Relationships are complicated and, with the fast pace of life, making time to deal with emotions that show up is hard. Painful emotions including sadness, anger, anxiety, and loneliness are powerful forces and can strain a relationship if left unchecked. Handling emotions like these with mindfulness helps you overcome them in a healthy way. This is important throughout life, but particularly in times where couples experience heightened levels of stress, such as while planning a wedding. The following steps can help you understand and process difficult emotions mindfully.

Accept Difficult Emotions

Let yourself become aware of feelings and notice where they are in your body. Tension, a tightening of the throat, a headache or stomachache, and a pounding heart are ways people may experience emotions. Don’t ignore your emotions or try to push them away; instead, sit with them and notice how you feel. Accept difficult emotions as something you are experiencing in that moment. Tell yourself the same thing you would tell a friend going through a difficult time and give yourself the space to be open with your emotions.

Label the Emotion

Identify your emotion and label it, saying “This is fear” instead of “I am fearful.” This allows you to remain detached from the emotion while still acknowledging it. Labeling emotions in this way take some of the negative feelings out of them by giving you more space. The emotions will still be difficult, but you have a better chance of being able to remain in the present and experience the emotions, and so begin to work through them.

Realize the Fleeting Nature of Emotions

In the middle of experiencing difficult emotions, it is easy to lose sight of their impermanence. Remind yourself that they are fleeting and will arise for a time, then fade and disappear. Give yourself the time and space to allow your emotions to shift, change, and disappear. Ask yourself what you and your partner need at this moment and how you can turn toward each other in a loving way.

Explore Your Emotions

After you have had the time and space to calm down and soothe yourself, think about what happened. Try to determine what triggered the emotion, why you are feeling that way, what sort of discomfort you are experiencing, and where it is coming from. There are some things that contribute to difficult emotions such as a hard day at work, a challenging situation with your family, a negative interaction with someone, or even things as simple as the weather or what you had to eat that day. Look closely at what triggered your emotion and ask, “What is happening in this situation?”

Consider the situation and think about your expectations as well as reactions or judgments that contributed to your emotions. Look for any patterns that arise. Exploring your emotions gives you insight into how you feel and creates space for you to see things differently. This allows you and your partner to connect with one another.

Let Go of Your Need for Control

Resist the urge to try to control difficult emotions or push them away. Be aware of the feelings and open to what unfolds. Take a step back and listen to your partner and what they are feeling. Be caring, patient, and compassionate toward yourself and your partner. Remember that dealing with emotions is difficult and is not something that can be rushed.

Experiencing difficult emotions is a normal part of life and any relationship; using these steps can help you deal with emotions in a healthy way. Working through difficult times together helps you grow closer to your partner. Planning a wedding is a time where couples are likely to experience extra stress that can erupt in frustration, anger, and other difficult emotions. Although this is a very good time in a relationship, it can also create some challenges. Working with a Sonoma County wedding planner can dramatically reduce the stress involved in wedding planning, letting you and your partner enjoy this special time. Your Sonoma County wedding planner will help you create the wedding you have always wanted, where you can relax and have fun like one of the guests.