I should make the disclaimer that I didn’t research this and I can’t claim that it came from empirical evidence. However, it’s been my personal experience as someone who has to address feelings pretty often.
1. Take a step back- So many times we act on emotion and we let the anger or the sadness or the loneliness dictate our behaviors. Learn to take a step back and evaluate the thought and feeling.
2. Get to the bottom of it- Are you mad at the world because you didn’t eat breakfast and feel cranky? Are the feelings coming from a perceived lack of adequacy for the challenge? Are you projecting your feelings from an unrelated situation?
3. Differentiate between rational and irrational- It’s easy to get yourself worked up because of an imaginary “what if” situation. Evaluate if your feelings are a result of fear for some event that might happen in the future. Wallowing in feelings of anger or sadness over what may occur is not the best use of emotional energy and will leave you drained.
4. Talk to someone- Granted, this is an option that is probably the most popular but talking to another rational and reasonably emotionally healthy human being can help you evaluate the relevance of your feelings. Remember that feelings are valid but sometimes they just aren’t relevant and you have to make hard decisions based on facts despite how you feel.
5. Distract yourself -I call it chewing gum for your mind. Take a break and do something else. Even if it’s as mundane as taking a nap or watching a reality tv show. There are plenty of things available that are somewhat productive that can take your mind off of it. However, it’s important to remember that sometimes you just need to feel while recognizing that it won’t be a feeling forever and will pass.