sometimes when im really angry, sad, upset, anxious, or disappointed i sometimes do something to let it go. for example when im sad, i usually make origami or if im angry, i calm myself by doodling random stuff on a piece of paper. im curious if anyone here have any suggestions to letting go of unpleasant feelings, i can really use some (these days my methods dont work as well as they used to) .
There are a number of different ways of doing this. One of the most commonly used us a behavioral technique called "thought stopping." It simply consists of noticing when the feelings get especially strong, and then literally saying (in your head) loudly and firmly "STOP!" This is actually reasonably useful, though in actual practice I've found it works better with intrusive thoughts better than with feelings.
Another is to understand that feelings don't show up by themselves. That is, a person doesn't simply walk about the yard and get jumped by a roving band of happy feelings that was passing through the neighborhood. Or depressing feelings, or angry feelings either. All these feelings are (according to this theory) produced first by thoughts that a person has about himself and the world and his relationship to it. Mostly these thoughts are, if the feelings are depressing or anxiety provoking or unbearably scary, a result of some sort of incorrect thinking. This particular form of cognitive technique has you write down what you say to yourself that makes you feel the uncomfortable way you do, and then check them out against a list of what are called cognitive distortions, which means, essentially, screwy ways of thinking. Then it trains to you correct yourself when you find yourself thinking those thoughts. After you get the knack, it's not hard at all. Some of the cognitive distortions are "All or Nothing" thinking; "Black and White" thinking; and "Perfectionistic" thinking.
Another way of dealing with a storm of feelings is by using some Japanese Zen philosophy. What this says is that everybody has feelings all the time. Feelings are like the weather, they come and they go. If you spend your time paying attention to them, then you become their prisoner. You will have pleasant feelings at one moment and unpleasant feelings at another, but you will always have a clear set of things that need to be done. Your job is to focus on the things to be done and put your full attention on them. Let the feeling come and go as they please. Notice that they are present, but keep your attention fully on the job at hand. If that is washing the dishes, then you need to pay attention to the dishes and making sure that each dish gets its loving share of your full attention. Each dish was made for you. Each dish was bought for you at some expense through somebody's labor, and you respect that love and attention by maintaining the dish as completely and as thoroughly as you can in the few moments you have to give your full mind to it. When that dish is done, there is another.
The same may be said for gardening, taking a shower, walking, listening, eating, almost anything you have in front of you. The buddhists call this quality of attention "mindfulness." When you find yourself spending time with emotions that pull you away from yourself and your world and the decent treatment of yourself and the other people in that world, that is a marvelous moment because you have woken up and have become aware of what you are doing ("I am worrying," or some other such thing) and at that moment you can ask yourself, what can I do instead?
Can I mow the lawn? Can I peel the vegetables? Can I go for a walk? Can I take a shower? What are the things that I can do and put my whole attention into?
The likelihood is that you are doing just fine as you are, however, O Onion, and that you need do nothing else. If you want to know more about any of these things, you might try finding out more about them on the web, though. I've only scratched the surface. You can probably google Thought Stopping directly. If you want to find out more about the cognitive techniques, you might try googling Cognitive Therapy or Cognitive errors or some such; you might also try David Burns, who's an M.D. who's written about the subject. About the Zen material, you could try googling the subject "Mindfulness" or "Right Mindfulness."
Hope this isn't too much too fast. Hope some of it's useful. Yours, BobK.