Child and adolescents
Dealing with emotions
Emotions are a natural and basic part of our lives as human beings.
They are divided into positive emotions such as happiness – curiosity – excitement…etc. and negative emotions such as sadness – fear – anger – guilt…etc.
All emotions – positive and negative – play an important role in our life and wellbeing. We cannot give up or completely not have negative emotions, even though they sometimes can be difficult and painful, especially when these negative emotions are excessive in their strength and frequency.
The solution to that tough problem is to learn to deal with these negative emotions in healthy and effective ways. This can be done in a series of steps.
Identify how you feel noticing how you feel and naming these feelings is very important to be able to deal with those feelings. And this requires practicing.
- Another helpful thing, is to notice the various sensations in your body that accompany your emotions. Naming the emotion. You don’t necessarily have to say it out loud to everyone around. If it’s uncomfortable for you to share that. Just name your emotion to yourself.
- Choose not to blame anyone. Just notice that this is how you feel right now, without putting a blame on someone for these feelings. These feelings are inside you and you can choose to be responsible for them. This helps you be in control of these negative emotions.
- Don’t blame yourself either. Accept that this is how you feel and understand that this is normal. Don’t blame yourself for feeling a certain way just because you’d rather feel better.
- Step 2:
Do something about it Sometimes, just knowing that this is how we feel can be enough. Other times, we need something more
- Think about needs to be done. Do you want to confront someone about how you feel towards something they did? Do you need support from a trusted person? Do you just want to feel better? Decide on what you need.
- Confrontation. If this is what you’ve decided you need right now, you need to do it in a calm and gentle way, to avoid having an even bigger conflict. Using a calm voice is important. If you find that this is hard, just avoid talking until you’re calmer. A gentle and effective way to express what you feel without attacking the other person is: “I felt (emotion) when this (event) happened, so please (request). For example: I felt angry when you took my pen without asking me so please, next time ask me first.
- Talking about your feelings. You can speak to a parent or a friend about your feelings, someone you can listen well and provide the support you need. Remember to be open and clear if you want advice.
- Do something that makes you happy. Any activity that you know makes you feel happy can work in your favor, be it a sport or reading or listening to music
- Be mindful. Notice the little positive things that can happen along your day, these things can build up to make us feel better but they require our awareness of their presence. These things can be quite simple, such as the taste of your cup of tea in the morning, a word of praise from your mom or the sense of comfort and rest after a long walk
- Doing some exercise. Exercising can be a powerful way to increase positive emotions and improve our sense of wellbeing. Even without it being a favorite past time, exercise raises endorphins which are certain chemicals in our brains, that are responsible for us feeling happy.
- Step 3:
Seek professional help If you do all the above, and still the negative emotions have been excessive in frequency and intensity, or if you’re noticing that these negative emotions are starting to affect your school work, relationships with those around you or your behavior, then it’s time to seek help from a professional to help you.