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Have you ever wonder why do we have emotions?

Have you ever wonder why do we have emotions? What does it mean to understand our feelings, or to even understand the physiological effects of our emotions?

Emotions are notoriously difficult to manage. They sneak up on us when we least expect it and can quickly overwhelm us, leading us to say or do things that we may later regret. What happens when our emotions get the better of us? For example, we tend to rebuke back with something that we don’t mean at that heated moment and we might regret later, and that will be too late because spilled milk can’t be salvaged.

Of course, we are all entitled to our negative feelings - anger, sadness, guilt, or regret. Emotions like these are often the most present and can be powerful forces in our life. Reacting with our feelings can often hurt ourselves and those around us. And it can happen to the best of us, often with justifying grounds. Being cheated on by a partner, a child being bullied in school, bias treatment in the office. While we can’t control the triggers and onset of our emotions, we are in complete control of how we chose to do with those feelings.

Accept those emotions, when you are feeling a certain emotion, don’t deny it. Acknowledge and accept that the emotion is present, whether it is anger, sadness, guilt, regret or whatever you are feeling in that moment. It’s tough, but try to exercise self-compassion and sit with the feeling without explaining it away, piling another emotion on top of it, or telling yourself what it says about you as a person, it is ok to be overwhelm with feelings.

Taking the time to slow down and sit with our feelings may be unbearable and exceedingly difficult, but may allow us to run through different reactions which may cause less harm at that moment or in the long run. In this state, you have space to reflect and thoughtfully respond, rather than react. But who is to say what is right or what is wrong to do? Sure, you can punch when you’re feeling angry, but what to punch is something you can choose isn’t it? The same reaction can be done in a different manner, and often the consequences of each manner can differ. For instance, when you punches someone comparing to punching a punching bag, it’s different, yes? We can agree to disagree, but I’m sure there are lots of other ways to vent that anger.

A lot of the time, a good strategy is expressing the emotion somehow instead of keeping it inside you. For example; talking to a friend about it? Having a good cry? Journaling? Having a good bath? Many people tend to keep it in, trying their hardest not to feel something, but sometimes the relief comes with not having to suppress it. However, in this real world, we’re not always going to have time to deal with emotions as they come up. In these cases, it’s still important to acknowledge and accept that feeling and tell yourself “okay I’m sad and I’ll get to it later” and make sure you’ll really deal with it later on.

And remember, it is okay to not be okay. Every one of your emotions is impermanent, they arise and reside within you for a time, and then drift away like the clouds. We tend to forget this when we’re in the midst of dealing with difficult emotions. Take a deep breathe and find ways that suits you in managing those emotions.

Written By: Jeanette L.

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