Coping with Emotions
During and After the
t can be easy for all of us to get caught up in our emotions. Most people don’t think about what emotions they are dealing with, such as anger, disappointment or grief; they just react. Research shows that taking the time to really identify what you’re feeling can help you to better cope with challenging situations.
This may be especially valuable during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Sometimes there are societal pressures, like social distancing, that compound tense family systems or work situations. People may be encouraged to shut down their emotions, hearing statements like, "Just live with it," “Big girls don’t cry,” or “Man up.” These suggestions can often be harmful, not helpful. Everyone has emotions – they are part of the human experience – and you have every right to feel them, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic status, race, political affiliation or religion.
Most of us have heard the term “bottling up your feelings” before. When we try to push feelings aside without addressing them, they can build strength and make us more likely to “explode” at some point in the future. Many experts recommend that we process emotions as soon as possible.
It is often productive to talk about feelings with someone you trust. Consider the strength of your emotions and analyze how you label them. While they can be referenced through simple terms, such as bad, sad, mad or good, diving a bit deeper and using more descriptive words may help get to the root of the issue. For instance, sometimes a person might say they are angry when what they are really experiencing is something that could be considered less severe, like annoyance.
If you are taking steps to be more in touch with your feelings, but are having trouble dealing with them, or if you are struggling with emotional issues related to the COVID-19 Pandemic,
please call New Jersey Mental Health Cares at 866-202-HELP(4357). They are here to help.
Sources: Mental Health America,
Sources 1https://learnersdictionary.com/3000-words/topic/emotions-vocabulary-english 2Kashdan, T. B., Barrett, L. F., McKnight, P. E. (2015). Unpacking Emotion Differentiation: Transforming Unpleasant Experience by Perceiving Distinctions in Negativity. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24(1), 10–16. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721414550708 3Brackett, M. A., Rivers, S. E., Reyes, M. R., & Salovey, P. (2012). Enhancing academic performance and social and emotional competence with the RULER feeling words curriculum. Learning and Individual Differences, 22, 218–224.