It may be a hidden topic you didn’t know you needed to discuss. Yet, like many, you want to know how to express your feelings, even if you feel like you’re overreacting.
There’s a specific kind of danger we associate with expressing emotions, especially when we feel our emotional response is “wrong.” We’ve been conditioned to shy away from showing our feelings to avoid being seen as weak or hysterical to others.
Research shows that suppressing emotions can lead to problems with our health and mental well-being, yet many hesitate to explore healthy ways to overcome negative emotions.
Let’s discover a few ways to express ourselves, even when we feel like we’re being irrational.
Pause & Acknowledge
When you feel an overwhelming emotion setting in, it’s time to pause instead of react. You can count to ten, take deep breaths, or even excuse yourself to take a walk.
Then, it’s time to acknowledge the event that upset you. Did someone say something that angered you? Why does it anger you? Once you pinpoint where the emotion is coming from, don’t forget that it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling.
Now that you know why you’re feeling the way that you do, it’s time to address it. Make sure you’re calm and ready to tackle a potentially difficult subject if necessary.
For instance, if someone said something that offended you, pinpoint why it offended you and calmly explain it to the individual. It’s important to be assertive and not aggressive or passive-aggressive in your approach. There are sheets on that here.
The Discomfort Won’t Last
The best news? Over time, it’ll become much more easier to identify the source of negative emotions and properly address them. It simply takes practice and time. You’re not going to get it right every time, and that’s okay.
Be Ready to Learn
You’re going to get it wrong sometimes. You’ll make a wrong assumption about something someone said, only to feel foolish for getting upset. Don’t let that deter you. We all make mistakes, and we all jump to conclusions.
The beauty of expressing your emotions is that there’s always an opportunity to learn from these mistakes. Take advantage of these opportunities as they arise and optimize your emotional growth.
Be Ready to Grow
Now that you know how to express your feelings, put it into practice! And don’t forget to take everything one day at a time.
Many who struggle with self-expression can also suffer from low self-esteem. I wrote a fairly handy book, Life After Low Self-Esteem, about overcoming those pesky self-doubts, and I encourage you to read it!