Bursting with Blessings

Learning To Process Your Emotions: emotion processing technique

Unproductive and/or unhealthy coping strategies…

Yesterday I listened to my eldest son (almost 21) pound on his desk in frustration. It was sad to hear that he was choosing an ineffective coping strategy for his stress and frustration with his college course work.

Interestingly, he knows he has access to a coach (me) and last week I shared again with him how to process his emotions and choose his actions/emotions. So why didn’t he choose to come see me and get help? But aren’t we all like this?

We know that our brains want dopamine and to fall into well known habits and coping strategies. I’ve often lamented to myself, God, and my coach that I don’t like the struggle to create new thoughts, habits, emotions, and strategies.

I’ve often fought mentally to NOT do what my coach has instructed me to do!! It FEELS hard. It sounds hard. I often don’t think it will work for me. Can you resonate with me on that?

I’m not unique in my struggles to change. I’ve often coached clients who say: yeah but that won’t work for me. Or something similar to that. 

I’ve often listened to my coach and then ignored her advice. Just like my son chose to ignore my advice and the strategies that ACTUALLY do work and actually achieve real positive results.

After I sent my husband in to talk with my son and see how/if he could help him, I chose to patiently wait for a moment to talk with my son about his choice in coping with his stress.

Here’s roughly how the conversation went:

Me acknowledging his normal feelings and his very real circumstances of limited time, lots of work, and complex content to learn. Me pointing out why his choice is ingrained in him and easy to default to. 

Me asking him if his coping strategy that he tried worked for him. Him acknowledging that it truly didn’t but did feel good for a brief moment (dopamine hit). 

Me asking him why he didn’t try the emotion processing technique that I teach. Us talking it through. Ect.

Him concluding that he wants to live a life where the choices he makes serves him. And that his broken stress coping strategy truly doesn’t serve him at all but only builds more anger, frustration, dysfunction, and inability to critically think.

This scenario is ALL of us. All of us are in the process of either living by default (the things learned in childhood) or choosing to learn new ways of living our better, best life.

My friends, it’s easy in the moment to default back to broken habits, unhelpful thoughts, emotion stuffing, and dysfunctional coping mechanisms and strategies. It takes practice, time, and intention to create positive ways of living life in a broken world where we are all faced with various challenges daily.

Let’s choose to acknowledge the life we are living is normal, the emotions we experience are normal, and the ways we choose to react to those things ARE in our ability to process in a healthy way AND to choose how we react and see them.

Let’s choose to practice the emotion processing technique:

  1. Pause and acknowledge that your feelings are neither good nor bad, they simply are normal.
  2. Feel the normal feeling. Acknowledge you are safe feeling any feeling because feelings are normal
  3. Decide whether you want to continue feeling that normal feeling or you want to watch it wash away from your body
  4. Mentally visualize the emotion floating away
  5. Decide on a feeling you want to feel–one that is possible, perhaps a bit of a stretch and then breathe in that feeling, whether it is peaceful resolve, or just a measure of peace, or joy knowing that you are a creative human capable of walking through any circumstance of life
  6. Then choose what your perspective, words, and actions will be towards the circumstance acknowledging that you can’t control others but you can choose your actions, emotions, and words.

Practice it when there isn’t a heightened/elevated emotional response so that it comes more easily when you are in deep need.  And may we all grow more emotionally and mentally resilient and strong. 

Let me know how this works for you this week.

#emotions #emotionprocessing #emotionaloverwhelm #feelings #processingfeelings #feelingfeelings #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #copingtechnique #copingstrategies #perspectiveshift

Author image
About Leah
You've successfully subscribed to Bursting with Blessings
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Bursting with Blessings
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Unable to sign you in. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Error! Billing info update failed.