Think about your life for a second. What are some special memories? What makes those memories feel so special? Emotions.

To a large degree, our emotional experience determines our life experience.

We experience a variety of emotions. Some are pleasurable. Others are painful. Sometimes we process them productively. Sometimes we avoid them. Denying unresolved emotions only makes things worse over time, triggering physical and mental health issues; we make ourselves sick from the inside out.

Avoiding or repressing your emotions is a recipe for a painful and unfulfilling life experience.  Here are four steps to process your emotions and let go of whatever is getting in the way of your happiness and peace of mind.

Be Aware of Your Emotions

Step back and analyze your situation. What emotions are you feeling? How are they affecting you physically and mentally? Assess and acknowledge what you’re feeling.

Find a quiet place. Take two or three minutes to soothe your mind and body through deep breathing. And then analyze your situation; accept your emotions – acknowledge their presence in your life. Name them – make a list of what you’re feeling and how it’s affecting your life. This reflective process helps you come face-to-face with your emotions, and realize that something needs to change.

Don’t Bottle Up Your Emotions

Express your emotions. Bottling up your emotions damages your health because of the toll it takes on your mind and body. Expressing your feelings makes it easier for your mind to process your emotions, which helps with the healing process.

Here are some common ways people express their feelings:

  • Going for a walk or drive
  • Journaling
  • Hitting a punching bag
  • Exercising
  • Screaming into a pillow
  • Crying
  • Painting / Art
  • Deep Breathing
  • Meditation

Take Time for Yourself

You need to replenish your mind and body.  Think you don’t have the time? Start with 10 minutes a day. Keep it simple.

If you’re the creative type, draw or take a couple of pictures, or listen to music or your favorite comedian.  Increase the time until you’re spending 20-30 minutes a day or more.

But self-care is more than just taking a few minutes for yourself daily. It’s about living life. Your life. So if you’re the active type, get to the gym or join a sports a team, or enroll yourself into a class that you’ve been thinking about. Just live. Nourish your soul. You’ll be happier and healthier.

Reward Yourself

Celebrate! Be proud of the hard work you’ve done to face your feelings and manage your emotions.

You acknowledged, accepted, and processed your feelings. You released pent-up negative energy and started to take charge of your emotions. You stopped denying and avoiding. You faced difficult situations and began making changes.

Realize the truth about yourself – that you’re brave, strong, wise, talented, hopeful, and are making a difference with your life.

You matter, and your life is worth living full-on with meaning and passion!

Image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay

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