Every one of us experiences a number of different emotions throughout the day.
Experiences, circumstances, thoughts, relationships, and our physical health play a major role in influencing the emotions we may experience at a given time. While some emotions may get a bad wrap for feeling overwhelming and tough to deal with, every emotion serves an important purpose. They can motivate us to take meaningful action, influence us to make an important decision, and allow us to better understand ourselves and others.
When we experience an emotion, it may help to look at it as an expression of a need that needs to be met. In order to better regulate and accept our emotions, we first need to better understand their unique purpose.
Emotions play an essential role in how we communicate with others.
About 70 – 90% of communication is non-verbal, meaning that our body language, tone, and facial expressions may communicate even more in a moment than our words do. For example, crying with a friend after a shared conflict may indicate to them that you are hurt and in need of empathy. It may also indicate to a friend the emotional pain that occurs at the thought of losing that relationship, and can signal the personal importance of that friendship.
Emotions also motivate us to take action.
For example, the feeling of fear can indicate to us where we lack a sense of safety. It may motivate us to fight, fight, or freeze at the first sign of danger. Feeling the emotion of fear can motivate our body to act when it is really essential. On the hand, when we feel anger, we may feel motivated to notice where a boundary needs to be drawn and then take action.
Emotions also signal a need.
If we look at emotions this way, we can build a better understanding of our values and what is truly important to us. When we feel guilt, we may look at it as a sign that we have acted against our core values. We may be motivated to then reflect on those values and move forward accordingly. Feeling jealousy can motivate us to better understand where we need internal validation, security, and self-compassion. Jealousy within a relationship can even be viewed through the lens curiosity rather than judgment, and can then allow us to communicate our needs to our partner(s). Feeling joy can remind us of who and what is important in our lives, and can inspire us to focus more attention on those particular things.
When we feel a difficult emotion, we may be tempted to ignore or push down the feeling. Ignoring our emotions can over an extended period of time may lead to further emotional stress. Learning how to feel our feelings rather than push them away can be helpful, healthy, and useful in growing our self-awareness and caring for our mental health.
Unlike our family, we can choose our friends. So in a way friends are our “chosen family”. It’s important that we choose wisely and surround ourselves with supporting and loving people. Happy International Friendship Day!
Are you hoping to make new friends but don’t know where to find them? Look no further!
Here are the top 3 places to check out to meet new peeps!
This is a great website to meet people who share similar interests to you. Sign up on the website, choose the categories that interest you, i.e. sports, nature, movies, etc., and then get out there!
2. Bumble BFF
Yes, you read that correctly. Bumble—best known for its dating app—also has an app to meet your future bestie. Add a few photos of you in your element, write a brief bio and then start swiping!
You’ve probably bought tickets on Eventbrite before (maybe even for a Shift event!) but did you know it’s also considered the “new” meetup.com. Easily search by date, location, cost and category to find the perfect event to mingle with like-minded folks.
Try something new. You never know what you will learn about yourself!
To study or work from home is challenging. If—like myself—you’re a person living with ADHD, it may feel especially difficult to adjust to the lack of structure that can come with switching to a fully online work/study environment.
Studying (and for some of us, also working) entirely from home means that we are more susceptible to the distractions of our household, and may find ourselves overwhelmed. The habits we’ve developed to adapt to traditional formats for work and study and are not so easy to tune into from the bedroom or living room. So— how is an ADHDer supposed to adjust to remote studies during the current COVID-19 pandemic?
Here are 3 tips to help us cope:
1. Prioritize your own structure and routine
An issue that arises for ADHDers is that at times we may struggle with internal structure. This means that we may be more distracted and feel less tolerant of boredom, which can affect the ability to accomplish tasks in a routine way. In this case, it’s important for ADHDers to set up a structure and routine that is specific to their unique needs. Instead of looking at a routine as boring and infringing on creativity and freedom, we can look at routine setting as a way to get things done efficiently, so that later we can spend time on unique interests without having to face the overwhelm and guilt that can come from pushing aside work tasks.
Routine-setting doesn’t need to be boring! It can actually be helpful, for example, to structure breaks and fun into the work day. This may look like pre-structuring and planning routine breaks, like scheduling 20 minutes after you complete a task to go for a walk or have a quick call with a friend. Planning a consistent and predictable routine may feel challenging at first, but as time goes on, it can become second nature and habit, which can really benefit ADHDers while working from home.
2. Limit household distractions as best you can
Decide early on in your remote-working journey where you will be doing most of your work. Keeping this space consistent is helpful for implementing a routine. Be sure that the area you choose to work in is quiet (if possible) and limited in visual distractions. Making sure things are uncluttered amongst your work space can help the ADHD brain to remember to prioritize and focus on only what is in front of it.
3. Set boundaries with loved ones and housemates
You are allowed to be clear about and set healthy boundaries. Now more than ever, it is important to be upfront about what is needed to allow your remote study journey to be successful. Try your best to make it clear to family and/or housemates that you have set a specific schedule, and that this means you need to be off the clock for house duties, answering texts or calls from friends, having conversations with your housemates, social media, etc. Implementing these boundaries can help take the pressure off of trying to juggle your school and/or work responsibilities while also remaining a supportive housemate, friend and family member.