Most people don’t make the effort to observe their emotions as they’re happening. However, those who take time to recognize and process what they’re feeling are more likely to engage in healthy coping mechanisms and fully express themselves in challenging circumstances. By learning to own your feelings, you can improve your outlook on life and start to seek the bright side in any situation.
1. Accept What You’re Feeling
Society often teaches men, especially, that emotions aren’t “manly,” and that shutting down their feelings is the only appropriate way to deal with them. However, this response is extremely unhealthy. Allowing yourself to embrace reactions such as fear and anger – even when it’s painful to do so – can help you create a reserve of inner strength.
2. Learn to Live Mindfully
A mindfulness practice comes with a host of benefits, including improving both your mental and physical well-being. Because being more mindful requires you to observe and appreciate the individual moments that make up your life, it also gives you a healthier perspective. You can cultivate mindfulness through regular meditation, but you can also bring more mindfulness into your daily routine by paying closer attention to the tasks at hand and doing them with a purpose.
3. Talk Through It
Having a support system can be invaluable if you’re having trouble finding the positive. The knowledge that there’s always someone to reach out to can enable you to get past hurdles more easily. If you’re struggling with especially thorny problems, consider seeking counseling. A trained mental health professional can use techniques such as dialectical behavioral therapy to help you learn to own your feelings and walk through difficult emotions.
4. Keep a Journal
Journaling is an excellent therapeutic activity that can also help you remember how you coped with challenges in your past. In revisiting previous entries, you can see how much you’ve grown and changed, which will make you more appreciative of your coping skills and resilience. You can use your journal to write down your feelings without fear of judgment, which will provide you with a sense of freedom.
5. Make Self-Care Part of Your Routine
When you encounter negative emotions, turn your day around with relaxing, healthy activities that can help improve your mood and leave you mentally refreshed. Self-care can be any wholesome hobby you enjoy, such as exercise, cooking, gardening, painting or birdwatching.
6. Avoid Self-Destructive Behavior
As a corollary to your self-care, work to become more aware of any bad habits that can exacerbate problems like anxiety and depression, such as substance abuse or compulsive behaviors. Becoming conscious of these harmful actions and what triggers them is an essential part of owning your feelings.
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