Growing up, I had absolutely no idea I possessed a higher emotional capacity than most people. I had no idea I was hypersensitive to not only my own emotions but to other people’s emotions, and that I was so emotionally intelligent. I truly thought I was just like everyone else, only crazy. Combine those traits with hormones and it can be an absolute debilitating nightmare. I would get such incredibly large waves of emotions that it would take me days to recover from them. It would interfere with my work and school life on a very large level. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten to know myself better and I’ve embraced the traits that make me special no matter how difficult it is to live with them. Here is what I have learned along the way (through extreme trial and error) as to how to control the massive waves of emotion when they rise up.
If I could include meditation on every single list I post, I absolutely would. I don’t think people understand the magnitude at which meditation changes lives. I can say, without a doubt, that meditation has been the complete saving grace in terms of my emotional control. When you are over-emotional, or experience emotions on a higher level than most people, you absolutely need to make meditation a priority. It takes an incredible amount of discipline but my life has completely changed for the better because of it. Before I meditated, I would cry at work, isolate myself, and just shut down. After, I’ve felt like I could handle more because meditation has given me so much control over my own emotions. Unfortunately, this is something that I can’t explain in words fully; it must be experienced. But I can say with 100% certainty that it works for me!
There was a point in my life before I meditated regularly when I tried to regulate my emotions. Whenever I would feel a level 10+ emotion I would splatter, lose control, and start spiraling. Part of this is because I would never understand why I was so upset. To me, my emotions felt completely random. I started doing this because a good friend suggested it and it really helped. I started keeping an emotional control journal. Every time I would feel an extreme emotion, I would go to my journal and write down what emotion I was feeling, what caused the emotion, and I started asking myself questions. This would help me focus my emotions and understand them better. I could see if there were patterns or particular things that triggered me.
If you are prone to crying or experience intense emotions that make you want to cry often, then you need to make sure you are living a disciplined life. By “disciplined life,” I don’t mean rigid, structured, and filled with rules. You need to be aware of what you are eating, that you are getting enough sleep, and exercising. Feeling tired makes me feel extra vulnerable and when I feel that way I cry more easily. Exercising releases endorphins which makes you feel happy. A disciplined lifestyle as an emotional person can also mean rewarding yourself consistently every time you conquer something incredibly difficult. However, be wary of coddling yourself too much. Us emotional people are more high maintenance and need to live a more high maintenance lifestyle in order to thrive and there’s no shame in that.
One of the worst things I ever did to myself was to bottle up my feelings and deal with them alone. When you feel so strongly, it is so scary to open up to people you care about. You fear that you will lose control and that that person will stop loving you when they truly see who you are. I had to learn the hard way that the people who love you most will love you no matter what intense traits you have; the ones that don’t aren’t worth keeping in your life anyway. I have lost a lot of friends along the way because of this, but at this point in my life I am surrounded by a great group of people who know me and love me for who I am and it is so liberating. When you bottle up emotions and don’t deal with them, you will ultimately erupt like a volcano and most likely it won’t be in an ideal situation. Without fail, whenever I keep my emotions locked in, they always find a way to burst and it’s really unfortunate when this happens at work or in public. You gain more control over this by often sharing what’s on your mind with friends and expressing yourself to your support system.
If I am going through something emotionally painful, I’ve found the best way to deal with it is by being creative. I love to express myself through singing, writing, and dancing. However, other people express themselves through cooking or baking, building things, or coloring. Whatever it may be, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to heartbreaking music and allowed myself to release emotion that way. You have to have a healthy relationship with releasing emotion when it comes so that it doesn’t build up and destroy you. Listening to music and coloring can also be a relaxing and creative way to deal with issues. You learn a lot about yourself by the things that you create.
Never apologize for being emotional or sensitive. Let this be a sign that you’ve got a big heart and aren’t afraid to let others see it. Showing emotion is a sign of strength. Learning how to harness it makes you stronger.
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