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How to deal with Emotions

PEACE with Anxiety Podcast Episode 15

Ep 15: How to deal with Emotions

This week, we are diving into the essential skill of emotional awareness and healthy coping strategies. Join me as we explore practical steps to identify, understand, and respond to our emotions in healthier ways. Discover how tuning into our feelings can enhance emotional awareness, reduce stress, and cultivate resilience. Learn valuable insights and actionable tips to navigate life's challenges with intention and authenticity. Tune in to empower yourself with the tools to thrive beyond anxiety through emotional well-being.


Listen as I talk about:

  • Emotional identification - "What am I feeling?"

  • Understanding triggers - "What caused those feelings?"

  • Thoughtful response - "What do I want to do about these feelings?" 

  • Cognitive reframing - "Is there another way I can view the situation?"

  • Healthy coping strategies - "How can I cope with these emotions in a healthy way?"

Make sure to bring your paper and pen because this episode is full of actionable strategies!


Click play to listen below:



5 Steps to deal with your Emotions

Step 1: "What am I feeling?"

Imagine you're at your desk, working on a project, when suddenly you start to feel a tightness in your chest and a sense of restlessness. Your mind begins to race, but you're not quite sure what's causing this discomfort. At this moment, practising emotional identification can be incredibly valuable. Here are some tips to help you tune into your feelings:

Tip 1: Pause and Check In Take a moment to pause what you're doing. Close your eyes if it helps, and bring your attention inward. Notice any physical sensations in your body—like tension, butterflies in your stomach, or a racing heartbeat. These physical cues can often signal underlying emotions.
Tip 2: Name Your Emotions Once you've identified the physical sensations, try to put words to what you're feeling. Are you experiencing frustration, overwhelm, excitement, anxiety, or something else? Don't judge the emotions—simply acknowledge them as they are.
Tip 3: Practice Mindfulness Engage in a brief mindfulness exercise to deepen your awareness of emotions. Focus on your breath, allowing it to guide you into the present moment. As thoughts and feelings arise, observe them without attachment, like clouds passing through the sky.

Step 2: "What caused these feelings?"
Emotions often have underlying causes—events, situations, or thoughts that trigger specific emotional reactions within us. Understanding these triggers is key to managing emotions effectively.

Tip 1: Reflect on Recent Events Take a moment to reflect on what happened just before you started experiencing strong emotions. Was there a particular conversation, interaction, or event that preceded your feelings? Identifying the immediate trigger can offer valuable insights into your emotional landscape.
Tip 2: Explore Underlying Patterns Notice if there are recurring themes or situations that consistently evoke similar emotional responses. For example, certain types of feedback at work conflicts with specific individuals, or reminders of past experiences may serve as common triggers.
Tip 3: Journaling Exercise Journal about recent emotional experiences, focusing on the context surrounding each event. Ask yourself: "What was happening just before I felt this way?" or "Have I felt similar emotions in the past?"

Step 3: "What do I want to do about these feelings?"

Our responses to emotions can either be impulsive or thoughtful. Choosing thoughtful responses empowers us to navigate emotions with clarity and intention.


Tip 1: Pause and Breathe Create space between the initial feeling and your response. Take slow, deep breaths to calm your nervous system and gain perspective. This pause prevents impulsive reactions and allows for reasoned choices.
Tip 2: Practice Emotional Regulation Engage in activities like meditation, yoga, or mindful movement to enhance self-awareness and manage intense emotions effectively.
Tip 3: Consider the Consequences Before acting on your emotions, consider the potential outcomes of different responses. Ask yourself: "What might happen if I react impulsively?" versus "How can I respond in a way that aligns with my values and goals?"

Step 4: "Is there another way I can view the situation?"

Cognitive reframing involves challenging automatic negative thoughts and adopting alternative perspectives to promote resilience and problem-solving.


Tip 1: Identify Automatic Thoughts Become aware of automatic negative thoughts that arise in response to challenging situations. Challenge them by asking: "Is there evidence to support this thought?" or "What other perspectives are possible?"

Tip 2: Explore Alternative Views Consider alternative interpretations of the situation. Reframe setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning rather than failures.


Step 5: "How can I deal with these emotions in a healthy way?"

Healthy coping strategies are essential for maintaining emotional balance and well-being.


Tip 1: Mindfulness Practices Engage in mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, or body scans to cultivate present-moment awareness and reduce stress.

Tip 2: Physical Activities Regular exercise like walking, yoga, or dancing releases tension and boosts mood.

Tip 3: Creative Outlets Express yourself through painting, writing, or playing music to process emotions and foster self-expression.

Tip 4: Social Support Networks Nurture meaningful connections with friends, family, or support groups to share feelings and gain perspective.

Tip 5: Self-Care Practices Prioritize self-care rituals like relaxing baths, self-compassion, or engaging in hobbies that bring joy.


Need more anxiety support with How to deal with emotions?


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Full Transcript


Hello everyone and welcome to episode 15 of the PEACE with Anxiety Podcast,  where we dive deep into topics that empower you to thrive beyond anxiety. Today, we're exploring a fundamental aspect of our human experience: Our emotions.

And emotions are like the vibrant colours that paint our lives, influencing our thoughts, our actions, and our relationships. However, many of us are struggling to truly understand its patterns or purpose.

And think about it, if you're driving a car, and suddenly, a warning light blinks on the dashboard. What do you do? Do you just ignore it or cover it up; no, you acknowledge it as a signal that something needs attention under the hood. And, our emotions are like those dashboard lights—they're messages from within, asking us to pay attention and take action. And, when we suppress or ignore our emotions, they do not just simply disappear. Instead, they can manifest in subtle ways—through stress, tension, headaches or even affecting our relationships. 

So, Why does emotional awareness matter? It's not just about feeling good; it's about living well. Research has shown that those who are emotionally aware tend to have healthier relationships because by recognising our own emotions, we become better attuned to the feelings of others. It also empowers us to make better conscious choices because Instead of reacting impulsively to emotions, we can respond thoughtfully, considering the broader impact of our actions. And of course, emotional awareness allows us to navigate life’s challenges more gracefully. Because when we can identify and name our feelings—whether it's joy, anger, sadness, or fear—we gain clarity and insight into our inner world and we are better able to take care of ourselves. So, that’s today’s topic. We will explore 5 practical steps to identify, understand, and respond to our emotions in a healthy way, to increase emotional awareness and cultivate healthier responses to our feelings. Because when we tune into our emotions, we gain invaluable insights into ourselves and unlock the door to greater well-being.

So here are the 5 steps that we are going to cover today. Step 1 is emotional identification, step 2 is understanding triggers, step 3 is thoughtful response, step 4 is cognitive reframing, and step 5 is healthy coping strategies. 

Okay so let’s start with step 1. So the first question we need to ask ourselves is, "What am I feeling?". So, imagine this scenario: You're sitting at your desk, working on something, when suddenly you start to feel a tightness in your chest and a sense of restlessness. Your mind begins to race, but you're not quite sure what's causing this discomfort. In this moment, practising emotional identification can be incredibly valuable. Here are some tips to help you tune into your feelings: First, Pause and Check-In. Take a moment to pause what you're doing. Close your eyes if it helps, and bring your attention inward. Notice any physical sensations in your body—like tension, butterflies in your stomach, or a racing heartbeat. These physical signs can often indicate underlying emotions. Next, Once you've identified the physical sensations, try to put words to what you're feeling. So name your emotions. Are you experiencing frustration, overwhelm, excitement, anxiety, or something else? And don't judge the emotions—simply acknowledge them as they are. Finally, Engage in a brief mindfulness exercise to deepen your awareness of emotions. So focus on your breath, allowing it to guide you into the present moment. And thoughts and feelings will come up, but simply observe them without attachment, and let them go. Okay, so let’s go back to our little scenario. As you pause and check in with yourself, you notice the tightness in your chest and the restlessness. Taking a few deep breaths, you realize that beneath the surface, you're feeling anxious about a meeting or a deadline that you have. And by acknowledging this anxiety and labelling it as such, you gain clarity and self-awareness. This simple act of emotional identification not only reduces immediate stress but also empowers you to address the underlying cause of your discomfort. So here are the benefits of doing this first step. Recognizing and naming your emotions extend far beyond this moment. When you do this frequently you will be able to reduce stress and anxiety by addressing emotions at their core. You will increase self-awareness and emotional intelligence, leading to better decision-making and healthier relationships, like we mentioned before, and very importantly you will develop a deeper sense of connection with yourself and others.

Alright let’s move on to step 2, and the question now is: "What caused those feelings?". Now Emotions are not random; You don’t just get emotions. Emotions are often responses to specific triggers—like events, situations, or thoughts that trigger specific emotional reactions within us. That is why we need to understand these triggers in order to manage emotions more effectively. You can do this by first, taking a moment to reflect on what happened just before you started experiencing those emotions. Was there a particular conversation, interaction, or event that preceded your feelings? Then, notice if there are recurring themes or situations that consistently evoke the same emotional response. For example, certain types of feedback or comments at work or home, conflicts with specific people, or reminders of past experiences may serve as common triggers. And finally, write down everything you came up with, write them all down, Journal about the recent emotional experience, focusing on the context surrounding the event. Ask yourself: "What was happening just before I felt this way?" or "Have I felt similar emotions in the past?" Here’s an example of this step in real life. Imagine you're at a social event, and someone makes a dismissive or negative comment about what you said during a group discussion. Now, suddenly, you feel a great wave of insecurity and frustration wash over you. But upon reflecting on this situation, you realize that criticism, especially in public settings, triggers deep-seated feelings of inadequacy that is rooted in your childhood experiences. And this helps you understand why this particular comment at that particular time and place had such a strong impact on your emotions. So here are the benefits of the second step. By identifying and understanding emotional triggers, you: Gain clarity on the root causes of your emotional responses. You also become more proactive in managing triggering situations and reducing emotional reactivity. And finally, you can develop greater self-awareness and emotional resilience, that will enable you to navigate those challenges or triggers more effectively.

Now step 3, the question now is: "What do I want to do about these feelings?" Emotions often prompt us to take immediate action, but reacting impulsively can lead to unintended consequences. By pausing to reflect on our feelings and choosing a thoughtful response, we are empowered to navigate emotions with greater clarity and intention. And here’s how, First, create space between the initial feeling and your response. Take slow, deep breaths to calm your nervous system and gain perspective. So basically, pause and breath. This simple pause can prevent impulsive reactions and allows for more reasoned choices. Then, practice emotional regulation by engaging in activities like meditation, yoga, or mindful movement to enhance self-awareness and manage intense emotions effectively. Now finally, before acting on your emotions, consider the potential outcomes of different responses. Ask yourself: "What might happen if I react impulsively?" or "How can I respond in a way that aligns with my values and goals?" Let’s take another look at our previous example. So you're at a social event, and someone makes a dismissive or negative comment about what you said that in this case may have triggered feelings of defensiveness or anger. Instead of immediately lashing out or shutting down, you take a breath and remind yourself of your relationship with that person. By pausing to reflect on the situation, you recognize that responding defensively may strain your relationship with them and cause a rift. In that moment you may not know if that person’s comment was aimed to hurt you or even if they realize that it might have been hurtful to you. So instead, you choose to express curiosity and openness and seek to understand their comment and its purpose. So here are the benefits of Step 3. By prioritizing thoughtful responses over impulsive reactions, you: ensure your relationships are based on empathy and mutual respect. You increase your emotional self-control and reduce stress and conflict by approaching challenging situations with intention and mindfulness.

Now for our step 4, the question now is: "Is there another way I can view the situation?" Our initial reactions to situations are often influenced by automatic thoughts and deep-rooted ingrained beliefs. And cognitive reframing involves challenging these automatic thoughts and exploring alternative perspectives to promote emotional resilience and problem-solving. So cognitive reframing is a powerful technique that involves shifting our thoughts and interpretations of a situation to create a more balanced and constructive outlook. And here’s how you can do this. First, be aware of automatic negative thoughts that arise in response to challenging situations. And some examples could be catastrophizing like "This is a disaster!" or black-and-white thinking like "I always fail". Now once you recognise these thoughts, challenge them by asking: "Is there evidence to support this thought?" or "What other perspectives or interpretations are possible?". And finally, consider alternative interpretations of the situation. For instance, instead of viewing a setback as a failure, reframe it as an opportunity for growth and learning. Okay so back to our example, you made a comment in front of your friends or family that was met with a dismissive or negative comment from someone else. Your initial reaction is one of embarrassment and self-doubt, thinking, "Maybe I shouldn't have spoken up; they must think my ideas are worthless." Now instead of allowing these negative thoughts to take hold, challenge them by asking yourself: "Was my idea or opinion valid from my perspective?", "Is it possible that the other person misunderstood or has a different viewpoint?" When you reframe the situation, you shift from self-doubt to a more objective perspective. You realize that everyone has different opinions and interpretations, and the comment may reflect the other person's perspective rather than a judgment on your worth or opinion. So here are the benefits of step 4. By practising cognitive reframing, you cultivate emotional resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges. You enhance problem-solving skills by considering diverse perspectives and creating solutions. And you improve self-esteem and reduce negative self-talk, creating a more positive and empowering mindset.

Now step 5, the question now is "How can I cope with these emotions in a healthy way?" And learning to cope with emotions in a healthy manner is essential for maintaining emotional balance and reducing anxiety. By adopting a variety of coping strategies, you can build resilience and navigate any challenge with greater ease. And here are a few strategies that can help you create a personalised coping toolbox that works best for you and can be tailored to your needs and preferences. So strategy number 1 is Mindfulness Practices.

Engage in mindfulness meditation, or deep breathing exercises, or body scans to cultivate present-moment awareness and reduce stress.

Number 2: Physical Activities. Regular exercise like walking, running, or strength training can release tension and boost your mood. Number  3: Social Support system. Create and nurture meaningful connections with friends, family, or support groups to share feelings and gain a different perspective. And finally strategy number 4: Self-Care Practices. Prioritize self-care rituals like relaxing baths, self-compassion exercises, or engaging in hobbies that bring joy. Okay, let me give you one final example. Imagine feeling overwhelmed by stress. Instead of resorting to unhealthy coping habits like excessive caffeine, or alcohol consumption or procrastination, you decide to introduce healthier strategies. Maybe you start practising mindfulness during in the morning as you brush your teeth, focusing on the sensations of the brush and relaxing your body. After work, you go for a walk or to the gym to release tension and reconnect with your breath. Or you might schedule a coffee chat with a close friend to share your feelings and just reconnect with them. 

Okay, so because i know that was a lot to take in, here are the key takeaways. First up, Emotional Identification: Take time to pause, reflect, and name your emotions without judgment. Second, Understanding Triggers: Explore the underlying causes of emotions to enhance self-awareness and proactive responses. Third, Thoughtful Response: Choose intentional actions over impulsive reactions, considering the potential consequences. Fourth, Cognitive Reframing: Challenge automatic negative thoughts and adopt alternative perspectives to foster resilience and problem-solving. And finally fifth, Healthy Coping Strategies: Embrace mindfulness, physical activities, and social support as tools for emotional well-being.

And now i want to encourage to do more than just listen to this episode, i want to invite you to take actionable steps toward using these strategies into your daily life: So, try a mindfulness exercise today, such as a guided meditation or a deep breathing technique. You can download my free guided meditation to relieve anxiety in just under 10 minutes. You can find the link in the show notes.  You can also reflect on your emotional triggers through journaling and identify patterns that influence your reactions. Or you may decide to set goals for adopting healthy coping habits, whether it's incorporating regular exercise or scheduling time for self-care rituals.

Embracing emotions and practising healthy coping isn't just about feeling good—it's about living authentically and cultivating inner strength and confidence. When you invest in emotional awareness and self-care, you pave the way for greater resilience, improved relationships, and enhanced overall well-being. And this journey is unique to you. So explore, experiment, and celebrate your progress along the way. So thank you for joining me today. Until next time, take care and be kind to yourselves. 

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