How to Deal With the Emotions You Ignore

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Recently my emotions ran amuck and every day, rather than take time out of my already overwhelmed schedule to express them, I stored them somewhere in my mind to process later on in order to power through and accomplish tasks. When we’re on this roller-coaster toward success we knowingly put our feelings to one side which, if left unresolved, come back later and negatively impact our state of mind.

You know how in cognitive psychology the mind is likened to a computer, well imagine you’re working hard on your computer and during your work you’re met with a pop up, like an error message or warning. It’s the computer alerting you to something, instead of paying attention we tend to have a habit of clicking the little ‘x’ at the corner of the window or passively clicking ‘OK’ or ‘Close’ to get rid of it. We then continue to repeat this process as this pop up returns until something goes horribly wrong and we're forced to deal with it. That’s how it gets when we’re so focused on reaching goals. We sometimes ignore how we feel until we’re inundated with emotions which lead us to stress and frustration.

Shutdown: Let’s say I recently clicked the ‘x’ too many times and my computer shutdown. I had ignored so many emotions to get through my tasks that I became frustrated, angry and a little lost. I had no idea what to do next and I couldn't confront anyone because I wasn't sure of where to begin. I was going to start writing, but then the message in this post would have been very different to the one you read now because emotions affect output. So I took my car keys and went for a drive, driving keeps me focused on a task yet allows me to think. I know people who take naps to cool off, exercise is also a favorite of mine. Also note, whatever you try to do to clear your mind and pay attention to your inner self, you must proceed alone without any influence.

The "the cooling off period" is crucial to the healing process. Its helps you work through emotions and allow you to come up with sensible and sustaining solutions. I always thought music would help, but music is a motivator for me I know that driving allows me work through anything that I have to deal with. I took note of that, I can only begin to get motivated if I have cooled off. I haven’t met a person yet that can go from a very stressful emotional state to a motivated state that quickly, I find those who can, often just suppress what they feel causing further problems for themselves in the long run.

Reboot: When I went for my drive I switched the phone off to avoid dealing with any "enablers" or "triggers" people swaying me one way or another giving me guidance based on information I would pass onto them. Seeking advice on your own feelings is sometimes a bad idea as the advice given would just be biased, especially making it unfair to others affected by your own frustration. After about an hour on my own processing my thoughts, I had come up with solutions that would work best for me and others around me I was able to reboot and pick up my tasks from the point I had left them. I came home, and I was back up and running, furthermore I could start motivating myself again and get that natural oomph back into my life and my work.

Upgrade: The last stage was to set up a solution. Just like your computer getting a virus: you install software to fix it and periodically you update that software to ensure it adapts to new threats and changing formats. So if we're not dealing with our emotions and end up overwhelmed and frustrated, then we must put something in place to ensure we do not continually repeat this pattern. For now, I go on more drives; it’s how I best deal with my crap. If I’m working on my next big project and I feel my emotional baggage is just getting a bit too heavy, I go on a drive and deal with it, I won’t push it aside and I avoid so much aggravation.

Develop a system that works for you, deal with the warning signs; you of all people know when you’re beginning to feel things that affect your mood, so pay attention, run those “upgrades” you recently installed to process the emotion. Check for updates, be on the lookout for new ways to better deal with your emotions (you won’t figure it out overnight) but whenever you feel overwhelmed, find that one thing that will help you cool off, but ensure you do not use the thing that motivates you as you'll need that for when you’re ready to pick yourself back up.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Terry Sidhu

VanCity Life Coach, Vancouver, BC, Canada