How to Stop Layering Your Emotions

Kelly Reeves
4 min readAug 7, 2020

So you can live a happier life

Photo by Hybrid on Unsplash

Have you ever gotten mad about something then got mad about the fact that you’re mad?

This happened to me earlier today, and it’s not the first time. I got mad at something, then lost my temper, then I got mad at myself for behaving in such a way. Then I felt guilty. Then I couldn’t stop thinking about it and went down a worm hole of emotion. It was one of those instances where somewhere in the back of my head, the little voice was saying “just get back to work and let it pass.”

But, I couldn’t. To attempt to deflect from the layers of emotions I was experiencing, I started dorking around on Facebook and doing other time wasting things that were mindless with hopes that it would all go away.

Then I felt guilty for not working and started the mental bickering: “ You shouldn’t be doing that. You should be doing this. You have bills to pay and blah, blah, blah…” I sounded like my little Jewish grandma when she would constantly nag my poor, docile grandpa about what he was supposed to be wearing.

I finally got a hold of myself and went for a walk (without my phone). I needed to create some space in my mind to release all of that negative energy and those badgering thoughts.

When we start stacking emotions on top of one another, we set ourselves up for self destruction. There’s only so much you can pile on until it all comes crashing down. It’s difficult to get ahead of it. It’s like throwing a stone into a pond and creating a ripple effect. It’s not enough to just feel mad or sad. We get mad that we’re sad, or sad that we’re mad, or mad that we’re mad. It’s a vicious cycle.

So how do we get ahead of it so we don’t go into full blown meltdown mode and collapse?

Stop asking this moment to be anything other than it is. Don’t make everything worse by thinking you have to be or do something other than what is. That only adds more pain. Rather than fighting it and attempting to uphold some imaginary expectation, simply accept it as what you feel right now. Are you unhappy? Fine. Be unhappy, but don’t be unhappy with being unhappy. Just simply accept that you’re unhappy. Make sense?

Kelly Reeves

Expert copywriter with a focus on tech, entrepreneurship, and personal growth; former PR flack. Animal rescuer. Prone to random bouts of rancor.