Emotional Breakdown


Hey lovely face.

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and emotional work. (See: Unraveled) One of the things I’ve been working on is naming and identifying my emotions, breaking them down, and seeing what other emotions are hiding underneath that.

Have you ever been upset and you don’t know what the emotion is?

Or you think that you’re feeling one emotion but it really turns out it’s covering for something else?

That’s the thing about emotions sometimes they aren’t all that straightforward. Jealousy can mask itself as anger, shame can mask itself as sadness. Sometimes there’s a primary emotion that’s then covered by a secondary one, one that’s easier to deal with.

When you identify your emotions it allows you to cope and manage them better. 

I’ve been practicing saying “I am feeling ______ because _____.”

Seriously, it works! Speaking it out loud is much more powerful that just thinking it in your head and it gets more results, and it allows you to uncover those real emotions that are lurking underneath the surface. It allows you to observe what you are feeling as well as put it into perspective.

I then look at my response to that emotion. “I am feeling ____ because ____ and it makes me want to ____.”

I then look at that behavior and it further flushes out the emotion, lets me see where or who I am directing it. That initial action that I want to take is usually something that won’t help me in the big scheme of things, such as saying something mean or laying in bed and crying all day.

So I further break down what I’m feeling.

“I’m feeling ____ because _____ and it makes me want to ______ but instead I will _____.”

The last blank is something helpful and productive, usually involving self care, or sometimes it’s a conversation that needs to be had or actions that need to be taken. That one sentence allows me to acknowledge what I’m feeling, accept what I’m feeling, and deal with what I’m feeling all in one, honest, simple sentence.

That’s my formula for breaking down emotions, allowing me to deal with them in a productive way.

Do you have a system for dealing with your emotions?

  • This is a lot like the system I use, and seriously, it is SO important to do this. Self-reflection in this deeply personal way is one of the most significant ways to reveal undercurrents in your thinking and emotions you might not notice otherwise.

    For example, I've been feeling anger lately. Not a ton, but my temper has been pretty short. Of course, I was blaming it on everyone else because I could. So, I started asking myself WHY this was happening. Why was I getting so angry? Why was I feeling so painfully frustrated?

    Then I realized and accepted I was stressed out from moving across the country, uncomfortable because I had no real space for myself that fits how I live naturally, nervous due to a lack of income, and lonely since I'd left my partner thousands of miles away.

    Oh. Yes. Those are all great reasons to feel angry! It was that inherent, fighter part of me screaming for things to go my way for a bit instead of rolling over and being malleable for everyone else.

    And just like you say, you have to opt to process these emotions other ways. Instead of pouting or fighting or crying (my secondary anger trait), I decided to do whatever it took to create a work space conducive to my natural rhythms, get out and meet people, and take long walks down these beautifully wooded paths with my old dog.

    I'm still frustrated with some things, but I don't feel as overwhelmed by those emotions. Even better – I see exactly where I need to send love to myself, and that makes everything so much better.

    Thank you for sharing this! I know I needed the reminder and these are tools everyone can benefit from. 🙂

  • Bethwyn Walker

    I really love this. Thank you!

  • Hi Dominee! That is a great technique and I'll definitely try it. I have been more aware of my emotions recently and also realised they are often disguised or that I don't really know what they are or where they come from. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  • Candace

    Hey Dominee! Actually, I've been taking abit of a step back and working on a lot of healing myself, not just for my body but soul work. My methods for dealing with emotions tend to be abit different. I like journaling, painting, and basically just getting lost in creating. It may seem like avoidance, but when I'm doing those things, that's how I work through things in my mind.

    But I'm also loving your idea, and I think I will try it out this week 🙂

  • Dominee

    Thanks for reading and commenting and by default, being awesome!

  • Dominee

    You're very welcome! I think it'd be awesome if these tricky things like emotions came with, oh I don't know. maps, text message notifications… something!
    Thank you for your comment lovely!

  • Dominee

    Oh I am a huge huge fan of those creative outlets! I think this works best for on-the-spot work or those feeling that you just can't shake, but journaling is definitely my go-to now a days!
    <3

  • Dominee

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience, it sounds like you've been going through a lot and you're handling it way better than I could. Kudos for figuring out how to deal with them in a productive way, that's one of the hardest parts for me!

    I'm glad things are getting better and I hope that you end up meeting fantastic people, and enjoy those walks!

  • Awesome!! Thanks!