We all know someone who wears their heart on their sleeve and shares everything (too much information!)

There are also people that we know who can be like a closed book, maybe we’ve always thought of them as aloof or a bit ‘off’

If you’ve never had your emotions explained to you this article explains Five Things Pixar’s film Inside Out Teaches Us About Emotions.

The reality is that everyone processes their emotions differently and this can be down to how we experienced emotions growing up. Perhaps we didn’t have an emotional role model. Someone who showed us how to express and deal with our emotions.

We could have had upsetting experiences, which meant we then bottled up our emotions as a way of dealing with that event and any other emotional event in our lifes.

We can then find as an adult we find it difficult to know what do with our emotions. It’s not that we don’t want to express them. It’s just that we don’t know how.

I know this only too well. I grew up with a mum who had bipolar and was regularly sectioned in to psychiatric care. On top of that my dad was an alcoholic and never really expressed his own emotions, using drink as his way of coping. No-one told me what to do with emotions, so I ended up storing them where no-one could see.

This strategy works fine until they can’t be suppressed anymore and come out in a really unhelpful way or situation. This is ok when you’re a child and you can get away with outbursts. Not so great when you’re an adult and you choose an open plan office to let it all out! Yep, I’ve been there.

It wasn’t until I began working on my own personal development, that I realised that no-one had ever shown me what to do with emotions. I often just thought I was in a bad or low mood and it was often difficult to get out of it.

Holding on to emotions is really unhelpful for our health and wellbeing, they literally get stuck in our bodies festering away. When you learn to recognise when you emotions are out of balance, it can be a huge relief and you can quickly get back to a place of balance and serenity.

7 ways to know your emotions are out of balance

  1. You feel in a bad or low mood, which doesn’t seem to lift. We aren’t programmed to feel negative, but past experiences can resurface at any time. Next time you feel a bit off, you may have triggered an emotional memory.
  2. You notice that you are speaking to yourself in a negative frame of mind. Phrases such as “I’m not good enough” or I’m so stupid”.
  3. You make an irrational decision based on something that someone said or did because of how it made your feel. You felt yourself back in that situation that made you feel the same in the past.
  4. You feel the need to cry, have an emotional outburst or to run away from the situation you are in.
  5. You have physical symptoms, such as pain in your shoulder, back or a persistant headache.
  6. You want to be alone and think that people are against you, because of something someone has said or done.
  7. You feel constantly tired or fatigued, mulling over a certain situation that you can’t seem to resolve.

We are not brought into this world to be unhappy or upset, letting our emotions take over. We are able to manage our emotions successfully on a day to day basis, but we have forgotten how. Our natural state is one of happiness, peace and serenity. Our modern world and sometimes experiences or events that have occured, make this difficult, if not impossible unless you start to take a closer look at your emotions.

Managing your emotional health

  1. Start to get to know your emotions. Notice how you are feeling, what knock on effect that has on your work and life. Have a journal to hand to make a note of how you feel and start to see if there are any patterns.
  2. Let out your emotions, especiallly if this has been difficult in the past. Give yourself a quiet space to have a good cry, give a pillow a good punch or go out into the middle of nowhere and have good shout. Notice how much better you feel afterwards.
  3. Start to manage your emotions in the moment. Accept how you are feeling and acknowledge out loud that you are ok with it. Then be ready to move that emotion to make space for a more positive one. You can do this in your mind or again out loud.
  4. Find time each day to shift emotions that have either come up or been triggered in the day. Taking a few deep breathes, close your eyes and then ask for the emotion to be brought to you that has made you feel…………however it has manifested itself. Be prepared that it may cause an emotional response. Stay calm and breathe it out with a few deep breathes, until you feel like it has moved.
  5. Be kind to yourself, being emotional isn’t a weakness and cleansing emotions are all part of the healing process. You may want to choose your moments for doing this! Not in the middle of a meeting for example.
  6. With practise, you will be able to work through the layers of emotions that have built up over the years. It will take time, again use your journal to take notice of your progress.

It can be very revealing to find the emotions that have made up your personality all these years and to realise in what way they may have been holding you back.

If you have enjoyed this post, you might like 10 Ways to Tackle Imposter Syndrome.

As with anything, if you feel that your health or wellbeing is significantly affecting your ability to cope day to day, then seek medical advice.