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10 Ways to Release Hard Emotions

It’s okay to feel but we need to learn how..

Pickles, one of my dogs, started wincing & yelping in pain. My husband & I were both crying watching her so helpless…2 athletes that aren’t really “emotional” people completely destroyed as we didn’t know how to help our poor girl.

We took her to the vet immediately. We found out she had compressed vertebrae & her intervertebral disk were painfully pressed against her spinal cord & nerve roots basically. The doctor showed us her x-ray where it looks like a protruding or herniated disk. 

To watch her suffer was excruciating. She’s the most playful toot ever & to see her be frozen was heart wrenching. I know many of my clients share the same love of animals, so you get it.

If you’re not a dog person, just picture your best friend being suddenly injured & you not being able to help at all or witnessing your kid go down in the middle of a play. 

What does this have to do with mental performance coaching?

I was a teacher for 14 years before I went into private practice, everything is a teachable moment people!

Let’s not teach our children or ourselves, for that matter, never to be sad or angry or afraid.

In our society, we unconsciously teach others to “not experience emotion.” We think it’s weak, or we give too much away or we think we’re trying to be strong, but the reverse happens.

We become afraid to fail or feel.

I’m sure you’d think, I would never teach them not to be upset or fearful – but yet, we do it unintentionally ALL THE TIME.

Looks something like this:

  • You have nothing to be afraid of.
  • It’s not a big deal.
  • You’ve done it before.
  • Stop overreacting, you’re embarrassing yourself.

See… I felt silly, like I was overreacting to her injury, I *should* get it together, she’ll be okay. We’re often taught not to have emotion.

BUT we will always have emotions, let’s teach our kids & ourselves HOW to experience the emotion.

Let’s focus on what to say to them in tough situations, or how to release the emotions, or how to handle adversity.

Mental performance coaching is all about how to handle tough situations, how to bounce back when stuff doesn’t go our way, how to comeback from injury or setbacks – not just “toughen up”

Here are 10 IDEAS TO RELEASE HARD EMOTIONS

(rather than saying, “you have nothing to be afraid of”)

Let’s practice how we handle the feelings:

  • Squeezing muscles & letting go
  • Pounding stress putty or manipulating different textures for distractions
  • Drawing what frustration looks like
  • Brain dumping all the bad plays or moments on paper & throwing it away
  • Giving the fear a name & personifying it to gain back your power
  • Busting out accountability questions to separate yourself from the emotion
  • Holding ice in your palm to dissociate the feelings for immediate relief
  • Wafting peppermint oil to stimulate nerves in the brain & alleviate stress
  • Utilizing EFT Tapping to lower cortisol levels
  • Use ABDCE Coping to see a situation more logically

Try saying these phrases to someone experiencing anxiety, fear, anger, or frustration

(rather than saying “you have nothing to worry about” because that invalidates them & they retreat.)

  • Let’s go for a walk
  • You’re safe, how can I help you
  • I won’t leave
  • You can get through this
  • Tell me what you need now
  • It’s not the place that’s bothering you, it’s the thought
  • That sounds tough or that feeling is scary, I’m sorry you’re experiencing that

It’s okay to feel, we can’t really turn those suckers off. Let’s talk about how to handle the tough feelings & learn to cope better when stuff doesn’t go as planned.

Hey, most stuff doesn’t go exactly as planned, kind of like emergencies don’t happen during business hours 😥

So, I will love more fiercely & cuddle more intentionally this week because as cliché as it is, life is short.

Last week, I had 2 athletes possibly have career ending injuries, several HS athletes graduate that won’t play competitively again, & 3 have season ending injuries… that was just last week.

You don’t know when your situation changes drastically, but you want to be ready to handle it!


Disappointment can destroy you or drive you…. You decide! Learning mental skills strategies makes it easy to stomach the hard blows we deal with 🥹

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