This amazing day seems full of contrast. Bright and sunny outside, sting your in the face cold. Vibrant colors of leaves in the trees, dark clouds cutting off the sun. All of this nature and weather made me thing about the variety of emotions we feel and experience. Some are more positive, some more dark, and some are just grey.

Seems like a great day to talk about emotions.

Sometime emotions can get a bad rap. Our intuitive state of mind that comes from our mood, relationship with others, stuff going on in our lives can be challenging, difficult, rough. Our emotions from positive, happy, good news can easy breezy to feel and process. Happy can be well, happy. For many this is an easier emotions to feel and experience. For some people feeling happy is uncomfortable. For others feeling anger, frustration, sadness can be uncomfortable.

According to Wikipedia there are 34 categories of emotions. In an September 9, 2017 article in Forbes magazine they reported there are a total of 27 different emotions according to researchers. Seems the science community has some differences with what goes on with us emotionally.

Emotions are the badge of honor as human beings we get to feel. All of the emotions, not just the happy, excited ones. Your emotions are part of what makes you distinctly you.

What can trip us up is how we cope and process our emotions. For those individuals who cope with mental illness this can cause additional stress and impairment in personal functioning. Yet just like the changing weather outside there are a plethora of actions a person can take to strengthen, empower, and cope with ALL emotions.

Think of it this way. Today before I walked my fur babies I saw it was sunny with some dark clouds. I checked the temperature outside and it was COLD (30’s). My choices were:

  • Dress in minimal layers because of the sun. It looks warm out!
  • Bring an umbrella because of the dark clouds.
  • Add on additional layers to keep me warmer during the walk that I could easily remove if I became too hot.
  • Wear additional layers and a coat with a hood in case precipitation came out of the dark clouds that were present.
  • Put on so many layers that I could not remove as I walked becoming super sweaty hot.
  • Not go at all.

Because I like walking my dogs and it helps me be a happier me I am going to make a choice where I am most comfortable and get to go. It is important to my health, so even though there might be a lot of reasons I could talk myself out of going I will talk myself into going. Doing what is good for all of us at times requires effort. All of us are worth the effort it can take!

A few years back one of my daughters friends who had been heavily involved in using drugs stopped because he wanted to enter the military. After he had not used in awhile I asked him how he was doing. His statement to me was “now I can feel my feelings and life really sucks”. What he did not realize at that time was for him when he was self medicating, he had not learned to cope, process, work through his emotions.

There is an animated movie called Inside Out. The main message of the movie is to demonstrate that no emotions—including sadness—are necessarily bad. It’s what you do with them. Often in my counseling when I am working with my clients and something crappy happens for some they will go to their doctor and get medication. For those were medication is part of their treatment it is to go to the doctor and get an increase or a new medication. Can medication be a useful tool for coping with some things. Absolutely. My first response is always we need to find ways to help you cope with this. Medication may become part of the plan, yet let’s try other ways first. You are supposed to feel your feelings. You CAN work through them as well.

Sometimes life is going to suck. That is ok. We can be ok.

Think about some of the major challenges you have worked through in your life. I know for me while there have been plenty of times I felt uncomfortable and crappy, as I persevered, kept at it, and learned additional ways to cope with the crappy I felt stronger, more empowered to deal with the next one that came my way.  I added more things to my coping toolbox that helped. This included things like:

  • Basic health stuff. Getting my zzz’s, eating healthy.
  • Doing some fitness, especially being outside when I could.
  • Reaching out to my loved ones and letting them know I was struggling.
  • For me creating, painting, organizing, cleaning were great ways to lose myself while I was processing my feelings.
  • PAUSING until I was in a better emotional state to respond to people or experiences that upset me.
  • Writing, music, mindless down time.
  • Gratitude and doing nice things for others.
  • Recognizing I get to feel all of my feelings and that is ok. The more I paid attention to my feelings and sorted through them, the better I felt.

Amazing, resilient, fantastic people you so matter. If you are struggling with your emotions do a positive, healthy  action for yourself.  Use any of the actions I used or add your own. Go see a therapist, have a conversation with your doctor, be gentle and kind to yourself. Feel your feelings and figure out a way to work through them. You can do it! I believe in you!

May your emotions be with you💜

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash