117. How do I deal with big emotions?

Every kid has been told to stop crying. When they are bored and restless, they are told to hold still. When they are loud and exuberant, they are told to be quiet.

We are raised with our emotions never quite in sync with how others think we should behave.

Some people learn to hide their emotions, and this can be a very useful skill, and one that I am not very good at. But it can also be really damaging. Because those emotions do exist. And trying to run away from them and ignore them can lead to problems such as anxiety, depression, and a very negative view of ourselves.

Sometimes I scream or throw things or say things I regret because I don’t know what to do with how I feel.

The other day, one of my kids was really tired and bored and on a hike and didn’t want to walk anymore. Their solution was that I should carry them. One of the solutions I had was to get upset and try to use my own anger and frustration to motivate them.

But I thought: that’s not a goo way to deal with it. They are feeling something that isn’t bad at all. I can work with them to change how they feel in a positive manner instead of just wishing that they were different.

So we played games. It changed tiredness and boredom into something fun and exciting. Instead of wanting me to carry them, they ran.

Face what you feel. Embrace what you feel. And then work in positive ways to change it, instead of telling yourself you shouldn’t feel that way. You feel that way. It’s okay to feel that way. But you don’t have to feel that way forever.

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