Before I answer this question for you, let me take a step back to really get into the whole issue here. What are emotions in the first place? According to Adrian Furnham (Psychology Today), emotions are powerful social signals. E-motion, and motivation have the same Latin root meaning “to move”. In other words, emotions = Energy in Motion. Emotions send us quick, powerful, physical messages that allow us to respond to our environment. They also enable us to communicate voluntarily or involuntarily. So in a nutshell, emotions are here to help us. They are the internal radar of what is going inside us and how we are responding to the stimuli outside of us.
I'm sure some of you have been told that you simply 'feel too much' or that you are 'overly sensitive'. And guess what? You probably are and that's OK. I am sensitive too and over time I had to develop ways to be able to handle all of the emotions that were simply there. Now, what is crucial to understand is some of us developed an 'empath' status. And what this means is that we get to feel everyone else's emotions on top of those that belong to us. Have you ever experienced someone shouting at you and you'd try to defend yourself? Then you'd find yourself 'venting' or letting it out in a different way as well? When we are presented with an emotional situation, we need to ask one important question: How much percent of these emotions are actually mine? This is a good indicator to see how much of others' emotions you actually take in.
So what can be done to keep your emotions to yourself without taking on others emotions? ALL EMPATHS OUT THERE, pay attention! At first ask yourself if you're truly feeling it or if you're feeling it for someone else. As an empath, you may have picked up sadness from the person next to you in the line of a grocery store. Have a clear understanding that everyone is responsible and in control of their own emotions. Just because they get mad and lash out at you does not mean you need to take it as your own. You can even tell them that you see they are mad and something triggered them but you are willing to talk to them and support them when they choose to calm down and take control. Then, you may find out that those emotions are yours and they are often accompanied by the thoughts of similar frequency (you feel sad, and this reflects your thoughts that are bringing more sadness) or (you're thinking of an old pain and suddenly you start to feel blue and sad). So what do you do to deal with that? You can either shove it under the mat (not recommended) or you can process it and release it in a healthy way. Many times people are aware that they have the feelings but there is a HUGE disconnect in being aware and using an outlet to process them.
When it comes to releasing emotions, many people are terrified to open that can. Why? Because they think they will relive everything, that they will have to replay all painful moments and traumas from the past. But that's not true. Memory is memory, it will stay with you like the old negative in your closet. What you choose to attach to that story/memory is what needs to be released. Oftentimes, a person or situation will trigger us in a way that we get sad, mad, frustrated, scared...When this happens, it is important to recognize that it is NOT about the person or situation, they simply came to open the doors for you to allow the emotions out. Can you receive this? Do you get it? Because if you do, you now have a choice to respond or react! You can react in old ways and habits of yelling at the person, arguing, fighting, shut down and withdraw or you can understand that this is something illuminating only for you and they or the situation is simply the facilitator. Then you respond by addressing the emotions. This required awareness and attention to what your body is telling you. That blood boiling and that heat and beating in your chest, or that heavy feeling on your heart may be signaling to you it's time to go release.
Sadness can be processed by crying, anger can be released by working out, jogging, hitting a punching bag or pillow, frustration can be released by screaming into a pillow or in a closed and not moving vehicle (my favorite :))... Have you ever seen a toddler in a grocery store throwing a temper tantrum? That's exactly that! Except you're not screaming at anyone or making a scene, you're safely releasing in the car. The more aware you are, the more clues will your body give you. So when you're in the release process be it crying, screaming or any other physical activity, the best part is, once the emotion is out, it's GONE! Yes, it is gone for good. You will feel immediate relief and that indicates that you've successfully relieved the energy. Now, you may find a day or two later that there is more and circumstances or people will trigger you again. That is because an old emotion that has been stored there since the age of 6 needs to come up. It's just another layer that you're shedding. So now you know what to do! But I promise you, the more you release the less there will be. Over time you'll realize that you have less and less to cry about or to yell about. Sometimes few deep breaths will cleanse the energy for immediate relief, and later you may find yourself back to feeling that emotion, which is an opportunity to use the above mentioned outlets and release.
Will those emotions ever stop? No, they will not. But the way you react, respond and only observe them, can change. When you reach the point where you are able to just observe what is happening without deciding to attach the low vibrating emotions to your circumstances, you will master an emotional intelligence. You will simply allow the emotion to flow like the wave of energy (ultimately that is really what that is). There is no need to grab it and hold on to it for the next 20 years. With awareness you'll simply observe, detached, calm and collected. Have you ever watched a bird just flying by? Would you ever consider yelling at that bird to pause and come back because you need to hold on to it? You simply watch it fly by. The same goes for emotions. Just watch them fly by.
Are you interested in learning how to quickly shift your emotions? Here is a quick tip - pay attention to your thoughts. Thoughts and emotions are like chicken and egg...Which one came first? And it really doesn't matter. You can detect what you're feeling based on what you're thinking and at the same time, what you're thinking is based on how you're feeling. The moment you realize that you're not feeling overly happy, excited or motivated, I'd invite you to think of a moment that happened in the past that filled you with bliss, unconditional love, immense peace or gratitude. Are you with me? Go on, and pick that moment from your memory bank... And yes, it's there, more than one. Now, see that moment in clear details, be there, and relive it again with all the good feels flooding your body. Stay in this state and observe. Allow your body to feel it inside every cell. Stay in that feeling for as long as you want. Feel every cell in your body responding to that moment. If you're not smiling by now, or tearing from gratitude or bliss, I'd invite you to start over because something went wrong. But if you do respond positively because your body felt it, congratulations! It really is that easy.