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Your emotions are useful

Whether they take the form of anger 😠, fear 😨, sadness 😞, happiness 😊 or shame 😶, it’s important not to ignore them, because they’re sending you a message.

Even though they can be unpleasant or even painful, your emotions are a signal that something’s happening inside you. That’s why you should try to listen to them 👂 (observe, recognize, and accept them) and realize what might happen if you try to bury your feelings. You can definitely find ways to express them and experience them in a healthy way.

Find out more about

Fear 😨

This is an emotion that takes over when you feel threatened, whether the danger is real or not. Fear is a perfectly normal emotion and it’s very important because it warns you of dangers and pushes you to protect yourself. Fear reactions differ from one person to the next. Being on a five-metre diving board at the pool might scare someone who doesn’t know how to swim but be a stimulating challenge for someone else.

Anger 😠

Anger is an emotion like happiness or fear. When your emotions aren’t expressed, they often show themselves through anger. Anger may indicate that you perceive something unjust, frustrating or hurtful. Thus, it can help you identify your limits and make changes in your life. Anger becomes harmful when it’s badly managed (violence, accusations, or hurtful comments).

Sadness 😞

It’s normal to feel sad when something happens that hurts you. How intense your sadness is and how long it lasts differ depending on what caused it. Everyone has their own sensitivity level and expresses sadness in their own way. That’s why different situations may affect you more than other people and why you may react differently (crying, anger, wanting to run away, loss of motivation, etc.).

Frequently asked questions

How do you know if someone’s in distress?
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Distress is a prolonged state of physical or psychological pain. You can recognize it by many signs: deep suffering, change in behaviour (mood swings, withdrawal, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, etc.), inability to find solutions, worries about the person’s life or safety. You can then show your concern and call on a professional for help. Don’t hesitate to contact Tel-jeunes, whether it’s for yourself or to get advice on how to best help a friend.

How should I react to a friend who self-mutilates?
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You may be shocked or angry about the situation, believe that this behaviour is extreme or weird, but try not to criticize or judge your friend. Encourage your friend to get professional help because you can’t bear this burden yourself. Reassure your friend, ask questions to help him/her express his/her emotions, suggest strategies for feeling better (exercise, call a friend, be with people, go to the movies, etc.). You need to get some support yourself because this situation can be emotionally hard on you too. Remember that there are lots of things you can do to manage your emotions in a healthy way.

My friend isn’t doing well and doesn’t want me to talk about it.
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You have a right to feel uncomfortable because, depending on what your friend tells you, keeping his/her secret can be tough. Be clear that it won’t be possible to keep the secret just between the two of you. You need to talk to someone you trust. Reassure your friend that you won’t tell the secret to just anyone but suggest that a third person should be included (a professional, counsellor, or teacher) in your circle of trust. You can help choose this person and go with your friend to see them.

I’m under too much pressure and I can’t cope any more. What should I do?
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Sometimes we set too many goals at once, and some of them may be unrealistic or impossible. This kind of situation can trigger stress or performance anxiety, which means that you get worried about achieving your goals and that has an impact on your mood or your mental and physical health. Do you just believe that everyone expects you to be perfect, or is that really true? Set yourself one goal at a time, asking yourself if it’s realistic. In that way, it’ll be easier for you not to feel discouraged or overwhelmed by the situation.