Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Rage. Confusion.
These are powerful emotions that can quickly distort our perception when we let them take over. Even the way we speak about these emotions can reveal just how much they can change the way we see things:
“I fell into a deep depression,” “I saw red,” “I had an anxiety attack,” etc.
When our emotions spiral out of control, they completely warp what we see and can make it exceptionally difficult for us to make sound decisions. For example, if you’re wondering what direction you’d like to take in your life but feel depressed because of your current situation, how could you possibly find your answer? Or, if you’re in the heat of an argument, how can you find a resolution when you and your partner are in a “blind rage”?
In order to achieve clarity, we must be able to see things as they truly are without the distortion of powerful emotions.
Even feelings like infatuation and excitement can distort our judgement. How many times have you felt overly excited and jumped too quickly into a situation that didn’t turn out well? Or spent money on an “impulse buy” in a lineup at a store that you regretted later? Or kept yourself in a toxic relationship because you were infatuated with the person?
If we look at emotions like infatuation, excitement, and overjoy as “peaks” and depression, anxiety, and anger as “dips,” then we must aim to be somewhere in the middle if we’re going to make sound decisions. When we are clearheaded, we can weigh the pros and cons, see where our intuition naturally guides us, look at the bigger picture, and move forward from there.
One of my favorite ways to gain emotional balance is through meditation. I find that when I focus on even the sound of my breath for a few minutes, I can bring myself out of an emotional “peak” or “dip” and back into balance. The greater the emotion, the more time it takes. If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, check out the video below. It’s a guided meditation that I created specifically for emotional balance, aimed at bringing you to your center and releasing stress in just a few minutes. Click below:
Talking to a Trusted Friend
Another way to bring yourself back into emotional balance is to speak with a trusted and impartial friend. If you have someone in your life that isn’t afraid to challenge your beliefs, listen to your feelings, and offer advice, use them as a resource and talk to them.
Friends can really help us find our centers. A word of caution here: I wouldn’t advise speaking with someone that you know is going to feed into your emotion and get you wound up. The point here is to speak to someone who can move you past your emotions so you can find clarity and a solution, not amplify the distortion.
Exercise is an amazing way to channel stagnant or intense energy into something productive. Even though movement might be the hardest thing to imagine doing if you’re feeling depressed, make the effort. Go for a walk outside, swim, do yoga or qi gong — anything that will get your energy moving. It makes a world of difference.
Channel your feelings into your art. Do something with the intense emotional energy that you’ve created; anger can be powerful. Channel that anger into a picture, make an interesting meal, write a song or a story, sing or dance. We’re all artists. If you’re feeling angry, get out a pen and paper and draw your anger.
If you’re feeling sad, create a song that sounds how you feel.
You don’t have to share your work if you don’t want to. Just get the feelings out of you and into a piece of art.
You Are Not Alone
Sometimes just knowing that other people feel the same way as you do can make a big difference. As humans, we’re born with a complex set of emotions that we need to navigate on a daily basis. We all have felt depression, anxiety, anger, fear, and frustration. The world isn’t going to end. If you find that the emotion you’re feeling is chronic, speak to a counsellor, or to someone who knows what you feel like and has successfully moved past it. Reach out to someone!
The key is to learn to surf these emotions like you’d surf a wave; don’t fight them. If you’re feeling emotionally intense, just let yourself be. I fell into the trap of fighting my emotions and let me tell you, you’ll never win. You just end up suppressing them or amplifying them. Use the energy that you’ve created by doing any of the steps above. Surf that wave.
Even though our feelings can seem like a nuisance or a burden at times, they are there for a reason. They are ultimately pointing you in a direction that you need to grow in. If you’re feeling unhappy, jealous, sad, angry, or lost it’s because something needs to change. You can find out more about how you can shift the situation when you bring yourself back to your center. When you live life through your center point, you keep your eyes fixed on your truth, make better decisions, and build your intuition.
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