Let's start caring for your emotions!
Tune in and join me as I chat about how to understand and manage your emotions.
I'm an emotional health mentor, edu-preneur and coach who loves teaching you how to understand, manage and embrace your emotions.
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Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Hey friends, welcome to the second episode of Time to Feel. I’m your hostess, Holly Soulié. And today we’re going to talk about how to process your emotions in 3 steps.
Before we dive in, I want to start with a disclaimer. Processing your emotions isn’t for everyone, so please check with a medical professional to see if it’s ok for you.
Now, let’s get into it!
So, for me, I kind of bumped into processing my emotions on my own. Let me tell you about it.
When I was 23, I moved by myself across the country to Asheville, North Carolina. I was on a mission to get to know who I really was. I had just left Mormonism, and wanted to know who I was out of the context I had always known.
I got the cutest little studio apartment – and for the first – and only time ever – I lived alone.
Well, actually, I wasn’t completely alone. I adopted my cat named Valentin. And it was just the two of us in that little corner apartment, with worn out hardwood floors, and a blue tiled fireplace.
I loved that place so much. It became a haven for me to explore myself and who I was becoming.
So, when I had a hard day at work, or was upset, or homesick, I wanted to know WHY. Like, why was I feeling so many emotions? What did that mean for me? I would pour myself into my journal and write out everything I was feeling.
And, as you might remember from last time, I totally shoved my emotions down for my entire life up until that point.
So, investigating my feelings was something very new for me. And the more I started paying attention to my emotions, the better I began to know myself. It helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin, more at peace.
And I loved how that felt, so I wanted to do it as much as I could.
So, what does it mean to process your emotions?
Basically, it’s when you take the feedback that your emotions are trying to give you, and break it down into digestible pieces of information that you can understand and do something about.
It also decreases your stress to break down your feelings. Esther Perel is one of my favorite therapists. And something she always says is that it’s stress-relieving to name your own emotions.
If you can get past the initial layer of saying, ‘I’m stressed,’ or ‘I’m anxious,’ and go beneath what that actually means, you decrease your stress. Then, it empowers you to better figure out strategies to help yourself feel better.
So, for instance, if you’re upset by something but you’re not sure exactly what you’re feeling or why, you could sit down with yourself and try to figure that out.
So, now I’ll share with you my formula for how to process your emotions in 3 steps.
Step #1 is to write out the who, what, when and why of your upsetting emotion. Basically, that means writing down the entire situation in as much detail as possible.
So, you’d write out WHO is involved in your upsetting emotion. Is it just you? Is it your boss, your spouse, your in-law? Write out who is upsetting you in the particular instance.
Then you’d write out WHAT about the situation is upsetting you. Are you upset because you got passed up for a promotion, because you feel like someone is taking advantage of you, or because you can’t find motivation? Whatever is upsetting you, try to name describe it.
And if you aren’t sure about what’s bothering you, ask yourself what it MIGHT be about. If you DID know what was upsetting you, what would that be?
So, step one is to write about what happened, who was involved and why it upsets you.
Then the second step is to detail how that makes you feel. When my boss passed me up for a promotion, it made me feel angry, it made me feel invisible, it made me feel like I don’t matter.
Or, when my in-law ignores my calls, it makes me feel frustrated, confused or powerless.
Or if the upset is with yourself, you’d say, it makes me feel depressed when I can’t find motivation. And that makes me feel sad, hopeless and small.
Just keep writing out all the anger, all the upset, all the frustration.
So, step two is to write out all the emotions that come up for you.
Then the last step is to decide what you want to do about the situation so that you feel resolved.
Now, that could mean a lot of things. In the situation where you got passed up for a promotion, what do you need to do to help yourself feel resolved?
Does that mean you need to speak to your boss about it? Or does it mean that you need to just feel all the frustration and simply let the feeling pass? Or does it mean you want to get some more training to up your game at work?
In our example with your in-law who ignores your calls, how could you help yourself get resolved? Does it mean you need to contact them some other way like by writing them an email? Or does it mean that you need to have your spouse step in and contact them for you? Maybe you need to assert yourself with them and verbalize a boundary by saying, hey it doesn’t work for me when you ghost me. How can be get better communication channels between us?
In the example when you’re upset with yourself because you can’t seem to find motivation, what could you do to help yourself feel resolved? Maybe you need to reach out and get support from a loved one, or a therapist. Or maybe it means you need to forgive yourself for not having motivation, and allow the frustration to pass.
However you decide to help yourself feel better is up to you. And there’s no magic formula or right answer. It’s all about checking in with yourself to explore what would bring you emotional resolution in the upsetting situation.
So to recap, the three steps to process your emotions are 1- to write out everything about the upsetting situation. 2- to write out how it makes you feel. Then 3- to decide what – if anything – you want to do about the situation to bring about emotional resolution.
Personally, I find it so exciting that your emotions help guide you forward. The more you tune into what they’re telling you, the better you get to know yourself.
So, that’s all for this week’s episode! Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time!
If you enjoyed today’s podcast, join the Feel and Heal Crew. It’s a monthly membership where I, Holly Soulié, provide you with resources and live trainings on how to improve your emotional health, with other kind and like-minded community members. It’s a private, safe space, and we’d love for you to join. Visit hollysoulie.com/membership for more info and to sign up today.