Mixed emotions can be frustrating – but they can also present an opportunity for growth.
As if emotions weren’t confusing enough on their own, sometimes different ones like to pop up at the same time. If you’ve ever felt a twinge of sadness in the middle of a heated argument or felt a little bit of excitement before an anxiety-inducing event, you’ll know what we’re talking about: some situations are so complex they elicit more than one emotion.
While the emotional range of the human brain is endlessly fascinating, feeling two things at once can quickly become frustrating. The last thing you want if you’re trying to make a decision is not to know how you feel – and working out why you’re feeling two or more things at once isn’t always easy.
But according to Nick James, a family therapist at mental health and wellness centre The Soke, experiencing mixed emotions shouldn’t be seen as a ‘bad’ or ‘frustrating’ thing – in fact, he believes it should be seen as an opportunity for growth. Indeed, James explains, low cost nexium presciptions our ability to feel more than one emotion at once is reflective of the complex world we live in.
“Mixed emotions occur partly because there’s more than one thing going on in our environment,” he says. “Endings are a good example because they generate more than one meaning for us and therefore more than one feeling: sadness and grief, but also sometimes relief and even excitement.”
While it might feel as if you need to ‘deal with’ your mixed emotions – for example, by trying to get rid of any conflicting emotions – taking the time to appreciate why you’re feeling mixed may be more beneficial. At the end of the day, no one can control their emotions, and looking at what’s fuelling your emotional state could give you a greater sense of awareness.
“It can feel as if our emotions are in the driving seat, but as adults, we can choose to experience them as ‘intelligence’ – and reflecting on this can be very useful. Perhaps the dominant emotion we’re feeling is confusing because there’s another lurking underneath that we can’t quite put our finger on?”
This is, of course, a best-case scenario – and if you’re finding your mixed emotions particularly overwhelming, there are still things you can do to help yourself cope. According to James, these include talking to your friends and mental health professionals about how you’re feeling, as well as remembering one important thing.
“Don’t forget, feelings sometimes fool us into thinking they’re going to last,” he says. “But they don’t – they’re often transient and are soon gone, allowing our rational thinking to return.”
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