I don’t mean a physical bag that I carry around with everything I need in it in case I get a bit teary. For me, an emotional toolbag are all the tools, resources and lessons you’ve learned and accumulated over the years that you know are going to positively assist you when you’re feeling like you need that extra helping hand. Some physical, some mental, some spiritual.
A few years ago, I wrote this post on my Motivational Toolbox and an emotional toolbag is the same sort of concept. You can think of it as sort of a metaphorical self care kit where all the things inside will aid you when you’re feeling emotional; whether that’s stress, upset or anger.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with needing things to rely and lean on when you feel certain emotions. In fact, I think most of us have at LEAST one or two things that we absolutely cannot go without when we’re feeling stressed or upset or trying to manage frustrations.
Sadly for some, these come in the form of more unhealthy coping mechanisms, like alcohol abuse or smoking but hopefully, as we’re all becoming more self aware, especially in regards to how so intrinsically entwined our mental and physical health is, we can start to establish healthier coping techniques for those inevitable times when things feel heavy.
So although our needs will be vastly different, I want to share some things in my emotional toolbag with you today. Some of these things might sound a bit hippy-dippy, others are pretty straight-forward coping techniques but hopefully they give you some ideas if you’re struggling to manage your emotions.
Here are 6 things in my emotional toolbag:
My Yoga mat
I think this was an obvious one but it has to be here. My Yoga mat is 100% one of the main things in my emotional toolbag. My Yoga mat is one of the only places I feel completely and utterly safe. As soon as I roll that mat out, I feel like I can relax my shoulders a little more and breathe a little easier. The stresses of the day can melt away.
And whilst it’s certainly not always easy to releases the thoughts and worries from my mind during my practice, I know in that time I’m in exactly the right place and where I need to be. In these moments, I never rush my Yoga practice and I always do a Yoga practice that feels right for me in that moment. But my Yoga mat, boy oh boy, what a life-saver.
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- 5 Restorative At Home Yoga Practices for Stress Relief
Whether it’s creative writing or simply brain-dumping, writing can be an amazing tool for managing your emotions. I like to journal and whilst I don’t go as far as bullet journaling, I do like to simply write when I’m feeling some pent up negative energy. My journal is one place that’s NEVER going to judge me for whatever I write and I find great peace in knowing that I can be completely and authentically honest in expressing how I feel on paper.
Books are always another go-to from my emotional toolbag. When I’m feeling low, I tend to opt for re-reading favourite books or diving into some great non-fiction books. Old favourites because of the comfort factor and non-fiction to allow me to immerse myself in different human experience and learn something from other walks of life.
Anyone who practices Yoga or meditation will understand how important this point is. Similarly, those who have suffered with anxiety disorders or panic attacks will understand the power and importance of the breath. It is your anchor and such a powerful tool to have in your emotional toolbag to reach for.
Because that’s the thing, wherever you are, it’s ALWAYS there. You might not be able to carry a book or your Yoga mat wherever you go but your breath, buddy, that’s there for you, no matter what. Sometimes when my head is feeling too frazzled and I can’t form a coherent thought, I hone in on the breath and focus on nothing else.
I’ve always been someone that’s fascinated with the sky. The science of the Universe as well as the parts a regular human brain can’t being to fathom. I remember learning about the Universe in physics in school and having a panic attack because I started thinking *too much* and the idea of how big the Universe is scared me to death.
But the vastness of the sky doesn’t always send me into a panic. I love gazing up at the stars and occasionally the planets when they’re visible. It makes me feel so small and insignificant but all the same time, an integral part of something beautiful. If that can’t settle my frayed emotions, I don’t know what can.
My connection with the Universe
Alright I know this sounds cheesy as heck but hear me out. Similarly with the stars, the sky and looking upwards instead of downward and inward, honing in on that connection I have with the Universe really helps me in times of stress and struggle. My relationship with the Universe isn’t perfect and something I’m definitely still working on. It ebbs and flows – sometimes I’m fully embracing that flow and other times, I’m struggling against it.
So as you can see, I’m carrying about books, my breath and the sky in my emotional toolbag. I know all these things on my list are going to help me, whether I’m feeling mentally fragile, stressed about work or upset about something in my personal life. I believe we should all have these healthy coping techniques in our emotional toolbags.
What’s in your emotional toolbag? What do you lean on when you feel upset or stressed? Let me know in the comments!
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[…] What’s In My Emotional Toolbag? […]
Thank you so much for sharing this post. It was quite the read. I think it is important to connect with yourself on such a level, you know what can help you in any given moment. Good for you! ~ Jayne
Absolutely. Thank you so much! 🙂
Thanks for sharing, I do have the breathing techniques in my tool box to to help me calm down and let the problems I’m having leave me and melt away.
Yes! Breathing is THE most simple thing we can do yet many people don’t utilise it enough x
Great post! Thank you for sharing! I too lean towards books and my journal in emotional times. But I also rely on my dog too for comfort. I would say she is on the top of my emotional toolbar list.
Oh my gosh yes! My dog is a huge one for me too. Or just dogs in general. I remember going through a really difficult patch in 2015/2016 and all I watched during that time was The Supervet because of the dogs!
Love this! I’m definitely with you on diving back into an old favourite book and just knowing that it’s a world I can cope with and understand which is more than reality sometimes. Great post.
This is such a interesting post! I haven’t heard of an emotional toolbox before but I’m loving the sound of it. It’s really nice to see what works for other people as everything you’ve written would be very similar to myself. These are 6 great tools you’ve written about lovely, thank you so much for sharing with us Xo
Elle – ellegracedeveson.com
Ahh that’s an interresting one, thank you for sharing! The pictures with the gems are absolutely gorgeous too xx
I quite like the universe point.. I’ve been more the kind to shut down inward rather than look upward, but when I was particularly scared of jumping aboard a new work, I repeated myself how if it’s for me than the universe will give it to me. Giving the universe more power rather than pressuring yourself on things you can’t fully control definately helps lots!
Love that, that was a great way to approach a new job! The photos aren’t mine sadly but they are beautiful, aren’t they?
I love this so much! All these things are so essential to have in an emotional toolbag! Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you 🙂
Couldn’t agree more that we need “tools” to help us with our mindset. I journal daily, listen to podcasts and write and these three things help me keep the stress levels down and I enjoy all of them.
This is such an interest concept! I definitely turn to journaling and books a lot too when dealing with emotions, and the sky has always fascinated me – it’s so pretty! Thank you so much for sharing x
Writing and words are always such a huge comfort aren’t they?
I haven’t heard of an emotional toolbag before, but I love the concept of it! I’m not sure what would be in mine, I need to have a think about it! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Have a think and let me know!
Lovely post! I definitely need to build up my own emotional toolkit! I also love looking at the night sky on non cloudy days and seeing the stars and planets.
Yes me too, it’s so calming!
I adore the whole meaning and being of this blog post!
It’s so true that those healing things help us the most, away from the easier options like a bottle of wine. (when not consumed in excess)
I love to be near bodies of water, I lived in Wuhan, China (2015-2017) so each time when I saw the Yangtze River, that was my happy place.
Thank you! Yes I agree, it’s so easy to reach for those things that we know aren’t going to help in the long run but might give us a quick boost. Ah that’s lovely to hear, water for me too – it’s so calming.
I haven’t heard of an emotional toolkit before. It sounds like you have a great range of things to look after your physical and mental health. Breathing techniques can be really helpful when you become overwhelmed. I will have to think about what is in my emotional toolkit. Thank you for sharing Jenny.
Would love to hear what’s in yours. I love deep breathing, it’s one of the most grounding things for me.
I’m so glad you mentioned the breath here – what an important one, eh!? I constantly have to stop and remind myself to breathe. To take two, or even five minutes just to catch my breath. Don’t try to make sense of it all, just take deep lung fulls and practice what you’ve been taught.
Yes absolutely; I do the same. It’s so calming and comforting to know it’s ALWAYS there for you.
This is a fab toolbox. I definitely have yoga and journaling in my emotional toolkit, id also like to add music to this list too.
Yes music is a great one!
Lovely toolbox and nice way of framing your mental state. I have a bracelet of hematite that is supposed to keep negative thoughts at bay. I’m not close to water as often as I like but I’ll add the sky! Thank you.
Yes I wish I was closer to water as well, it’s such a calming thing for me!
Love this!! It’s books and the beach for me! I love that you said the sky. That’s such a good one too! Thanks so much for sharing!
Yes the beach! I wish I lived closer to a nice beach x
I always think about my emotional ‘toolkit’ and what I need to add or alter (depending on what is going on, etc). I love the things you have in yours and it just goes to show that we have things around us that we can make use of to support ourselves. Lovely post!
I love that you’ve pointed out that things can be added or taken away if you need something new or if something else doesn’t serve you anymore!
These are the reasons we are Connected. I love these 6 emotionally freeing things as well! ❤️🦋🌀
Great post! It is really nice to see what others lean on. I love the sky and also any type of water like sea or a river.
Yes water seems to be a popular choice!