Lesson Two- Balancing Your Emotions

This lesson is divided into two sections.  When you are depressed, you’re not really in control. You’re under the control of something else and it can be terrifying and frustrating. This course does not promise to make you feel happy. A great side effect of healing is feeling happiness more often, but happiness is not a constant state. For example, I can’t imagine how anyone could feel happy while grieving. After all, loss is a natural part of life.

What I hope you glean from this book is a feeling of balance so that you can appreciate being happy, but accept that you are also allowed to feel as awful as possible. Healing from depression doesn’t mean everything is fine. What healing does is give you the foundation to take on the world. For me healing from depression allows me a deep knowing that despite the current state of things, I can still thrive.


Part One: Your Emotions

My emotions used to rule my world and send me on rollercoaster rides of manic highs and depressing lows. With a few years of diligent work on my personal thoughts and actions, I am now able to balance my emotions so that my ride is now steady with much more manageable peaks and dips. I don’t feel perfect all the time, but does anybody? Life after all is a variety of emotions. Being sad or upset isn’t fun, but if we’re careful we can take how we feel and turn that into a lesson for how we react in future situations. Paying attention to our emotions also allows us to better gauge if other people are good to have in our life or if we need to stay clear of them.

Seven steps to find balance in your emotions:

  • Pay attention to how you feel. Am I hurt, sad, anxious, unsettled or angry?
  • Choose whether to let that emotion take control. Is this a good time to feel this way or will allowing this emotion to continue cause me more problems?
  • Look at problems from a different perspective. Write down the reason you feel this way and imagine alternate ways you can feel about it.
  • Find a solution or a different path. Choose one of those alternates and go with it.
  • Be patient and loving towards yourself. Accept that like everybody, you are imperfect. Accept and love yourself for your ability to change, grow, and learn. One of my favorite sayings is, “I am perfectly imperfect.”
  • Focus on feeling good and healthy, not constantly happy. Stay balanced with breathing exercises, grounding, short meditations, or affirmations. Know that you can only do so much and that it’s okay to just be present in your situation. Work on what you can and think of the future only in terms of how you can solve problems. Don’t focus on concerns or worries because that won’t get you anywhere. As my grandma likes to say, ‘Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. You’re doing something, but not getting anywhere.
  • Remove unhealthy people from your life. You don’t need those who are negative and insist on pulling you into drama situations. If someone makes you feel bad or unsettled then keep them at a distance. You deserve family and friends who respect you and your boundaries. We are all deserving of happiness despite mistakes we make. With inner peace our lives improve because we aren’t muddled with problems and worries. You decide when to soften your edges and when to set strict boundaries.

Action:

Write in your journal about the strongest emotions you felt today:

  • What emotions ruled my life today?

Think of a specific moment when you felt very emotional today. Look at it from a different perspective and pretend that you are watching someone else feel this way. Do this in a non-judgmental manner. This exercise is to help you analyze your emotions, not judge how you should or should not feel.

  • Why did they feel that way?
  • How else could they have responded?
  • What might have happened if they responded differently?

 


Part Two: What Are Your Triggers?

We all respond to life in different ways. We react positively to that which makes us feel good and negatively to that which makes us feel unhealthy. Realizing what triggers your emotions will help you stay in balance.

Once we become aware of what triggers us we can consciously choose to stay clear of those things. If we have triggers we can’t get away from than we need to have a self care plan to deal with that trigger.

It took me a long time to realize what my triggers were, but once I did it was clear to me that I needed to pay close attention to when those were present. For example, I’m a sensitive person who experienced violence as a child so one of my self-care actions was choosing to no longer include violent media in my entertainment. By removing these images from my life I’m able to focus on healthy images, which causes more of my thoughts to be healthier. This helps me feel balanced and not weighed down with extra negativity. Real life can be violent enough.

Action:

Make a list of your triggers!

Which if any triggers, can you personally remove from your daily life?

Write in your journal.

 


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