You’ve probably heard these lines at some point in your life:

“Stop being so sensitive”.

“Get over it”.

“Be a man”.

“Suck it up”.

While most people who utter these words have no intentions of hurting you, it’s a way of saying that you need to get a grip of your emotions.

Sometimes, we find ourselves lashing out of anger or overcome with grief or fear. The next time you find yourself feeling really emotional, you might want to try any of these 4 strategies to help you get your head above water.

Identify your feelings

It may sound weird, but many of us do not take a moment to identify our emotions. Some people just brush it off, while others judge themselves for having them. You feel sad because you can’t celebrate your birthday. But then, you tell yourself it’s nothing compared to what other people are going through.

Instead of trying to brush off how you’re feeling, it would be better if you can put a name to it. Studies suggest that labeling an emotion can help clarify what’s going on and take some of the sting out of it. Think about what you’re feeling and say it out loud. “I’m really disappointed” or “I’m anxious right now”.

Replace unhelpful thoughts with more positive thoughts

There are times when you’ll catch yourself thinking things like, “something bad is going to happen” or “I can’t stand this!”.

Be on the lookout for unhelpful thoughts and try to replace them with more positive thoughts. When you’re looking at a potentially stressful situation, see if you can change your self-talk to use less strong, less negative emotions.

Stop pushing yourself and do more for your own well-being

It might be tempting to push ourselves, especially if this has been our pattern. We expect ourselves to do better because people who’ve been in our situation are doing better.

Embrace the idea of mini self-care practice. If you feel drained, then take a break. If you’re tired, take a rest. Create small pockets of time for self-care. Eventually, you’ll realize small things can make a big difference.