‘I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.
To be human is to be in vulnerability.’
I feel this is becoming a bit of a theme for me talking about emotions and self-care … especially in these stressful times we are going through.
This was something that has come up in some coaching discussions with clients about emotions and feelings and how someone can be considered too emotional… I have also been known to be labelled emotional and guess what that makes me even more emotional!
But we can’t help it but have emotions and feelings, because we are human. This label comes up, whether it comes from ourselves or others, it is because the emotion is there – present – obvious and most likely raw.
In stressful times like we are living these days where we have to deal with things we don’t feel we can control, it becomes even more important to acknowledge what we are going through emotionally. So here are a few thoughts about what to do and what questions to ask yourself when emotions come up.
- Let’s be aware of what we are feeling
What emotions are coming up in a given moment – whether it is joy or anger or fear or pain.. Acknowledge and realise it is there. We are alive and emotions are part of us.
- Hold the space for emotions
Once we acknowledge our emotions and feelings, let’s recognise they are here present with us. We may not be able to deal with it right now in the moment but ignoring them forever will not make them go away. It will be more like a volcano, with heat and pressure building inside and everything exploding at some point – usually when it is really NOT convenient. So what to do? Be aware of the emotion, name it and stay with it.
- Allow ourself to feel all the feelings
It is hard, it can be painful when it is hard feelings. But we have to process, go through the process and come out the other way. It is like digesting and going through the motions of that digestion. It is a way to move forward, to learn about ourselves, grow and build our resilience. Strong emotions are linked to things that are important for us or that we value the most.
- Use the emotion as information
What does what we feel tell us? Listen, talk to the emotion or journal about it. We need to notice what we feel. What does it tell us about the situation, about who we are and our values? What is the emotion telling us? What choices can we make now that we have listened? How does this listening transform how we deal with our emotions into a super power, allowing us to act acknowledging what is really happening for us.
- Having self compassion for ourselves
Feeling emotions is human, and we need to stop judging ourselves for feeling negatives emotions. “It is ok not to be ok” and it is true. We need to be open to receive what our emotions tell us and be vulnerable and curious about how we choose to answer. Or about the help we reach out for. Asking for help if the emotions are too much is also ok. Asking for help is also a super power.
- Take time to recover
Feeling strong emotions can be draining so taking time to recover is necessary. Take time to recover and rest and rebuild.
‘We own our emotions, they don’t own us’
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