Updated: Jun 8
Does it seem like negativity is spreading around you exponentially, and you can’t seem to avoid it? No matter how you try to protect your energy, you seem to keep falling into a cycle of despair?
You’re not alone.
Did you know that there are 27 distinct emotions that we experience? : admiration, adoration, aesthetic appreciation, amusement, anger, anxiety, awe, awkwardness, boredom, calmness, confusion, craving, disgust, empathic pain, entrancement, excitement, fear, horror, interest, joy, nostalgia, relief, romance, sadness, satisfaction, sexual desire, and surprise.
Some emotions seem to be more socially acceptable than others, not to mention additional nuanced systemic variables including race, gender, socioeconomic status, and age.
How many times do you hear people say, “don’t cry” or “don’t be sad”? Or how many times do you feel guilty about your emotions? That’s almost like telling someone to stop being human.
It’s OK to feel what you feel. In fact, many psychological conditions occur because we hide or stuff away feelings.
Emotions are meant to be felt
We all go through days of feeling down, upset, sad, and irritable where it seems like everything that can go wrong, does.
Our brains are wired to focus on what’s wrong as it serves to reconcile errors by believing it will help keep us alive. Remember, the brain’s primary function is survival. This feature of our brain becomes more powerful during and after stress and trauma.
Having this awareness can remind you that these emotions are necessary, but usually temporary. It’s OK to give yourself time to feel what you need. Allowing yourself time and space to fully experience your emotions is healthy. But there are a few things that can help regulate our emotions:
EAT BALANCED MEALS: allow yourself to enjoy your food, but self care is not self indulgent. You can choose foods to NOURISH your body and cells with micronutrients to keep your brain and nervous system healthy and powerful. Get your greens in!
EXERCISE: Exercise is an excellent tool to manage difficult emotions. Move your body in whatever way feels good. This could include stretching, dancing, yoga, walking, and strength training.
MEDITATE/QUIET TIME: A personal favorite thing to do when I’m alone. Several studies have demonstrated positive results from mindfulness meditation. Meditation increases activity in the prefrontal cortex (thinking/planning), right anterior insula (emotional identification/regulation), and right hippocampus (memory). When these areas are stimulated through mindfulness, the immune system functions more effectively and can boost immunity via the gut microbiota.
SLEEP: Sleep is a restorative process that is important for the proper functioning of mood, memory, and immunity, among other functions. Sleep loss increases the production and release of sleep regulatory pro-inflammatory molecules and can increase risk for a number of chronic diseases. Having a regularly structured sleep schedule and sleep hygiene has tremendous advantages in our waking life.
LOL-yes! Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. It also activates and relieves your stress response, stimulates circulation and aids muscle relaxation, which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress. So get in some comedy movies, crack some jokes & chill.
If you feel like unpleasant emotions are persisting over several weeks, it might be a good idea to seek professional help. Suffering alone is not necessary. Send me a message if you need additional support.
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