How to Manage Tough Emotions?

Managing tough emotions throwing you off your game? Try my simple 3-Step Formula to manage them effective and get your life back on track!

10th November 2021

More often than not, life finds ways to surprise or shock us! An unexpected promotion, a severe illness, a surprise call from an old friend, or a disagreement with the boss. Either ways, happy or sad, excited or angry, we feel some emotions at almost all times of the day.

Expressing emotions that make us feel good like happiness, excitement, surprise is never a problem, right? We find ways to express and celebrate. It’s the emotions that make us feel bad like sadness, anger, frustration, irritation that need regulation.

These emotions, when held for long, have severe damaging affects on our mental health, relationships and work. They often leave us feeling inadequate and unworthy. When we feel these tough emotions, we often wonder if we can control what will happen next. We doubt our abilities to cope with what has happened. We wonder if what happened was our fault or someone else’s, and if it could’ve been evaded.

This feeling of inadequacy further triggers sadness, anger and frustration setting into motion a vicious cycle, leading to damaged mental health, sour relationships and unhappiness at work.

That’s why emotions are very important as they are an indicator of how we are feeling. And we must take action to address the negative emotions immediately. Bottling them up and brushing them under the carpet does not make them go away. On the contrary, they keep getting bigger and bigger, until one day they cause an irreparable damage.

In my experience, I have found self-awareness to help me deal with these tough emotions. I follow this 3-step process to feel better-

1. Recognize and label the emotion-

This is the first step to emotion regulation. We must pay attention to what we are feeling. We can generally say that we are feeling bad, but that could mean a lot of things. It is important to know exactly what one is feeling. For example, feeling sad is different from feeling frustrated.

2. Accept it-

Accepting the negative emotions can be a huge challenge for many of us. We have been conditioned to believe that feeling negative emotions is not good. That’s why, more often than not, we try to brush them aside and not address them at all. We must remember that emotions by themselves are not good or bad. It is the way we respond to them that make them good or bad. So, once we’ve recognized the negative emotion in step 1, we must accept the emotion in Step 2. Only then can we address it.

3. Regulate it using tools and techniques-

In this step, we address the negative emotion and regulate it in ways that would help us feel better. In my experience, tools and techniques taught in meditation can really help in achieving this.

With practice, we can master the art of managing and regulating tough emotions and steer our lives towards happiness.

If you are looking to start your little ones on a meditation path early, try our meditation programs that are based on the play-and-learn methodology. Explained through animations, stories, worksheets, guided imageries and music, these programs would help kids manage negative emotions like anger, stress, anxiety, fear, jealousy, insecurity and at the same time develop positive emotions like empathy, love, compassion, gratitude and kindness. Help your kids lead a happy, joyous and fulfilled life! Start early!

Darshan Bawa

Founder- Bodhishishu (Meditation for Kids), Social-Emotional Learning Coach for Kids
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