I’ve helped hundreds of people process emotions and I can help you too. Don’t let your emotions take you for a ride and drive you around. You can get back in the driver’s seat of your own life if you know how to process them and learn from them. Listen to this episode to learn how.
Set up a 50-minute call with me and let me help you learn how to process your emotions. Let’s talk about the emotions that keep coming back for you and creating problems in your life. I’ll walk you through processing so you can see how this will work for you.
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If you want to see results like:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Better sleep
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All of these effects show a managed nervous system and will help you be less reactive to the people and circumstances in your life.
Processing Emotions – Full Transcript
You’re listening to The Coaching Your Family Relationships Podcast, episode 63, “Processing Emotions.”
Researchers have discovered that the quality of our closest relationships is the biggest indicator of overall life satisfaction and happiness. I’m Tina Gosney, a certified family relationship coach. I’m here to help you improve the quality of your most precious relationships, the ones with your family. I’m here each week to teach you help you and challenge you. Are you ready? Let’s do this.
Welcome to the podcast I’m so grateful to have you here really means a lot to me to have all of you tuning in each week. And learning from this podcast, I just feel super blessed to be able to share this information with you.
I’m Tina Gosney, a certified family relationship coach. There’s a breathing class that I’m going to be holding next week. And you might be wondering, what does breathing have to do with family relationships?
Actually, breathing has to do a lot with all relationships, and many things in our life that we would not even think that they have to do anything with. But I want you to come to this breathing class to find out more. If you haven’t listened to Episode 61. “Slow down and stop being so reactionary,” I want you to stop right now and go listen to that episode.
I talk a lot about how this breathing is going to help you help with this breathing class is going to benefit you in your life. But here are the Cliff Notes. Nobody ever says Cliff Notes anymore. I don’t think Cliff Notes are even a thing. I don’t think our kids even know what Cliff Notes are. But if you’re from my generation, you very well know what what Cliff Notes are. So here are the Cliff Notes.
It will help you reduce stress, reduce anxiety, sleep better, better digestion, create more energy in your life and have better mental focus.
And it will help you stop being so reactionary, to the people in your lives.
All of these things that I’ve just listed, really can improve the quality of our relationships, it improves how we show up in our relationships. So yes, breathing properly, focusing on your breathing and doing it intentionally at certain times of the day. And using certain breathing techniques to manage your nervous system has a lot to do with family relationships.
That’s why I’m bringing it into my coaching practice. It’s so accessible, so easy to implement in your everyday life. I really want to share this with you. So make sure you’re signing up for that special classes happening on September 21. If you aren’t attending live, you won’t be able to ask questions on the call, but you can send them in ahead of time. And I will answer them on the call.
o if you’re not able to attend, don’t let that keep you from registering, make sure you get on the list so that you will receive the replay when it comes out.
Last week, I was talking about something that was a pretty advanced concept. And they gave a little warning at the beginning of the podcast. This thing I’m going to talk about processing emotions today is not a super advanced concept. It’s actually a very basic one that most people have no, they have no idea how to do this. They think they’re processing emotions. They’re not processing. And this is something I teach my clients how to do from the very first part of our coaching together, it’s always comes within the first month, we’re going to learn how to process emotions.
Because processing emotions is a very basic skill we all should have. But most of us were not taught how to do this. Probably 99% of you do not know how to process emotions, and you’re letting them cause problems for you. I was at a re coaching retreat last summer. And some people there were coaches, some people were not but I was teaching a class.
And I did talk about processing emotions. One thing that I said was your emotions are there because they’re important and they have something to teach you. And a fellow coach came to me afterwards and she said, What are you talking about? Emotions have something to teach me I don’t get it. I’ve never heard that before. And I said yeah, emotions do have something to teach us. They’re important word. They’re not just things that we need to get past and to shove away.
And there’s something there that causes problems for us, we actually should be paying attention to our emotions, because they have a lot of information for us. And she said, I don’t I don’t get it, I get mad at my kids the way that they load the dishwasher.
So what is that going to teach me? Why am I getting mad at my kids, the way that they load the dishwasher, that doesn’t seem like that’s something that has something to teach me.
Well, I’m going to stop that story right here, because I’m going to come back to it later. Now, our emotions do have something to teach us. But I also want you to think about the circumstances of your life. We all have circumstances in our life, right?
We all have things that are given to us, things that happen to us things that we don’t have any control over. Things that we would rather have be different in our lives. But we don’t have any control to make them different. And by the way, people, other people are always your circumstance, you don’t have the ability to make other people different, to control somebody else’s life. S
o everyone else in your life is a circumstance. Now, you have these circumstances in your life, and not just people but things that happen, right? Things that exist that happened in the world that are out of your control. And your brain thinks thoughts about the circumstances. Depending on how your brain is thinking about the circumstances, it’s going to create an emotion in you.
And an emotion is a chemical that’s released by your brain that causes a vibration of physical vibration in our bodies. We feel emotions physically, which I think have a really strong emotion.
For me, I like to use the example of anger because I think everyone is pretty universal and the way that they feel anger. For me, anger feels really tight, my whole body wants to tense up. I know my face gets really red and prone to getting red in the first place. But when I get angry, I know my face gets even more red. My hands start to shake. And I just feel like a vibrating in my chest. Almost like I’m going to explode. If I had to give it a color. I would say it’s red, bright red, kind of like a fire red. That’s how I physically describe anger. How close is that to how you describe anger?
What about sadness? Sadness is also a really uncomfortable emotion just like anger is it sadness doesn’t have me vibrating. It has me drooping, it feels really heavy. It feels almost like I have a weighted blanket thrown over my entire body. And I feel it like a weight on my shoulders. It feel it in my chest too. But now it feels really heavy, but empty at the same time. And if I was going to give it a color, I would give it gray. Like, like sledge gray. How do you describe what sadness feels like to you? Is it close to what I described it as?
What about nervous, if you ever been really nervous about something for me, nervous shows up in my stomach and in my gut. And my stomach starts to do flip flops. And I just feel like I’m going to sometimes like I’m going to throw up. It doesn’t feel good, it feels nauseous and sick to my stomach. It just feels like everything is in turmoil. That’s what nervous feels like to me.
Now what we do with these feelings in our body is really important. Because most of us react very badly, to these physical sensations that are running through our bodies. And we just want it to go away. There’s several things, several main things that we do to make these emotions go away. And all of these, by the way, are not processing emotions. Although sometimes we think they are. They’re really not.
First of all, we resist them. We push them away. We don’t even want to look at them. We shove them behind a door. In fact, I like to think of it like a scary movie. You know when you’re running away from the whatever it’s trying to get you and you see the person running away and they’re they’ve gone into a room and they’re slamming the door shut and then the thing that’s trying to get them that person is trying to get them on The other side is like trying to get the door open.
That’s what it’s like. It’s like a horror movie, you’re trying to close that door and keep it shut, so it can’t come in. Because you’re trying to protect yourself from it. You pretend to that it’s there, sometimes with toxic positivity, pretending like everything is great and everything is fine. It’s fake, and it doesn’t work. That’s why it’s called toxic.
Sometimes resisting looks like just pushing it down with all of your energy and holding it there. And it takes a lot of strength and power and energy to hold that and that emotion and keep it from coming up. Kind of like you’re pushing a beach ball underwater. Think of a big ball full of air, that you’re trying to keep underwater. And you’re pushing it down. And you have to keep holding it there. Because what happens if you let go, it pops up, and it pops up with a lot of force.
That’s exactly what happens with our emotions. We push them down so long that they pop up with a lot of force.
I was I was thinking about this and getting this podcast ready. I remember this story that my husband told me of when he was much younger. And he said there was a family that lived down the street. And a mom, he said that seemed to have everything together like her kids, she had all these boys. And her kids were always had everything put together, her house was always clean. And her kids always looked put together, she was always put together. Everything just seemed fine. Except one day, they saw her running down the street, screaming and she had a mental breakdown.
This is what her beach ball, it came popping up with such force that she from those emotions, she was trying to hold down that I’m gonna guess that it just popped up and with a lot of force. And then then she there she is with a mental breakdown. He said she was actually never the same after that. So another thing that we do is we react to our emotions. Think about acting out. Remember I told you about anger and sadness, and nervous?
Think about acting those out if you acted out those emotions, what would they look like? What would anger look like? Look might look something like yelling at people or things, throwing things, slamming doors, or cupboards punching a wall or a person. Think about acting out anger acting out that explosiveness that lives inside of you. That’s what reacting to an emotion looks like. What is reacting to sadness look like, looks like a lot of crying.
A lot of wearing that sadness on the outside of you, so that everybody else can see how sad you are. And you might even be doing this as a way to bring people in, so that they start asking you what’s wrong. And you can start talking again about your sadness and reliving the sadness over and over again. Now I want to let you know that crying is not always reacting to an emotion.
Sometimes crying is a really productive way to work through an emotion. But how do you know if you’re reacting to it? Or if you’re processing and working through? Well, the key is, is it? Is the crying helping you to move forward? Is it helping you to go to a new place and to process? Or is it keeping you stuck and reliving and perpetuating the same sadness over and over again.
That’s your key. That’s what you want to pay attention to. The next thing we do is avoid we oh we’re so good at this one. All we are so incredibly good at avoiding our emotions. In fact, I coach many many people on how to stop avoiding their emotions because they’ve turned to one of these things in order to avoid them. food, alcohol, porn work staying really really busy. Shopping, over shopping, overspending over exercising, over streaming over Netflix seeing over Social Media Inc. Is that a word?
I’m not sure if that’s a word. But doing those are the main ones that we do to avoid feeling our emotions. We feel something really uncomfortable. We don’t like to feel this way, I’m just gonna go to the pantry, I’m gonna get some chocolate, I’m going to avoid it, chocolate makes me feel better. Or I’m just gonna keep myself so busy that I don’t even have time to think about it anymore.
This is a really common one, especially for women, keeping yourself so busy. And so over scheduled, that you don’t have time to even pay to those darn emotions. What about over exercising, I’ve seen people who go into really difficult times difficult circumstances in their life. And all of a sudden, they’re spending two plus hours at the gym every day.
Now, sometimes you feel like it’s what you have to do to control your life. But often, this thing that you’re using to avoid your emotions is controlling you, you are giving your control to that thing. And then what happens when you when you’re done doing that thing. The emotion is still there, the circumstance, the thought that created that emotion in the first place, is most likely still there because you didn’t deal with it. But now on the other side of that you gave your brain a little bit of dopamine, all of those things give your brain some dopamine.
But you only got a temporary reprieve. When you do those things to excess, you’re creating more negativity in your world, in your life. And now you have more negative things to deal with more negative emotion. And you know how you’ve taught your brain to deal with negative emotion, to avoid it, to go back and do the thing, again, that you did in the first place. And then you start perpetuating a cycle. And then you stop knowing how to stop numbing yourself in your life.
None of these things that I’ve described today involve processing emotion. That is not how we process emotions. But many times people will tell me they’re processing their emotions. And they’re naming one of those things that I’ve just described. Those are not processing. This is what processing looks like. I want you to stop, just pause. You feel that vibration in your body, you feel that chemical, you feel that physical uncomfortableness somewhere in your body.
Stop, just take a pause. And notice that you’re feeling something. And then I want you to name it. We are so emotionally illiterate. In this world, we usually only use a handful of emotional names, to name what we’re feeling. The most common ones are happy, sad, excited, angry and frustrated. But there are literally hundreds of different emotions.
And the closer you can get to defining what you are feeling, the more you will know how to solve it. In fact, I heard the other day a problem well defined, is half solved. If you can just figure out what you’re feeling, you’re going to be able to pinpoint so much better why you’re feeling it, and why it’s there. But start by just trying to name the emotion. Just be more aware of the the emotion is there, I’m gonna give it a name.
That’s the stopping part. The next step is to drop which had a drop out of your head and into your body. When we’re having emotions, we tend to live up in our heads and be swirling around in thoughts about all the reasons why we’re feeling what we’re feeling. When you do that, it makes that emotion stronger, it makes it last longer, and it does not allow you to process it.
So drop it out of your head. You cannot solve this problem in your head with with thought work. You cannot solve it in your brain. You need to allow your body to experience and feel the emotion. So you’re stopping and naming it you’re dropping into your body and you are describing what it feels like. Now if you remember how I described anger. I said I feel it in my chest. It feels like it’s vibrating. My hands are shaky.
They’re bright vibrating. I feel it in my face. My face feels red, feels like I want to explode and I gave it the color of fire red. You can do this same thing as you describe your emotions and dropping into Your Body describing how it feels, and then relaxing, and allowing it to be there. In fact, that is step number three is to breathe. Now, often when we have these hard emotions, we hold our breath, or our breathing gets really shallow, and, and quick, and it just makes the emotion stronger, it makes that physical reaction stronger. If you can slow down, find it in your body, relax and breathe.
As you put your brain focus on that, instead of the many thoughts that caused the emotion, it’s going to move through your body, that chemical will metabolize within your body, and it will last 60 to 90 seconds. It’s like the wave on an ocean. Have you seen if you’ve ever ridden a wave on a boat on the ocean, where you see it has like a peak, and then it just kind of gradually dissipates as it comes towards the shore. And it just kind of gradually dies out.
So it comes towards the shore. That is exactly what happens to this chemical in your body. When you stop, you drop and you breathe. It has a peak, and then it gradually moves out 60 to 90 seconds, people. How many times have you perpetuated an emotion that has lasted for hours, or days or sometimes months or years. If you’re living up in your head about it, that’s what you’re doing, you’re perpetuating that emotion to stay around. Now, intentionally breathing and allowing yourself to relax. And to let your nervous system relax is what I’m going to be talking about at the breathing workshop.
So make sure you’re signing up for that. After the emotion has passed, then you can go back into your brain, then you ask yourself things like, Okay, why am I feeling this way? Why did I feel this sadness? Or why did I feel this anger, you’re going to have a much easier time figuring out why that is. When you’re not reacting, avoiding or resisting that emotion. Because you’re not acting any more from your lower brain or emotions. Often most of the time has us have us reacting from our lower brain.
When you process your emotions this way, you’re going to be using your higher brain when you go back in and ask yourself, Why was I feeling this way? What are the sentences in my brain that have caused me to feel this way. And you’re gonna have so much more insight, when you’re not caught up in the emotion caught up in the physical sensations and you’ve allowed your nervous system to relax.
Okay, people, this is processing emotion. This is what it looks like. It does not look like any of those crazy things that I described at the beginning. It looks like stop, drop, breathe, two minutes, and then you’re done. Not that the thing that’s going to cause the emotion is changed. But your ability to handle the thing that caused the emotion, it’s going to be so much better, it’s going to be so much bigger and increased. Your Capacity is now increased to handle the situations and the circumstances in your life. Here are your two takeaways from today.
TAKEAWAY NUMBER ONE
You don’t have to let your emotions be in the driver’s seat. You don’t have to jump in the passenger seat and let them drive you around to all sorts of crazy destinations. When you process the motions, the way that I have described to you today, with the stop, drop and breathe, they are going to last 60 to 90 seconds. You’re going to ride that wave, you’re going to feel that peak and the gradual moving out the gradual dissipation. And then you’re going to have so much more of a clear head. So don’t let your emotions be in the driver’s seat.
TAKEAWAY NUMBER TWO
Your emotions have something to tell you. They are there to alert you to something that is not in alignment in your life. When you pay attention to them, you can learn from them.
I want you to pick just a random time of the day like 2:13 In the afternoon, whatever time you want to. And I want you to set a timer every day for the next week at that time on your phone. When that timer goes off, stop notice What’s going on inside your body? Just take a look inside. Am I feeling something? Do I have an emotion going on somewhere? How can I? What do I feel that’s going on inside my own body right now? Try to name the emotion. Sometimes it’s not possible. Sometimes we’re not really feeling strong emotions. And it’s hard to name them. But if you had to name it, what would you give it? What would the name be? Try to go beyond your usual go twos. See, if you can find what it feels like physically in your body. This is just going to help you become more aware of your own bodies, because we live so much inside of our heads, and so little in our bodies, but our bodies have much to teach us.
And if you’re like me, you’re listening to what I’m telling you with a stop, drop and breathe. And you’re thinking, this is really weird. That’s what I thought the first time I heard it, I’m like, that just just sounds so strange. And I think I thought that for like the first 20 times I heard it. But then I started trying it myself started working through my own emotions this way. And even though I do think it still sounds a little bit strange, it is exactly what our bodies need, and want.
So exactly what we have to do to work through our emotions and process them in a healthy way. For us. I also coach people sometimes who tell me, like, I don’t really have emotions, you know, I’m just kind of even, I’m just kind of steady all the time. And I never really go up and I never really go down. And I’m just, you know, I just don’t really have emotions. Well, you know what, I don’t really believe you, I don’t believe that you do. Because I believe that you’ve gotten really good at pushing those emotions down, and not paying attention to them. And that could be true for many reasons.
But when you start to pay attention to them, and I’ve seen that happen over and over again, when you start to pay attention to them, you will find that you do have emotions, that you have not been able to escape being a human being, because human beings have emotions. And I will give you a warning. If you’re not used to feeling emotions, it’s gonna feel really uncomfortable for you to begin feeling them. And you’re not going to want to.
But to live a more full, open, resilient life, you need to open yourself up to those emotions. Many times when I work with people on this, I explained to them how to process their emotions. They go home and they try it. And then they come back to their next session. And they say, I don’t know if I did that. Right. It’s kind of hard. I don’t really understand if I was doing it, right, because then it came right back or and I was like, everything was just kind of jumbled. I didn’t really understand what I was doing. If you go and try it, and you’re saying some of those things, you are completely normal. It is okay.
This is a learning process. Imagine it’s just a skill that you’re going to learn. Imagine any skill that you’ve been that you’ve learned in your life. And it takes time. At first when you started to drive. Do you remember how many things you had to pay attention to? Do you remember how you had to learn how to how you had to remember how to work the car and all the things in the car, and what they mean and where they were.
And then you had the laws of the place that you’ve lived and the driving laws and the signs and the other cars around you and pedestrians and parked things. And then you also probably had an adult sitting next to you in the car that was probably yelling at you at the same time doing all those things at the same time. But how long have you been driving now? How often have you driven somewhere and not even thought about it? It’s a skill you’re learning.
Now you’re learning a skill of processing emotions. And at first, it’s going to feel like there’s a lot of things to pay attention to. And a lot of rules to remember. And just a lot, a lot of stuff. It’s okay, take it one step at a time. Try it over and over again. Every time you try it, you’re gonna get better at it. Now you can go through this learning process on your own. It takes time to do on your own. Because you’re not getting feedback from someone else. takes time to learn what works for you and what doesn’t.
If you don’t want to take that time if you’re like I just want to learn how to do this now.
My emotions are causing a big problem for me. I need to learn how to process them now. Then I want you to get on a call with me. I can help you learn how this is going to work for you. I have 50 minute coaching sessions available for $25 Your first coaching session is only 20 $5 you can use that one, to process emotions. Let’s work through the emotions that keep coming back, that keep causing problems for you. Let me help you process that so you can begin moving forward. So you can start seeing how this tool that I’m teaching you today is going to help you in your life. And there’s a link in the show notes.
To sign up for that call. You can also go to https://tinagosney.com/coachme that will also take you directly to my scheduling link. And I’m looking forward to helping you process emotions. I think this skill, this skill, almost more than any other ones has so much power in your life. Emotions have so much power in our lives. And when we learn how to process them, how to learn from them, how to make them work for us, instead of them taking us for crazy rights. We start feeling more in control, we start feeling more resilient in our own life, and our ability to handle things that are hard increases, we find that emotional resilience that has been so eluding to us.
And you remember that story I told you at the beginning about the coaching retreat that I was at last summer at Bear Lake, and this coach friend that I was talking to, and she was asking me, like, What do you mean, your emotions have something to teach you? Like what does it mean when I get upset at my kids when they you know, they load the dishwasher incorrectly. So why?
What’s the what does that has to do with anything that is alerting me to something that’s important? And I said, I think that if you think about it for a minute, you’re going to answer that question for yourself. So she sat down, and she thought about it for a minute she goes, You know, I really do value being organized. I really love my home to be organized.
And I said yeah, maybe it’s alerting you to like, I want also want the dishwasher to be organized. And she said, yeah, maybe it is. What else do you think is there? What else is it going to teach you? What does that anger telling you? She said, I really value teaching my kids skill so that they can be self reliant. So they can be independent in their life. And I don’t think I’ve really been spending enough time teaching my kids how to do just daily things, daily tasks around the house.
I think I need to spend some more time there. She found out so much information in just a couple of minutes of asking herself, what does this emotion have to teach me? Why is it there? Why is it so important to me? I want to tell you, there’s always more under the surface emotion. Just like this friend of mine did, you can do some digging. And you can find out what your emotions are trying to tell you.
What they seem on the surface is probably not what they’re there to teach you, you’re going to have to do some digging to find it out. Now I want to remind you that my breathing classes next week, it’s on the 21st. If you want to learn how to effectively do what I’ve taught you today, and what I’ve described, you’ll need to learn how to manage your nervous system through intentional breathing.
Do you remember the third step in processing is to relax and to breathe. Most people don’t know how to do that. Let me help you learn how to relax and breathe. And work through these emotions so that you can learn how to manage your nervous system.
And reminder, there’s going to be a replay you don’t have to be there live. I’m going to teach you three simple breathing practices that you can start using that very day. It won’t even take 10 minutes out of your day to incorporate these three breathing practices into your life every day. You can have such a huge impact in your life by just starting this daily practice.
I want you to remember even if you didn’t know these tools that I’m teaching you until now, it’s okay. If you don’t learn to process your emotions as a child, if you were taught unhealthy coping skills, and you’ve seen yourself and what I’ve described in this podcast, it is never too late to learn how to deal with these emotions and how to live your life in a more full, resilient way.
How have a great day and I will see you next time.