Emotions are temporary annoyances that, in time, will decrease in intensity and be replaced other emotion. Although they may seem to be around for long periods of time, when we really pay attention to them, we notice that emotions come and go in waves.
Emotions are experienced and they are expressed. An emotional experience can be described like a character in a movie. For example, when I am anxious I feel like I'm out of control, like the Tasmanian Devil in Looney Toons. Just because I feel out of control, doesn't mean that I am out of control.
Emotional expression is the action or behavior that results from the emotional experience. For example, when I feel anxious I hide in my room and cry. The actions and behaviors that are expressed, as a result of challenging emotional experiences often involve avoidance or acting out.
If experiencing emotions is difficult for, you may find that they create a sense of urgency to get rid of them.
And if you've ever tried to get rid of your emotions, you've probably found that it doesn't work all that well. In fact, you've probably noticed that trying to get rid of emotions often makes them worse.
Are you ready to try something different?
The next time you experience the urgency to get rid of an emotion, choose to be with it instead and let it RAIN.
Recognize and label the emotion that you are feeling.
Acknowledge and accept it's presence by saying something like, "I accept that I am anxious. I know that is how I feel."
Investigate what might have triggered the emotion and how it feels in your body by standing back and observing it.
Normalize the experience and offer yourself some nurturing by doing something to decrease the emotions intensity such as imagining that the emotion is a wave or cloud that will soon pass you by.