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Emotions Are Valid But Are They Always True? Learn Emotional Regulation Skills

Emotions are the colors of life.

Sometimes they’re nice and manageable and other times they seem to be aggressive and in-your-face.

Fern shadows outside
What colors would you say your emotions are today?

If there was a tagline in my therapeutic practice, it would be this:


Your emotions are always valid, they’re just not always true.


What does that mean and how can that be helpful in my life? How can I learn emotional regulation skills to help me when things get intense?


Let’s say that you stub your toe, feel anger and surprise and then have the urge to punch a wall.


Are you wrong for feeling angry that you stubbed your toe?

Never!

But is it true that it’ll make you feel better if you punch the wall?

Most likely not, then you’ll have a hurt toe and a hurt hand.


Validating your emotions is a skill that is often overlooked as being too simple or even enable for “bad” emotions. But if emotions are simply the colors of life, it’s ok to validate that you do or don’t like that particular feeling or “shade”.


Where emotions can run out of hand is when we believe what they’re telling us. Fee


ling angry and like everyone is out to ruin your day? Your emotion might be telling you that yelling at your coworker will make you feel better.


Feeling overlooked and powerless? Emotions might tell you that controlling your life down to the cent and the second will ease that feeling.




We don’t have to believe our emotions in order to validate them, to sit with them, to see them.


Practice this as you read:


Take a deep breath in and slowly let it out. Picture your emotions as clouds, try not to ju


dge them or focus on any one particular cloud, just notice that they are there.


As you continue to take deep breaths, allow the wind to slowly carry off each cloud, until the sky is clear.


Validate the clouds that seem “stuck” by saying to yourself “It’s ok that you are here, it’s ok that I feel this way.”


How did that feel? Notice how this changes your perception and reaction to emotions as you go about your day.



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