How can I stop feelings I know are irrational but still take over my mental and emotional state?
Last Updated: 11/14/2017 at 3:23am
Sarah Archer, LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
As a Licensed MFT I work with clients to more effectively address, process and learn skills to manage the problems that prevent them from living the life they want.
Top Rated Answers
Take a deep breath, exhale slowly. Repeat. Realize that it is just a moment of weakness. It is not real. It is not you. Just a moment that will pass and things will get back to normal again.
First of all, the fact that you know those are irrational feelings is a good one: it means you are still aware of very important nuances and it's the first step to fight them. You recognize them, so you can target them with your efforts. How to stop them? Focus, first of all, on changing them. They probably steam from experiences or situations that trigger something in you, something irrational. First of all, spot those situations, and then ask yourself: how could I react rationally to it? Doing this for long enough will replace the automatic irrational thought/feeling with the rational one, and it may lead you to a point where your brain doesn't fall under its influence anymore. It will take time, patience and perseverance, though, and in those I wish you the best of each! You can do it, you are worth the change.
When you know the feeling is irrational it its definitely a negative feeling. Instead of seeing the easy negative try to search for the positive in the situation. Eventually your mind becomes trained to automatically see the good in every situation and the negatives seem rather petty.
In my personal opinion, I believe that NO feeling is irrational. While it may make "no sense" to somebody else, that doesn't mean it is without sense. Your feelings are valid no matter what, and once you understand this, the sooner you'll be able to put your best foot forward and decide what the best option for you to take is in order to overcome any negative feelings.
When you are lost in a trance of feeling or thinking, and you recognise that it's not healthy or helping you, switching up your activity can help reset your mood. Do something different - even if it's as small as moving into a different room or putting on some music or calling a friend/relative for a chat. If you can find an activity to interrupt the compulsive feeling or thinking behaviour, you can take advantage of the space and 'pause' it brings you to make a more empowered choice about your mind's focus. Personally, I find exercise to be an excellent mood-shifter. It's hard to remain stuck in your mind when you are concentrating on pushing your physical abilities. And the fitness-related adrenaline and endorphin boost can help improve wellbeing. Being in nature can also be very healing... A change of scenery... Fresh air.... A chance to appreciate simple pleasures. You may need to return to whatever the 'thing' is that you are thinking or feeling... So that you can process it. Compulsive thoughts/feelings can be linked to real issues that do need your focus and attention... When you are ready.. But you don't need to be held prisoner by them. You can choose when and where to focus your attention. So become your mind's "manager" and interrupt the programming.
Sometimes the best way to deal with your feelings is to make them public. By that, I mean not bottling them up and keeping them to yourself. When you make your feelings public - when you say them out loud - you are no longer alone. When others know what you are going through, they are better able to understand and lend their help. Now, that's not to say you have to open up to every person you speak to, but if you have even just one close friend that you can share your feelings with, it can help. If you are uncomfortable letting friends know your thoughts, you can always talk confidentially with a professional or come here to 7cups (we are always ready to listen to you!).
Perhaps try to get to the root of the emotion, for instance what caused this irrational emotion to appear, and then deal with it accordingly? Looking from another persons perspective may also be helpful :)
For me, there's an analogy that works: if you are dancing with lots of turn, you are told to "spot" something to keep your balance and focus. I think mental "clutter" can benefit from the same idea.
It all depends up on your will power to overcome such thoughts. It may be hard in beginning but with firm will, you can ignore it. Try to do things which make you feel happy or which are of priority and try to focus on one area at a time. Spend time more with those who love you and care for you, give yourself some space and time. Instead of doubting yourself or your potentials, try to manage with whatever you possesses, as you know its irrational, you can surely avoid it.
Your feelings matter! They are never something to be taken lightly. Look at your feelings and assess where they are coming from. Try and resolve these issues. If that is not doable, take time for yourself and find out what makes you happy. Do that and distract yourself for a bit in order to calm down. Try breathing exercises and check out 7Cups Anxiety Guide. You can get through this. You can do this!
Simple. Focus on your breathing and staying in the here and now. Even stare at something external if it jolts you enough to get out of your head. The challenge is to find what helps for you personally
Sometimes it can be helpful to take a minute, clear your mind. Take some deep breaths. Then when you are feeling better go over your feelings and try to address them and understand why you think that way and what the actual situation is. It is okay to have irrational feelings, but it is important to understand why you have them
if u have been in the same situation before , just remember how it ended and how u felt. if it is a new situation take very deep breaths and think if it is a good idea or a bad one and decide if u really want to do this .
You can't stop those feelings, but you can manage them in a healthy manner and take control of them rather than them taking over you.
Identify them - give them a name! When you are feeling anxious, and it seems irrational, remind yourself that the feelings just mean that "Anxious Joe" is back and he will be gone soon. Acknowledging the feeling can help you control it.
Relaxing and trying to focus on living in the moment. Also thinking about something else.
Take a moment to define your feelings and try to think back to what caused them. If you can identify the emotion and the cause, you're on a good path to rationalizing your mental state.
Personally, I find that reminding yourself that you're feelings may be irrational eventually helps to stop them from taking over your mental and emotional state. It takes time, a lot of things do. I also like to remind myself of how situations would play out if I acted on my irrational feelings. This usually helps me to realise i'm making the right decision to overcome my feelings and move of. Of course, if this will not help everybody.
Meditation is one of the key mental healing/physical actions you can do to balance feelings. Also, yoga, exercise and positive thinking can help. A old trick I like to use is to write down feelings that have been bothering me on a piece of paper, then tear the paper into tiny pieces to then throw it away. This is a physical representation of how I deal with ill thoughts, feelings and emotions.
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