There are times in life when we get overwhelmed by our emotions – anger, hurt, sadness, shame, guilt, rage, desperation, terror. They seem to be so powerful and overwhelming that they control us instead of the other way around. They monopolize all our thoughts and energies, not allowing us to focus on anything else. We cannot calm down, we are irritable. Are we losing our mind? No matter what we say to ourselves, it doesn’t seem to help. It feels as though the logical part of our brain is not getting through the emotional one, no matter how hard we try.

We have all experienced times like these, at one point or another in our lives. When they happen, should we ignore our emotions and pretend they are not there, or should we face them? What can we do to feel better?
There is actually a lot you can do to feel better. First of all, in general the sicker we are the less aware we are of our problems. So, if you KNOW that there may be something wrong about how you feel, you can do a lot to help yourself. And here are some ways of addressing the issues;

1. Find a safe person to talk about your how you feel. Often it is not the feelings that scare us but being alone and vulnerable in dealing with them. People we trust can provide the reassurance, support, empathy and the encouragement we need to get through these rough patches. This safe person can be a family member, a love partner, a friend or someone else we trust.

2. Don’t be judgmental of your feelings. Emotions are responses to internal or external triggers. They are neither good not bad, neither right nor wrong, neither healthy nor dysfunctional. They just are. They tell us something important that matters to us, so we need to pay attention to them.

3. Try to stay calm and remind yourself this won’t last forever. At times we may be afraid to acknowledge and express our feelings because we fear they will get us even more out of control and further overwhelm us. In reality, they can become a much bigger problem if we DON’T acknowledge and face them. The calmer we stay, the better we will manage them. And when we face them, we often discover that they are not as scary as we previously thought.

4. Put your emotions in context. As we said earlier, emotions don’t develop out of thin air, but are reactions to situations, people or events that affect us. As such, they give us a lot of valuable information about our reactions and our level of comfort or discomfort, as well as about our strategies and resources. This knowledge increases our self-awareness and makes us more prepared to deal with emotional challenges now and in the future.

5. If nothing else works, seek professional help. You may suffer from depression, anxiety, panic disorder, or other psychological problems that need to be treated.

Professionals in the mental health field – psychotherapists, counselors, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses - can provide the reassurance, knowledgeable guidance, and understanding of issues, as well as support and the creation of a safe space in which you can explore and process your feelings. After all, if you don’t hesitate to seek professional help for medical problems, why wouldn’t you do the same for emotional ones? It is true that, despite having achieved some progress toward de-stigmatizing mental illness, unfortunately, there is still shame associated with emotional problems and often a lot of fear. However, the sooner you face your emotions, the sooner you will feel better and back in control.

Author's Bio: 

Daniela Roher, PhD BIOGRAPHY

Daniela Roher, PhD is a psychotherapist in private practice with offices in Carefree, AZ and in Scottsdale, AZ. Daniela has worked in this field helping individuals and couples better understand their emotions and teaching them how to manage and regulate them, without letting them get overwhelming or frightening. She has been in this profession for over thirty years, both in Europe and the U.S. Aside from her reputation as a clinician, Daniela has developed a national reputation with her blog.