02/21/2014 02:00 pm ET Updated Apr 23, 2014

What to Do With Emotions: They Are Very Important

Feeling bad doesn't feel good. Most people that come to see me for coaching or a workshop is because they want to get out of feeling bad and start feeling good!

When we are experiencing an uncomfortable emotion, we usually want out of it...and we'll try a variety of methods to do so. We repress it, judge it, ignore it, numb it, and avoid it. Strategies like over-eating, drinking, spending, and over-analyzing are attempts to get out of feeling bad. But they don't work. In fact, they can make us feel even worse.

So what do we do with emotions?

First, understand that your emotions are incredibly valuable. They deserve your compassion, your attention and your patience. Your emotions are an incredible guidance system.

Second, there are two ways to shift emotion: express them and respond!

By expression I do not mean talking and talking and talking about your emotions. I'm sure you have analyzed yourself so much by now you could write an autobiographical self-help book! Stop thinking and start feeling. It feels safer to talk about our emotions like why we are angry, who we are angry at, why we have a right to be angry, etc. But it is more healing to just allow your emotions to be expressed.

Emotion is energy in motion. It needs to move, to be expressed. You don't have to analyze and understand it. Sometimes you just need to scream, hit a pillow, or sob with no judgment or analysis. Give yourself permission to have an adult temper tantrum. Move your body by exercising or dancing (my favorite!). Or take that emotional energy and channel it into something creative like painting, cooking or writing. Whatever the expression is, just get it out. Let it move.

Emotions are one of the biggest ways our Higher Self speaks to us. When we experience feelings like fear, sadness, anger, anxiety and so on, it's a signal to pay attention! Either something outside is off or we are off inside. That's why it is so valuable to acknowledge our feelings, express them and then respond.

I have so many people who come to work with me who are so anxious and tortured in their relationships or jobs. And my response to them is, "If you are feeling so miserable, why are you still in it?" Your emotions are your feedback system. Practice receiving the information and then responding to it. Otherwise you'll end up just looping in the same emotion over and over and over and over. Feelings shift when we make the internal and external shifts that honor them. Speak your truth, make a choice, take dominion over your life, and change your behavior.

Anytime you have emotion, move away from the typical approach of analyzing it to death. Simplify! Honor your emotions instead of repressing and judging them.

Trust your feelings, they have amazing insight for you. Work with them rather than against them. Express and respond! Allow your emotions to put you in motion!