Emotional Processing for Mental Health

“The way to do is to be.”
– Lao Tzu

Normalize Emotions

Like stress, emotions are normal! Everyone experiences them, there’s nothing wrong with them, and as uncomfortable as they might feel, they serve an important purpose. Emotions influence our decisions and drive us to take action.

However, taking action before processing an emotion can compound the feeling and lead to greater discomfort. Fully processing emotions allows space for conscious response rather than impulsive reaction. It saves energy, reduces stress, and can accelerate personal transformation. In short, processing emotions fuels inspired action.

Experiencing emotions can certainly be a challenge, and it may even stir up feelings of judgment, shame, or guilt. We often forget how to be with emotions fully. Instead, we dwell on why we’re upset, who we can blame, or how we can prevent future discomfort. The more you can process emotions by being honest about how you feel and noticing any accompanying physical sensations without blame or judgment, the more easily they’ll move through you.

Lean into Emotions

As you face new challenges, you’re inevitably going to feel a whole spectrum of emotions beyond stress. Mental health includes shifting how you process all these emotions in order to move through challenges.

Visiting teacher Ellen Vora, MD, discusses the importance of practicing healthy ways to process emotions.