Navigating Emotions During Difficult Times

Navigate emotions during difficult times

The COVID-19 pandemic is difficult for all of us. Some are impacted more than others. But something we probably all have in common is difficulty navigating our emotions.

Ed Mylett, a life and business strategist, gave a 20 minute talk on “How to Navigate Times of Crisis” during the Rise X Live event this past weekend. While this talk, and this conference, were created around COVID-19, we can apply these ideas towards navigating “normal” everyday life and feelings.

So how do we navigate our emotions during difficult times?

Remember, everything happens for you, not to you.

Now, more than ever this is true. When we are stressed, having a bad day, in times of turmoil, or in a pandemic, take a moment and say “Everything happens for me, not to me.”

Even if it is just one of those days where you wake up stub your toe, burn your eggs, and spill your coffee, all before 8:00 am. But even more so, do this during tough times, losing a loved one, losing your job, living through a pandemic.

Re-evaluate the situation and what you are thinking about.

Stop and breathe. Think to yourself, “What is this difficult time trying to teach me?” Do you need to hold your loved ones closer, express how much you care for someone? Maybe better job opportunities lay ahead? Or does losing your job gives you time to hone in on your skills and advance yourself? More specific to this pandemic, what is this teaching you about your health, quality time, slowing down, and the environment?

The quality of our life is related to the quality of our emotions. And our emotions are driven by our thoughts. Stop and re-evaluate your thoughts. Our thoughts are not necessarily true.

Remember this blog post? Don’t believe everything you think. Just because you thought it, does not mean it is true.

Do you need help evaluating your thoughts and emotions? Try taking an inventory of your emotions. I am a big fan of listing things that are on my mind and deciphering what it means to me.

Emotions Inventory

Write down the thoughts or emotions you have been thinking the past 2, 3, or 4 weeks. List each thought or emotion as positive thoughts or negative.

Then ask yourself,
  • Is this true?
  • Does it serve me to believe it?

Do any of your thoughts create fear, anxiety, worry? If they do and you think they may be true, run it through a “Truth Meter”. Observe the thought, spend time deciphering the thought. The more time you spend observing it, the more that thought will lose its power. Simply observing it is a powerful way to change that thought and that emotion that comes with it.

If a thought does not serve you, what thought will serve you? Fear is not always bad, it can protect and awaken you. But if the fear is not serving you, then how can you change it?

Better questions = Better thoughts = better emotions. So protect the questions you ask yourself

Thinking is really just asking and answering questions to ourselves. You can change your thoughts by asking yourself different questions.

Help other people, serve others.

The antidote of helpless is helpful. If you feel helpless, negative, lost, unsure about yourself and your emotions, go help other people, even if it is reaching out to a friend or telling someone you believe in them. It may seem small, but even the small things can bring greatness. And you were born to do something great with your life.

It is so easy to forget this, especially when going through the motions of everyday life. Small acts of greatness are things people may never see but they are the most valuable and the most transforming. And if you become intune to what this greatness is, intune with your true self, you will build self-confidence. What will self-confidence do for you? It will help improve your thoughts about yourself and help you better navigate your emotions.

We cannot love ourselves without being ourselves. The real you is great. A giver, so helpful, with great emotions, great questions, and incredible thoughts. Let’s get back to her. Do that by serving others, by sharing your greatness with others.

Self-Confidence and your emotions

Building self-confidence means we are acting in congruency with what we tell ourselves. How can we build self-confidence? Keep the promises that you make to yourself. Do you feel like you have low self-confidence? Maybe you are not keeping the promises you made to yourself.

Have you ever made a promise to yourself, saying you would workout a certain amount a week, quit your job, start your own business, drink more water, eat healthier, get to bed earlier, demonstrate more patience, etc? And then not keep it? How did that make you feel? It probably did not help your self-confidence.

Make simple small promises to yourself to get back on track. And when you keep these small promises, be intentional on giving yourself credit. This will boost your self-confidence. Trust me! Give it a try.

Final thoughts

Not going to lie, this was a lot for me to decipher. I have spent a few days studying it and looking for the meaning that I got out of it. I think I took Ed Mylett’s words and did an Adria remix, but I still feel the information is valuable. Honestly, it has changed my way of thinking so far this week. Here are some additional takeaways.

Extra bits of emotion wisdom

We get out of life what we put into it and what we think we deserve. We should be consistent with our own identity to truly be happy, to have self-confidence, and to navigate our emotions in difficult times.

Thermostat example

Say you set your thermostat at a comfortable 75 degrees. So no matter what happens outside, your house stays at 75 degrees. If it is 100 degrees outside your house stays at 75 degrees. If it is 32 degrees outside, your house stays at 75 degrees.

Now think of that thermostat as how we view our own identity or our own self worth. If we are set at 75 degrees of self confidence or happiness and we somehow end up successful, doing great at taking care of ourselves both physically and mentally, and we start to rise towards 100 degrees, if we don’t think that we deserve this, we will bring ourselves down, back to 75 degrees. Same goes if we feel down in the dumps, getting below 75 degrees, we will find something to lift our spirits.

We battle between self sabotage and trying to build ourselves back up, never truly letting ourselves be fully confident and fully happy. Why do we do this!? Maybe keeping our promises to ourselves, taking inventory of our our emotions, and realizing our thoughts are not always true will help us.

Final bit of emotion wisdom

Why don’t we easily allow ourselves to grow into who we were born to be?

Experiment to find new hobbies and interest. Get out of our normal, daily routine. More uncertainty can equal more happiness and growth. Uncertainty can be a blessing, if you choose to chase it, feel it, be alive and productive with it.

This pandemic has provided so much uncertainty. Even though there is so much negativity surrounding this event, can you use this uncertainty to grow?

In this pandemic, I have found a love for exploring the emotional side of everything we do. Why we think and why we act how we do. Our minds are so fascinating. But I have also found a love for blogging It may be small, but I put myself out there online. I set up a gig on fiverr.com, to write health related blog posts for others. A few days ago I just completed my first “gig” and received such a positive review. I can’t believe I just got paid to do something I literally just discovered I love doing!!?

Review of the Steps to Navigating your Emotions During Difficult times
  • Remember, everything happens for you, not to you.
  • Re-evaluate the situation and what you are thinking about.
  • Take an Emotion Inventory
  • Help others
  • Keep promises to yourself

Recommended Articles