Coping with complicated emotions in the moment

1. Identify the emotion you’re feeling. Identifying a specific emotion can be more difficult than you think. If you are struggling, start with the four basic categories: anxiety, sadness, anger, or happiness. By simply identifying exactly what you’re feeling, you can begin taking the power away from the emotion as you work through what’s causing it. Though your feelings may vary in intensity, most fall into one of these broad categories.[1]
Anxiety often takes the shape of “what if” questions. What if they don’t like me? What if I’m not accepted? Etc.[2]
Sadness tends to happen when we focus on things we cannot change such as death or loss.[3]
Anger is the response after being attacked, such as our values.[4]
Happiness is positive thought often around a gain, such as a compliment from a friend or a reward like a promotion at work.[5]

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