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Let Emotions Flow Through You Like Waves in the Ocean

Emotions can feel so strong and intense, often times we don’t exactly know what to do with them or how to handle them. Emotions are neither good or bad, but sometimes they may feel very good or very bad. When emotions feel overwhelming, we can remind ourselves that emotions will come and go, just as the flow of the waves of the ocean.

“This is temporary,” is a phrase that can help with coping with overwhelming and intense emotions that may feel unmanageable. “This feeling is not permanent, and even though it is hard/painful/hurtful, the feeling is not actually going to hurt me or kill me. The feeling will pass.” If the feeling is so painful or uncomfortable that it appears difficult to simply reframe your thoughts, you may also try guiding your mental and physical energy into something that is distracting or interesting. Distracting yourself, which is also sometimes referred to a Practical Mindfulness, may help to pull yourself out of the intense and unmanageable feeling, and just like the waves of the ocean, bring about new or different emotions.

Emotions can also feel wonderful and almost euphoric. Embrace those emotions that bring about joy and peace. When you remind yourself that those emotions are, too, temporary, it allows space for you to become even more mindful, present, and aware. Whenever I am going through a difficult time and experiencing an intense wave of uncomfortable or painful emotions, I simply envision those emotions to be like the waves of an ocean, and I tell myself that the next big and joyful wave is approaching. When it is here, I will embrace every moment of it, for it will also flow in and out like waves.

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Photo taken by Monica Coulter in McKinney, Texas, 2016.

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