Being With Big Emotions

July 30, 2020 Laura Gouge

Big emotions are part of life.

If you’re dealing with grief or mental illness, big emotions very well might feel like your entire life. They can show up without warning, and often feel like they are going to swallow us whole. While I use many modalities to assist patients with these feelings that seem unmanageable (including medication & supplements!), a key element of healing is beginning to practice building a tolerance for distress.

Ways to be with big emotions:

  • Set a timer, and for that amount of time, your only job is to feel your feelings without judgement. Start with five minutes. When the timer goes off, get up and do something else.
  • Change your state. If you’re inside, go outside. Move your body. Dance. Cry. Sweat. Run. Take a cold shower. Allow the emotion to move through.
  • Scream as loud as you can somewhere reasonably sound proof (like your car).
  • Breathe and let it be there, even if it’s inconvenient, awful, and you hate it.
  • Remember that big feelings are a necessary and normal part of being human.

These practices aren’t going to magically resolve difficult emotions. However, consistently showing up for big emotions as they arise is an important part of the healing process.

 

{Cover art by Kika Fuenzalida}

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