I’ve been thinking a little bit about feelings that we sometimes think of as “bad” feelings, which we often wish we would rather not have. Sadness. Lament. Anger. Frustration. Anxiety. Fear. We can be tempted to bottle these up and dismiss them, but that’s frowned upon (pun intended).
- Here are some ideas for dealing with difficult emotions when they come around:
- look them in the face and name them
- don’t judge them
- invite them to sit with you, and actually engage with them
- consider: what are they trying to tell you? are they pointing to something deeper?
- see a counselor, therapist, or pastor (remember you’re not alone!)
- if you’re religious, turn to Scripture, like the Psalms. Hear what these living words may mean to you and consider how the psalmist cries out and laments (check out this article: http://www.christianitytoday.com/…/getting-brutally-honest-…)
- pray, mediate, and practice mindfulness
- write or draw your feelings (even if they look like scribbles and blobs)
- take some deep breaths. Respond rather than react.
These aren’t easy to do, but with practice, we can better come to acknowledge and actually use these difficult emotions in our lives– one good cry and one heart-racing experience at a time.
— Lindley S. Curtis, MDiv, MSW
Lindley is a theologically trained social worker and coordinates support services at the Family House. To speak with Lindley for one-on-one support and information about resources in Winston-Salem and in your home community, call 336.793.2822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.