Dealing With Strong Emotions

As you meditate and practice being fully present in each moment,  you’ll become more aware of how you react to the situations in your life. You will begin to realize that a lot of your behavior is by rote. Something happens and you react as you have many times before, as if you’re programmed to follow the past. You are. But as with any program,  it can be rewritten.
Here’s what happened:
That night I woke up every few hours. I don’t remember any dreams,  just a restless night. In the morning I got up grumpy and struggled through my 30-minute meditation. Thought about all that I had to do and got even grumpier. Drank coffee, did dishes, started laundry and couldn’t get past the grumps:
1. My 5-year-old grandson has covid.
2. His 4-month-old sister is showing symptoms.
3. I want …
4. I don’t want …
5. I’m aggravated by …
6. I’m tired of …
And the list went on.

Practicing meditation helped me see that whatever emotions I’m experiencing are a part of me. The key is remembering that they are only a part of you. They don’t define you but they are real and they are present. I am not a grump, I’m a whole person who is experiencing grumpy emotions. It really doesn’t matter if your anger, impatience, or grumps are justified;  they can’t help you in any way. They won’t solve your problems, help your loved ones or make your life or the world a better place. But the way that you handle them can. Here are some steps that may help.

1. Accept that this is the way that you’re feeling at the moment. Accept that your emotions are part of you.
2. Close your eyes, look deeply within yourself and feel exactly where in your body you’re carrying the tension, where you’re holding the emotion.
3. Now breathe in and out. Imagine that you’re breathing in and out with love and acceptance for that part of your body.
The more that you’re able to surround the area holding the tension with love, the more you’ll be able to see it as part of you, not all of you. It is true that when you’re at your worst, you need to be loved the most and you can be the one loving yourself the most.
What I’ve found most interesting about accepting, forgiving and loving myself is that it doesn’t stop with me. The more that I practice,  the more it spreads to how I see other people. When I accept that my strong emotions are only a part of me,  it becomes apparent that other people’s strong emotions are only a part of them. It is much easier to deal with unpleasant people when we accept that they are only human and are dealing with difficult emotions just as we do.
If you would like to explore meditation, I offer a free 30-minute class about once a month. Check out this link for more info:
For more info on meditation, I have links on my web sites resources page  to some Youtube meditation teachers that I enjoy:
If you have a meditation teacher that you like please share a link with me!


  1. Victoria, we are again on the same general theme expressing in somewhat different ways. Tonight I was with people who love conflict and were escalating a restaurant situation until the police were called. Thank God my friends told me to go on home. They used the opposite strategies from those I would use. As you say, “The grumps”, feeling bad, will absolutely not help. So we need to shift. I love your breath technique, “Imagine that you’re breathing in and out with love and acceptance for that part of your body.” My shoulders are really tight and want me to do that for them. Thanks for another great piece. 10 here, and I think I will go walk outside for awhile first.

  2. My emotions have been all over the place and it seems like they show up at times when I don’t feel there is any problem. But I have been meditating daily and find it has a very calming feeling and the emotions are listening.

  3. Accepting your emotions is vital!!! I think anxiety is actually like depression in that it is caused by not acknowledging emotions. With depression, the emotions get depressed, and with anxiety, they are not sat with.

  4. During the holidays I was feeling restless between Christmas and New Years. Instead of cutting myself some slack like you suggest I got down on myself for not being my usual productive self. True is, it’s okay to not be productive sometimes, but to simply enjoy the down time. Perhaps if I had meditated, or at least been more aware I could have relaxed a bit. Thanks Victoria for your insights.

  5. Excellent advice! I actually had something like this happen this week. Just naming and owning the grumpiness and frustration caused it to release. Now to practice stopping in the moment of grumpiness instead of letting it roll on for half the day…

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