I feel emotions quite intensely, which allows me to empathise with a range of people. However, quite often I can feel overwhelmed with emotions which is a sign that things might not be going well for me.
Sometimes I might feel extremely anxious, angry, guilty or irritable. I have a bad habit of trying to distract myself and keep busy in order to avoid accepting I am overwhelmed. It’s like I think it will eventually go away, and sometimes it does but a lot of the time it just manifests itself under the surface and ultimately makes me feel even worse.
Over many years with experience and therapy, I have identified some ways to help ease myself when feeling overwhelmed. It takes practice but I wanted to share with you some things I have learnt!
- Stop and accept that you are currently feeling overwhelmed. Even if you do not know why yet, tell yourself you are feeling a lot right now.
- Try to identify what you are feeling. Is it guilt? Anger? Sadness?
- Then explore why this is. What are you feeling guilty about? Why do you feel angry? Did something upset you?
- Is there anything I can do to help the situation? What will help me feel calmer?
Accept that you cannot stop emotions. It’s like trying to force a river to stop – it will just find another route around. So if you cannot do anything about the situation, let yourself feel the emotions. Let yourself be angry, but only for a certain amount of time and then move on. Sometimes venting to someone can help with this. See our ‘Need Help?’ page for some helplines.
On an ending note, I just want you to know that it is not a flaw to feel things intensely. It can be painful at times, but also has many advantages.