What Are You Really Feeling - Focusing on Positivity When Emotions Run High
We all know that staying positive during challenging times can help us in the long run, but that’s often much easier said than done! When emotions run high, our minds can easily go into a ‘fight or flight’ mode, losing the ability to stay calm, take back control and make decisions with a clear head. Plus, emotions can be difficult to understand – it’s not always about feeling ‘sad’ or ‘angry’ or ‘stressed’. Sometimes all of our emotions become muddled up, leaving us feeling confused and stuck in a rut.
Feeling ‘negative’ emotions is a normal part of life – we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the positives or feel balanced in our emotions without them. Looking after your emotional wellbeing and staying positive isn’t about completely eradicating the muddled-up emotions, but rather it’s about nurturing the right skills and resources to be able to manage life’s ups and downs.
Here are some of Bach’s top tips to help you gain self-awareness and learn how to focus on positivity when emotions run high.
The first step is to figure out exactly how you’re feeling. Write down the following questions, along with the first thing that comes to mind in response:
- What am I feeling right now?
- What is bothering me right now?
- How important is it?
- What would make me feel better right now?
Sometimes, seeing things laid out in front of our eyes can help us get a better handle on the situation. Evaluating how important things are is also a great exercise to help prioritise and manage our emotions. We know how easy it can be to get overwhelmed by challenges in our lives, and though there are some things that are definitely important, sometimes we might realise we were holding onto something that just wasn’t that important.
Setting goals is all about starting small and finding things that are realistic and achievable. You want to find goals that will help you achieve things without adding pressure – you want to be working smarter, not harder. Write down your top three priorities and break them down into short, achievable things that you can do every day to build towards your goal. Then, write down three self-care activities. They could be anything from practising meditation, reading your book before bed or journaling. Every day try to make sure you do one of these self-care activities, along with your other tasks. With time, these things will become habits, leading to a gradual behavioural change that should help you gain better control over yourself and your emotions.
Take a break
While having goals is important, sometimes the best thing to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed is to take a break and take care of yourself. Burnout is never fun and there’s only so much our mind and body can take, so make sure you’re taking time for yourself every day. Let yourself sleep in if you really need it, let yourself have that piece of cake, let yourself indulge for a while in order to give you the best chance of succeeding the next day.
Move your body
It goes without saying that regular exercise is good for you – it actually releases serotonin, known as ‘the happy hormone’. However, moving your body doesn’t mean you have to go all out on the treadmill 6 days a week. Varying your routine by trying things like pilates, yoga, HIIT, walking, stretching and swimming can help keep things interesting and fun. Listening to self-help podcasts or audiobooks while working out is also a great way to feel more positive mentally and physically. With time, you might find that exercise is the perfect way to let go of emotions and clear your head.
Feeling empowered to say no to things can have a great impact on your emotional wellbeing. It’s so easy to spread ourselves too thin, trying to please others or prove to ourselves that ‘we’ve got this’. But learning how to be resilient also means learning how to say no. Learning to say no can not only have a positive impact on your own wellbeing, but it can help establish fair and trusting relationships with others. If ever you’re feeling doubtful or pressured, go back to the list of goals you set out – is this extra thing going to help you achieve any goals? Is it a priority? If it’s not, then either propose to leave it for another time or simply say no.
Talk to friends
Staying connected with trusted friends and family can help us get through challenging times with a smile on our faces. Whether you’re in need of a shoulder to lean on, or you can help support someone, checking in with people is the only way you’re going to know. Nobody’s life is perfect and sharing our worries with others and hearing theirs in return can help remind us that we’re not alone.