Emotions are natural responses in your brain and important parts of life. But if you don’t understand and process your emotions, they can begin to control your daily life. Thankfully, by working with a therapist and trying a few strategies at home, you can empower yourself to handle your emotions in healthy, meaningful ways. Here’s what you need to know.
What Are Emotions?
An emotion is a psychological state and is usually triggered by external factors. In other words, emotions are internal reactions to events happening around you.
Have you ever watched your favorite sports team during the finals? That excitement you feel is an emotion. Were you really nervous during a recent job interview? You may have felt two powerful emotions: anxiety and anger. There is nothing inherently wrong with emotions—everyone feels them. But ignoring or denying your emotions can hurt your well-being.
How Can You Better Process Your Emotions?
Honesty is the first step in processing your emotions: you have to admit that you are feeling an emotion before you can begin to process it. After you’ve honestly assessed what you’re feeling, the next step is to define the emotion. This takes practice, and the support of a therapist or counselor is extremely beneficial, as many emotions aren’t easy to identify.
Once you’ve put a name to your emotions, you can begin to understand what your brain is communicating. After that, you can put them into words. Using this process, your emotions become an open dialog, and you can approach new, stressful, or exciting situations in healthy, productive ways. Regulating your emotions are also a skill that can be mastered with insight and practice!
Learning how to process your emotions might seem overwhelming at first. But remember—even feeling overwhelmed is an emotional response, and it’s perfectly okay to feel that way. If you’re struggling to understand or process your emotions, you don’t have to do it alone. Schedule an in-person session with Colleen Torrence, MEd, LPC. This therapist specializes in trauma, abuse, and family counseling, and she offers unconditional regard to her clients in the Juneau, AK, community. To learn more about this therapist, visit her online or call (907) 789-9212.