By Edith Wanyonyi

Awkward silence can be very uncomfortable for many of us, right? The past few months have taught me how to be comfortable with the quiet moments. In the past, I found myself trying to fill the quiet moments with so much activity. It wasn’t a surprise that instead of a source of relaxation, social media, meeting friends, reading a book and other such activities became a mere form of distraction. They kept me away from the fear, anxiety, grief and disappointment I had experienced. While distraction can be helpful in some instances, it can be harmful in others.

Avoiding a problem doesn’t solve it. We need to learn how to be comfortable with quiet moments. Those moments we are alone could be the right time to work through the challenges we are facing.

You can air your emotions by acknowledging your quiet moments and letting yourself feel. Do not numb the pain. Allow yourself to feel because bottling things up don’t make them go away.

Emotions could stay down until we physically can’t contain them anymore. And then, they burst out. And it won’t be that one thought we’ve been avoiding; others that’s been thrown on top of it ever since would most likely manifest as well. For some people, it can be years, or even decades of repressed emotions.

And that’s when we need to differentiate between the things we can control and those that we can’t, just so we don’t get stuck on things that we need to let go of.

Emotions shouldn’t be terrifying. We have them for a reason. If you listen to them, they can tell you exactly what you need to hear. You need to learn to respond rather than avoid them. You can do this by reframing the way you see emotions, so you can identify areas of your life that require immediate action. That way, you are better prepared to handle any form of emotion, both in your quiet and active moments.