October 22


Emotional management

By Jessica Allen

October 22, 2022

Pro tip, weird hack, whatever you want to call it… this emotional management strategy works.

Real talk on feelings (like we don’t do that enough here). Sometimes it’s just a little much, right? I’m definitely a feeler but we live in the real world where we also gotta get $&@! done. Which gets challenging when my feelings keep blurping out all over the place.

On days I feel super raw but laying in bed with the covers over my head is not an option, I’ve found a helpful in-between.

You have to use your imagination, so if you are too cool for this, it won’t work. 

Imagine you have a little box. It is important you know what it looks like. My imaginary box, for example, is white and sturdy with a lid, big enough to fit a really great pair of ankle boots in 10.5.

Now into that box go all your feelings. The good ones, the bad ones, and especially the “I have literally no idea what to do with you right now” ones.

I don’t Marie Kondo but the principle here is the same: honor each one as you put it into your imaginary box. This does not have to take more than a couple seconds.

Now put the imaginary lid on, and tuck the whole imaginary box onto an imaginary shelf. I like mine up high but whatever. This is your imagination! 

Voilá! You are ready to tackle your day! When you are done, slide that box off the shelf, unpack it, and deal with whatever’s still inside. It’s important that you do. Because locked up feelings fester and eventually spontaneously combust.

Pro tip: some of those more pesky thoughts and feelings are going to wiggle out of the box. Some are going to try to cozy right up on your lap in the middle of a meeting or poke you repeatedly in the middle of a critical marriage or parenting moment. 

You are NOT at their mercy – you are their master. You’re going to say to your wandering, intrusive thoughts: nope, GIT. Back in the box, you. I will deal with you later. (Which you will. This is how we heal.)

This is a learned skill and it takes practice. Eventually, like any good pup, your rogue thoughts and feelings will understand the rules. Sit. Stay. Come. Release. Time to play. Time to sleep. 

This is not “sucking it up” or sticking your head in the sand. It’s a simple, free, invisible strategy for mental and emotional management. It’s a way to be a feeling human being but also a functional human being. Which is being a WHOLE human being. 

Happy boxing! (And unboxing!!!)

HP, J ❤️

Jessica Allen

About the author

Jessica is a writer, musician, entrepreneur, wife, and mom. Jessica's mission is to write "real" - shining light into the dark places of the tough stuff we all experience. She and her husband Jack live in Houston, Texas and have weathered the storms of grief, infant loss, adoption, and a marriage that almost fell apart. Jessica and Jack have four children: LJ in heaven, Grace, Jackson, and Elisha.

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