Process with dignity
We all have times in our lives where the road gets tough, something bad happens and we get sucked into a vortex of negative emotions. It can be incredibly challenging to know how to handle ourselves and our feelings when life explodes on you.
Don't hold it in
A common saying people say when you're in this state is, ' let it all out'. While this statement can be really helpful, in the sense that it can help us give ourselves permission to feel and process. I think that it can also lead us down a wormhole of depression, if we allow our feelings to control us entirely.
Appropriate time and place
Of course, it goes without saying that bottling things up forever is not a healthy mentality. But I think we'd all like to have self-respect for ourselves, that even when things went belly-up, we still remained dignified and held ourselves together appropriately. It is natural for our lives to sometimes affect our work and our conduct. But if we are really in a bad place, I think it is far more appropriate to politely excuse and collect ourselves. I would even argue that when we are really going through it, we should, if possible, ask permission from work to take a bit of time off, so that we can take the time to process everything. In this way we can help ensure that our personal lives don't affect our work lives. (The alternative of risking your job and potentially creating more negative spirals is far worse)
Balance between wallowing and processing
There is a difference between processing and wallowing. We need both. But we need less wallowing and more processing. It's okay to have a couple of wallowing sessions, it's natural and human to need a release and to fall into despair. Crying and moping is ok to do for a while. But by no means should we let ourselves wallow forever, or continue to go through the same repetitive negative thought patterns. We need to take the time to process what has happened and move through the emotions, to regain control and make our lives and the lives of the people around us better. How to process your emotions entirely depends on the individual and sometimes the situation. Some ways to process are to journal, compose, paint and dance. These activities can help let us move through our thoughts and emotions and help us reflect on our lives, in a more positive, balanced way.
Open up with people you trust
Another super important way to help us process is to talk to someone you trust. I must emphasise that talking about difficult things in your life is not something you should just do with anyone. In fact it can actually be more detrimental for your state of mind if the other person is not someone you can rely upon. It's imperative to talk to people who have your back, want only the best for you, are stable people in themselves and who have the space energetically and emotionally to be able to be there for you fully. It can be a nice gesture, before opening up to someone, to say, 'I'm kinda going through a rough time right now and I wondered if you have the time and mental capacity to help me talk through some things and process?" Most of the time your true friends will always have time for you and of course want to help you. But if your friend is really going through the wringer herself, you could be really helping her out to let her have her space too. Two sinking ships are not going to make it out of the water. You need someone who can stay afloat to help you when your ship sinks.
Don't overburden friends
Also, it's good to be aware of when you may need to go to a therapist. Friends are great to talk with and are truly one of life's most incredible gifts. However, it isn't healthy, or good for a friendship, or any relationship, to only be relating your emotions and processing things with them. It can turn slightly detrimental. Try to find a balance and figure out the extent of how much you need to process and whether you may need to talk to a professional. The same thing goes for therapists as it does for friends. You need to have a good relationship with them, feel that you can talk to them and ultimately feel you are moving in a positive direction with them. A good therapist needs to have a stable, helpful energy.
Try not to battle your emotions, or hold them in. Work with them. Figure out how best to deal with them in a way that will make you proud. Don't beat yourself up if you mess up. Be kind to yourself and know that the only thing that matters is that you keep trying. If you do this you will get through it.
I hope that you always manage to find the light whenever the road gets dark and that you only have good times.
Naomi Leila Xx
p.s. Please let me know of any ways that you process difficult emotions? Are any things or rituals that help you feel better in those states?
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