Navigating Confusing Emotions Through Mindfulness
May 16, 2023
Do you ever feel as if you’re experiencing so many emotions at once, that you can’t actually figure out which emotion you’re really feeling? It can be incredibly confusing, but you’re not alone if you feel this way.
It’s common for us to feel that life is putting too much in our way. We might feel pressured to do well at school, to keep up with friends or worry about our future and the world we live in. Sometimes you might feel all of these things at the same time. It’s important to remember that, while this might be a confusing experience to go through, there are always things you can do to help. More importantly, there will be people you can speak to so that you can find the support that you need.
One of the most difficult things that you might find during these periods is trying to understand the feelings that you’re having, especially if some are difficult to place or feel like they might go against each other. For example, you might feel like you’re doing really well at school or university, but at the same time, you might also feel a sense of impostor syndrome. This is basically a feeling that, even if things are going really well, you have thoughts that you don’t belong or that your achievements are based on luck alone rather than any work that you’ve put in. To feel that sense of impostor syndrome can be a difficult thing just by itself, but it can be even more confusing when you feel that it contradicts other positive beliefs that you have about yourself. As well as that, if you experience both depression and anxiety, you might find that feeling these both at the same time becomes too much.
Can you name your feelings?
If you’re at a point where you’re experiencing so many emotions at once, it can be useful to try to take some time to identify these emotions. If you can, give yourself a bit of space to be with your own thoughts for a while. If this feels too difficult, you can talk to other people to help put things into words.
There are lots of different ways that we can try to help with this confusion:
-Ask yourself which emotion it is that you’re feeling. Are you able to create a list of these, or come up with some words to describe each feeling?
-Do you find words appearing when you think about specific things like school, work or friends, for example?
-Do you feel them in specific parts of your body? If you do, can you take some time to try and slow down your breathing, taking deep breaths while you explore these emotions and how they feel physically?
Those are just a few questions we can ask ourselves as we try to practice being mindful and trying to be in the present moment. It doesn’t mean we have to find the answers about why we feel this way, or how to stop feeling this way. These exercises can help us try to search through confusing feelings, so that we can hopefully make them feel a bit smaller and a bit less confusing. This can be especially hard if you feel like there’s too much going on, but even small moments can make a big difference.
Whether or not you can name or identify your emotions, it can feel good to get them out in some way too. Getting creative is a great way to help boost your mood. You can practice journalling, either writing about your day, writing about each feeling, or writing stories about them. You can draw something, or paint something. When being creative, it can feel good to avoid the idea of being ‘good’ or ‘perfect’. Trying to express your emotions doesn’t mean you have to create beautiful and incredible art. You might not even think it’ll look nice to other people, but that doesn’t matter when you’re trying to find ways to just express yourself. As well as that, I can feel great doing something just because you can, not just because you think it’ll be ‘good’.
What help is available?
There are many things that you can do to try and help yourself to calm down and take some time to feel your emotions without becoming overwhelmed. It’s important to know, however, that if you feel that you’re struggling to cope with your emotions, or that things are becoming too overwhelming, you should make sure to speak to someone about them. If you can, try talking to your friends or parents, and remember there are also options available for you to speak to professionals who can help you work through these emotions as well. There are rising concerns about young people experiencing loneliness in the UK, which can make these confusing feelings feel much worse, so finding ways to share the things that you’re going through can be a great help to make sure that you don’t feel alone in these difficult times.
If you feel that you need to speak to someone about your mental health, you can book a free initial consultation with Mindsum to put you in touch with a professional who can help you with your emotions.