Dealing With Difficult Feelings

Sometimes strong feelings can well up, and it can seem that they might take over, leaving us finding it difficult function. If this happens to you, there are many things you can do to help yourself.

  • Remember that everything changes over time, this will help the feelings to pass.
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Eat well and get adequate rest. Try meditation or relaxation.If you have work to do, do it. Keep in contact with family and friends. It helps to talk.
  • Take some exercise walking briskly, or running.  If you’re feeling very angry, it can help to hit something, a ball or a cushion, while  saying out loud what you’re feeling.
  • Ground yourself by breathing into the feeling. Feel your feet  on the ground. Remind yourself of the day, date and time.
  • Try not to blame others for your thoughts or feelings. Our feelings are always our own response to a  situation.
  • There can be three voices or directions within us at any time, and it’s useful to distinguish between them:
  • The child (wanting to act out of the feelings, and blame others),
  • The parent (concerned with shoulds and oughts), and
  • The adult (able to see more than one perspective, responsible for self).
  • Express the feelings through writing in a journal or using art materials.
  • If strong feelings persist, then consider talking to a professional. Remember that we are always more than our struggles, although we may forget this at times.

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Jude Fay is a counsellor and Psychotherapist at AnneLeigh Counselling and Psychotherapy, Celbridge and Naas, Co Kildare, Ireland