Most people either suppress their emotions or become completely overwhelmed by them. It is possible, however, to turn towards your emotions without becoming overwhelmed.
As you move away from all the distractions that suppress your uncomfortable emotions and turn toward processing your painful emotions, you will need to find the "right distance" in order to experientially complete the overwhelming experiences in your body.
Completing unresolved emotions is an experiential process. You cannot think about an emotional process intellectually while you are right in the middle of it. To resolve unfinished emotional energies you will have to compassionately turn towards your pain, instead of away from it like you had to in the past (when you felt too emotionally overwhelmed.)
Practicing "right distance" will help you to process your emotions in a way that feels temporarily uncomfortable but not terribly overwhelming as it did when you were younger. The key to establishing the right distance is to first find the sensation of the unresolved emotion inside or outside your body.
The IN Technique - For Painful Internal Emotions
The IN technique by meditation teacher Tom Stone is best for emotional patterns that feel localized internally, like a tight knot or ball inside your body. In my experience, this process is typically good for processing "older" more primal emotional pain, trauma, shame, guilt, loneliness, depression and grief. When emotional energies overwhelm you from the inside, use the following technique.
The Out Technique - For Reactive External Emotions
The OUT technique by meditation teacher Tom Stone is for emotional energies that feel like they radiate into the space outside and around your body. In my experience, this process is typically good for processing more current emotional upsets such as fear, worry, anxiety and panic attacks, as well as frustration and anger about unmet expectations and needs. When the intensity of your emotions feels like they are surrounding or engulfing you, use the following technique for decreasing emotional overwhelm.
This technique is best for reactive emotions that come from current upsets as well as for projecting negative outcomes into the future.