I've been an emotional person for about as long as I can remember. For a long time, I thought it was a bad thing. (Admittedly, some days even now, I still think that.) We're all taught that emotionality and sensitivity somehow equate to weakness. That's not really the case, though. Our emotions are what make us human, and they are only one facet of what makes us who we are.
Feelings are a powerful thing. When you're wrapped up in feeling something like sadness or anger or fear, it can be difficult to remember that you are something separate from that feeling, that it doesn't completely define you. But even when we know that it's still very easy to get wrapped up in them and give them more power than they really have.
A lot of people have recommended meditation for people who are easily overwhelmed by their thoughts and emotions. Even if this isn't particularly a struggle for you, meditation is something good to incorporate into your routine so you always have a least ten minutes of "you time" in your day. It's supposed to work wonders for your mental state and help balance out your emotions, which is something that I could definitely use. But I've always said that I can't quiet my mind enough to meditate. I can't just sit there and silence the noise that's going on inside my head.
One of the responses that I've gotten to that has really stuck with me, and I'm constantly trying to implement it into my life (even though I still haven't picked up the habit of meditating). But I was told that it's not necessarily about silencing the noise in your head, it's just about distancing yourself from it. Picture your brain is a river, and all of your thoughts and emotions are the water in it. Those days when you're feeling as though there isn't anything more to you than your anger, anxiety, sadness, or exhaustion, you're standing in the middle of that river trying to keep your footing and not get swept away. The whole point of meditation isn't necessarily to stop the river from flowing, but just to get yourself out of it and sit on the riverbank to catch your breath and distance yourself from the chaos.
Hearing this really changed the game for me. It's a metaphor and a goal that can be used outside the topic of meditation. For someone who tends to feel things as intensely as I do, as someone who is hypersensitive to my own emotions and thoughts, this plan of not trying to give up the feelings or sensitivities that I have, but just learning how to distance myself from them a bit at times was beyond helpful. It's so easy to get caught up and feel like you're drowning in your own depression or anger or nerves, and to remind yourself that just because you're currently standing in the river doesn't mean you have to go under the water is really important.
It's a matter of recognizing that you aren't your sadness. You aren't your anger. You aren't your helplessness. You just happen to have those feelings within you at that moment, but they aren't going to bring you so far down that you won't be able to get back up again. You don't have to empty the river, but you don't have to stay in it, either.
It's important to remember, especially for emotional people, that our emotions don't have as much control over us as we give them credit for. They don't comprise everything about who we are. We can take a step back from them when we need to and there's no shame in that.