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Anxiety Attacks, Anger, Depression – How to Deal with Overwhelming Emotions

February 4, 2011

It happens to all of us sometimes: maybe a sudden situation catches us off guard, or we get caught in a cycle of hopeless rumination. Then a strong emotion takes over – fear, or anger, or deep sadness. whichever it may be, its power is overwhelming.

The next thing we know – we’ve done something that we will regret for a long time. How did this happen and what can we do about it?

When dealing with overwhelming emotions we need to do two things:

  • Cope with the emotion at the time it strikes us.
  • Take care of the root cause.

Here’s a common mistake to avoid:

Don’t fight the emotion. Don’t try to stop it. Once an emotion has arisen, it’s there. We’ve been taught to judge our emotions and to consider them wrong. We’ve been taught to believe that showing emotion is weak or manipulative. So we end up judging others and ourselves for showing emotions.

Emotions aren’t bad. You’ve probably heard the wide spread myth about pure reason without emotions. Guess what, reason without emotions is dead and useless – but this is a topic for another article.

Moreover, while many frustrating emotions arise from illusions, they are still real.

Right now, you probably feel guilty when having certain emotions. This is a habit that’s hurting you. If you try to fight an emotion, this will tense you up and only add to your frustration. It’s not a smart way to go about the situation.

Emotions are processes.

We are used to view emotions as “things”. It’s much more accurate to describe them as processes. Each emotion has a recipe, as it unfolds in us, many different changes occur in our bodies and minds: Read more …

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