Sitting With Emotions Is Okay
Having emotions is normal. We all experience happiness, sadness, anger, and anxiety. It is simply being human. Yes we often discuss about the best ways to manage emotions and learn from experiences to promote growth. Part of this involves not making significant emotionally driven choices as we often see many in society do. This is not good for yourself or others. Last week my daughter finished school for the year. It was a good year for her, challenging, but also positive. She grew academically, but particularly socially. Although we were out celebrating, her afternoon (and some of the night) was spent tearful already missing her friends and school. Although my wife and I validated her feelings, we also wanted her to manage her emotions and get herself together. However, after a period of time we realized she just needed time to sit and process her emotions - and that was OKAY.
There are situations in which people accept and allow for emotions. Grief is the most obvious time, as a person just needs the time to process the loss. How much time is dependent on the person. Sitting with the feeling, allows us as people to be in the moment, process and better understand how these emotions shape our opinions, choices, and relationships. It allows us to discern if our emotions are too much or too little given the circumstances. It allows for us to appreciate what we are grateful for in the situation. it allows us to appreciate our growth and how challenges have been, or can be overcome. Ultimately, it validates our humanity.
Given these facts it is imperative that every day that we all give ourselves time and space to appreciate and sit with our emotions. Parents can validate, redirect, and help their kids learn the skills to manage emotions in different situations. Coaches can help athletes learn to relax or pump their players up to facilitate better performance. Finally, teachers, can redirect them and make them more conducive to learning. In each of these instances the key is not to let the person become overwhelmed by their emotions, but also allow them to experience them. If you shut this down, you are actually impeding growth.
This blog has briefly touched on the concept of sitting with emotions. Many people think that managing them, or ushing through is the ultimate goal and a must. However, as we can see, sometimes there is a benefit to just having them, and letting yourself have the time and space. During these times, be kind to yourself for being human, and being emotional.