Processing Our Emotions – Step 1: Open up & Normalize

Allow emotions

Typically we either ignore our emotions, push them away or are consumed by them (even wallowing in a pity party). Instead try facing them head on with open arms. Approach your emotions with curiosity & compassion. Make room for them.

When we open up to them with curiosity and compassion, the next thing we can do in processing them is to Normalize our emotions: Excitement, Joy, Anger, Sadness, Frustration, Respected, Grief, Fear, Disappointment, Hopeful, Trusting, and Loving…to name a few.

Think back on different situations when you felt frustrated or afraid, with a tightening in your chest or maybe a pit in your stomach. 

Maybe it’s a child whose struggling, an ever-waning savings account, or a dull ache in your leg that you worry is a symptom of something bigger.

Do you try to avoid it or push it away? Do you get angry? Are you letting how you think and feel—“I’m scared and want this to go away”—dictate what you say and do?

After normalizing your emotions and understanding why you might be feeling the way you do, press pause to center yourself. Come back to the present by taking a few deep breaths, placing your hand to your heart. 

Notice some things around you generally and in detail. Look around the room and notice a photo or print on the wall, the sofa, a table and then what’s on the table, look at it very closely. Look at the colors and patterns on the pillows on a chair or sofa.

Tell yourself, “I’m here and I’m safe.” It will help you gain some clarity, and come from a place of love and compassion for yourself rather than judgment or fear.

In the hypothetical situations above, this could mean an honest family conversation, a meeting with a financial planner, or an appointment with your doctor.

Slowing down and normalizing our emotions leads to accepting and understanding them. When we take the time to listen and learn from our emotions, they can help us move forward aligned with our values.

We’ll talk more about our emotions, but this coming week practice facing and embracing your emotions with curiosity and compassion. Remember to take a few deep breaths and place your hand to your heart, reassuring yourself you’re safe. Above all, drop the judgment and enjoy being a human!

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