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How to Process Difficult Emotions in Your Body

Updated: Aug 23

Feelings accompany our thoughts and are sometimes quickly triggered by memories.

Difficult feelings like anger, disappointment, embarrassment, frustration, helplessness, sadness, shame, and vulnerability can be difficult to manage when they show up. It’s important to identify what you are feeling by labeling it. For example, “I’m feeling sad right now.”

It takes about 90 seconds (not minutes) for the biochemicals to release from your brain into your body. It’s like a wave, and you’ll have physical sensations. In fact, we often identify our feelings by what we are experiencing in our bodies. Different emotions feel differently physically.

Just like a wave in the ocean, it crests and falls. If it sustains over time, it’s because you are continuing to think about what triggered the emotion.

To help yourself through, identify the emotion, put your hand over your heart, breathe, and allow it to occur. Be kind to yourself in the midst of riding the wave. Feel it, and remind yourself that you are human and it’s a common experience. It will pass quicker when you do.

Emotions are energy states that reflect our thoughts and experiences.

We are made in the image of God. He showed His emotions as a model for us. They are part of the human experience.

So why are we so often uncomfortable with expressing our feelings or experiencing the feelings of others? Where did we get the idea that sharing or expressing our deeper feelings is a sign of weakness? And why are we so hard on ourselves when we get “emotional”?

What if instead we appreciated that God gave us our feelings (even the difficult ones) for a purpose?

They help us interpret and process our experiences so that we can heal and be whole. They give us clues about our thoughts and what matters to us. They give us information about what we may need to do or say to better take care of ourselves and create more transparency in our relationships.

If you are going through a sustained period of being overcome by difficult emotions, it can be helpful to share what you are going through with a supportive person, life coach, or therapist.

Let’s stop ignoring, suppressing or even apologizing for our feelings and simply accept them for the information they provide. Attending to your own emotions (and those of others) is on the path to living abundantly.

If you are ready to process through your difficult emotions and live a life full of abundance, schedule a free call HERE to see if 1:1 coaching is the right answer for you.

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Dr. Richelle Hoekstra-Anderson is an Abundant Life and Business Coach. Her coaching utilizes a variety of tools to help you gain clarity on how you are designed for significance. When you come to understand and appreciate your unique design, you create the mindset to help you meet current challenges and live an abundant life. Ultimately, you gain new insight and learn the skills needed to create a confident life of peace, balance, and joy.

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