a reason, and suppressing them isn’t going to help me be the healthiest, well-balanced person I can be.
Here are some of the techniques I use to deal with emotional times. I hope they might help some of you.
- Feel emotions deeply
I give myself a minute or two to let the emotion wash over me with its full intensity. If it is something sad, I let myself tear up. If I am angry, I might shake my fist in the air. In the past, my tendency was to shut down these feelings as fast as I could. Now I give them their own moment.
- Take ten breaths
After that moment, I work to regain some calm and perspective by taking ten deep breaths. If this reminds you a little bit of needing to count to 10 before you address a toddler who is acting up, you are right. In this case, I think of my emotional self as the toddler who needs someone calm and loving to take care of them.
- Love yourself
Next, direct some compassion and love towards yourself. I do this by thinking of the person or animal that brings up the deepest feeling of compassion in me. Then I picture myself as the recipient of that compassion.
Take another moment to think about what your emotions were telling you. Emotions can help us understand our needs and what we truly deeply value. For more insight into the message behind emotions, Lara Fielding shares her perspective in this fantastic blog.
When you gain some understanding of the underlying needs and values behind your emotions, you can plan some small steps to address those needs. If your landlord did something that made you angry, is there something you can do to protect yourself from that happening again? If you experienced a loss, can you give yourself some time to grieve and honor what you lost?
Giving emotions their own space and honoring their message can be a powerful healing tool, which can lead to better unity between the body and mind.
Dr. Laurell is the resident homeopathic advisor for Grato Holding, Inc.