25 Tips to Process Emotions

When life is good, it's generally easy to express positive emotions. During these times, we might barely notice our emotions at all. However, if we are faced with uncertainty or unpleasant circumstances, then internalize the consequences, we may have a hard time processing emotions.  In this article, I'll give you 25 tips to process emotions and then add how you can learn more to help others deal with their emotions in a healthy way.

Let us now look at 25 tips to help process emotions.

1. Journal your thoughts.

When you write down what you are feeling about a situation or your relationship with someone, you will see your emotions more clearly. Journaling helps you release any toxic thoughts that may be swirling in your mind. It also helps you have a record of your thoughts and over time you can better analyze them.

2. Maintain an attitude of gratitude.

When you show gratitude, your mind becomes positive and as a result you will have a healthier emotional life. Counting your blessings keeps your focus on the good things in your life and you give less attention to the negative.

3. Talk to a trusted friend.

When you are going through a difficult phase in life, talk to a trusted friend who will hear you out and empathize with your situation. Talking to someone will get rid of the pressure brought by negative emotions.

4. Pray.

Prayer is always a good way to process your emotions because you are talking to God, who can help you deal with your negative emotions.

5. Identify your emotions.

When you are having an emotional moment, identify the thoughts you are having at that time. This will help you deal with each thought and resulting emotion in the right way.

6. Take a deep breath.

Before giving an emotional response in a highly charged situation, take a deep breathe and calm down. You certainly don't want to overreact and this will help you avoid complicating matters.

7. Walk away from a volatile situation.

If you are upset because of an encounter you've had with someone, excuse yourself, walk away and process your emotions. You can talk to the other person later when you are able to manage your emotions.

8. Identify your emotional patterns.

It will be helpful to identify any emotional patterns from your childhood so that you can break them and learn a new way to process your emotions.

9. Face your emotions.

Instead of suppressing your emotions, face them and deal with them in the right way.

10. Read about emotions.

Research and read articles that help you address the emotions you are experiencing.

11. Visit a counselor.

If you are unable to process your emotions, visit a counselor, who is prepared to help you. Counselors have been trained on how to help others deal with their emotions.

12. Listen to the testimonies of others.

It’s a good idea to listen to others who overcame a situation similar to what you are going through, which is keeping you emotionally stuck. You may learn a thing or two.

13. Identify what triggers your emotions.

There are certain experiences that can trigger your emotions and these are unique for each person. By knowing yours, you will be more aware to avoid the triggers or process your emotions when they arise.

14. Avoid responding to a situation immediately.

When faced with a situation that makes you angry or fearful, take your time before responding, and try to understand what's going on. Sometimes we get emotional because of having an incorrect perspective about an issue.

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15. Identify why you feel the way you do.

Take your time to identify why you are having certain emotions and process them in a reasonable way. 

16. Ask yourself some questions.

To effectively process your emotions, ask yourself questions like, "how do I feel about this situation?" " When was the last time I felt this way?"  To do this can be very revealing.

17. Don’t let your emotions rule you.

Your emotions can easily mislead you when making decisions. This is because emotions are not predictable or rational. They are only sensations in your physiology.  Wait until you are calm. Then think through your decisions instead of allowing your emotions to cloud your judgment.

18. Postpone decision making.

If you are too emotional, avoid making decisions then. Give yourself time before you take any action. Time will help you see things more clearly.

19. Negative emotions are very revealing.

When you are experiencing negative emotions about a situation, pay attention to what they are trying to tell you. Your emotions can help you avoid going in the wrong direction.

20. Identify your coping mechanisms.

It will be very helpful to identify the ways you use to numb your emotions. Do you use food, busy-ness, entertainment, daydreaming, etc.? WE all need ways to cope with negative emotions and not all methods are bad. The problem arises when we use them as a distraction or crutch.

21. Don’t beat yourself up.

If you are stuck in a cycle of negative emotions, don’t beat yourself up. This is not a sign of weakness and neither should it make you feel ashamed. It's unfortunate that most of us are not raised with understanding how to manage our emotions.  

Here at PCCCA, we train our life coaches and counselors with methods to help their clients process emotions. But first, our students learn to apply these skills to their own lives.

22. Find a healthy way to refocus your thoughts.

It always pays off to find a healthy way to refocus your thoughts so that they won't lead to toxic behavior. You can take a walk, listen to your favorite music or do something that you love.

23. Don’t take it out on others.

It's not unusual to take out negative emotions on others when we have not properly dealt with them. Deal with your emotions before meeting up with other people.

24. Celebrate your progress.

When processing your emotions, celebrate yourself as you make progress in dealing with them.

25. Make things right with someone.

If your negative emotions are resulting from a conflict with someone, make amends with the person and apologize if you need to.

BONUS TIP:  Forgive.

When we're dealing with difficult emotions that are resulting from something another has said or done, make it your goal to forgive the other as soon as you can.  This does not excuse the errant behavior. But it does release you to move on with a positive attitude.  Forgiveness is about restoring YOUR life, not pretending that what happened is ok.


The tips offered here highlight some ways you can better process your emotions so that you can respond to situations from a place of emotional health. You can also help others learn how to process their emotions by becoming a Certified Professional Christian Life Coach or Certified Christian Counselor. With the certification you receive, you can open your private practice, and even have churches and ministries refer clients to you. Sign up today.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I read and respond to all comments and I'd love to read yours!

© 2020 Leelo Bush, PhD, All rights reserved.

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