The Trouble With Bottling Emotions

Imagine a bottle of soda. It's anything you like- Cherry Cola, Orange Fanta, or a simple Sprite. Imagine it fresh out the fridge, cool and bubbly, just waiting to be opened.

And then you drop it.

The soda builds up to an angry fizzle, rising to the top of the bottle. The pressure is pushing against the lid. Nothing good can come out of opening a shaken up bottle of soda.

But you do anyways, and just as predicted, it explodes in your face, making a huge sticky mess.
Of course this sounds like nonsense. Why would someone open a bottle of coke right after shaking it up? We all know it's going to rain sugar water once you twist the cap a bit. The best course of action is to set it down and wait.

If it's so logical with a coke bottle, then why don't we think the same about ourselves?

I, personally, am full of a lot of unnecessary rage. I am perpetually stressed about everything 24/7, regardless of whether or not I know the outcome will be OK. So in order to keep a decent headspace, i need to find healthy outlets for these emotions that don't involve just screaming into a pillow.

Most of the things listed can be done individually, which is how I usually like to deal with things. I need space to process the things that are causing stress, and time to cool down so I can talk the issue through with whoever is involved. I remember reading in a book (and if I can find which one it is I will link it here) a little story about a person who went sailing and got hit by another boat. When they went to yell at the other person for crashing into them, they discovered the boat was empty.

Seems pretty silly to yell at a whole lot of nothing. And I try to remember this when things become too much- it's my problem alone, and I need to solve it. And it's not always easy to come to that conclusion right off the bat, so by using an outlet I can get through the emotions until I am able to figure out the best decision. 

One of the first things I try to do is keep my hands busy. Folding laundry or washing dishes is a great activity that allows you to go through the motions while also leaving you free to think. Getting important chores done around the house will also help to relax you as well, because by the time your done everything else will be too.

Another way of working through emotions is to do something artistic. I'm big on writing or painting and doing photography, and finding interesting ways to express myself. Art can be as simple or complex as you feel. It gives you something to focus on, and when creating a masterpiece, hours can go by. More time spent creating is less time spent stressing.

I also enjoy leaving my home altogether, which I usually do with my Tater Tot since we're basically attached to the hip. When we go out it can be with a purpose or just lazy window shopping. The change of scenery can usually change perspective as well. It's important to remember, however, that while we are seemingly walking away from the problem, it's still there. Avoidance is temporary, so when it comes time to return to the scene of the crime, do so when you've had the time to really think through your next move.

The biggest takeaway from these activities is self reflection. Rather than exploding like a shaken soda bottle, take some time to step back from the problem and cool down. It can take a matter of minutes, or even a day to sort things out. In the heat of the moment, rash and often bad choices can be made. Not every situation is an emergency, even if it feels like it at first. So let's step back, take a breath, and let our emotions settle. Then we can open the bottle.

How do you filter through your emotions? Share in the comments!


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