We hear quite often that processing emotions is healthy and overall good for us. In fact, when we are trying to suppress them by denying that they even exist, it can cost us not only mental but also physical health. Unprocessed emotions get stored in the body and manifest as pain, aches, and different diseases later on in life. To understand that it is absolutely necessary to process emotions is one thing, actually to do that is another.

We can process our emotions in many different ways, and ultimately, it will depend on you, what works best. Today, I am sharing 5 ways to process emotions that will hopefully help you all on your journey to health and wellness.



1. Feel your feelings


It is hard to be mindful and fully present with your feelings and emotions when they occur. It can be scary and overwhelming and when that is the case, many of us turn to ignoring and denying our emotions, as well as to unhealthy coping strategies, such as drugs, alcohol, sex, etc.

It is absolutely necessary to “sit with your feelings” aka acknowledge them no matter how uncomfortable it is. It may be simply naming them or journaling about them. Crying is very helpful. To folks who are afraid to cry, I always say: crying is your body’s natural ability to release emotions. Now, prolong crying can be a sign of depression, so it is important to see the difference between “letting it out” and needing help.

Therapist’s tip: You should always take breaks while feeling your feelings and emotions. Use healthy distractions like walking, talking to a friend, or even watching a good show/movie to help you cope with strong emotions. In some very difficult situations, you may need some guidance from a therapist. 



2. Express yourself through art to process emotions


We have talked about this before, but art can be a powerful tool for us to process our emotions and help us heal. You don’t need to be artistic or creative to enjoy expressing your emotions through art. Even children can do it, and it is actually very beneficial for them.

Therapist’s tip: Those of you who are creative, already know what makes them feel better. If you need special guidance, there is a special type of therapy called Art Therapy, where your therapist will guide you through the process and will help you find what works best for you. 

Writing woman



3. Exercise to process emotions


Exercise is actually one of my favorite forms of processing emotions. It helps me release stress better than anything else does. When we exercise, our body releases special chemicals called endorphins that help combat pain and improve the sense of well-being.

To experience the benefits of exercising, you don’t need to be an athlete, even walking can help.

Therapist’s tip: Don’t wait for motivation to start working out as it may never come. Start implementing exercise into your daily routine and try to exercise while experiencing strong emotions. I promise you will see the difference!



4. Vent it out to process emotions


Not everyone has someone to talk to. And, as a therapist, I don’t recommend sharing your deep secrets with any person in your life. But if you have someone you trust and who has proven themselves to be a good listener in difficult situations, by all means, share away. It is healthy for us to let our emotions out instead of storing them. Just be mindful of that person’s space and always ask if they are willing to listen.

Therapist’s tip: If there is no one in your life you could possibly talk to, reach out to a therapist. Your therapist is never going to be your friend, but they will listen and provide guidance in the situations you need it the most. 



5. Therapy, specifically EMDR


EMDR helps to process emotions that weren’t processed during a traumatic event. It is obviously not the first thing we do to process emotions, but it is something that can help you deal with those emotions that you are not even aware of.

Therapist’s tip: If you have tried traditional therapy methods and didn’t find them particularly helpful, try EMDR. 

Trauma therapist


So, here are my top 5 ways to process emotions. Which one is your favorite or maybe you have tried something else? Please share below, I will talk to you in my next post.

~ Your therapist, Dr. Trenye Black

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