Processing Negative Emotions
Most people don’t know how to handle negative emotions–we either try to resist them or avoid them entirely.
It’s never been easier to avoid your feelings than it is today. Social media, YouTube, video games, Netflix, junk food, and online shopping all make it incredibly easy to escape from your emotions.
But you can only avoid them for so long. Eventually those negative feelings will find you. And resisting them only makes them stronger and last longer.
So what is an effective coping strategy? The next time a negative emotion arises in you focus on just really feeling it. How do you do that, you ask?
First, relax your body and breathe.
Next, name the emotion and give yourself permission to feel it.
Then, get into your body. Locate the physical sensation that emotion causes. Where is it? What does it feel like? Is it tight? Hot? Empty? Tingly? How would you describe it to someone who has never felt that way before?
Then just sit with it for as long as it takes to subside.
You might be surprised at just how quickly the emotion passes once you have given yourself permission to feel it and really be present with it.
Once you’ve seen that this method for emotional processing works for you, try introducing it to your teen.
The teen years are charged with emotion. Whether it’s stress, overwhelm, worry, frustration, anger, or even just boredom. Knowing how to process these emotions instead of wallow in them or act out on them will help your teen immensely, both now and throughout their life.