To compartmentalize your emotions is to gather up the emotions and thoughts from one part of your life and store them in another part of your mind such that they do not affect your activities in different parts of your life. In more practical terms, compartmentalization is essentially denying unnecessary emotions the attention they so hungrily seek.
Now, do not get us wrong. If you choose to compartmentalize your emotions, it is very different from locking away your emotions and running away from dealing with them. No, that is and always will be unhealthy. The whole purpose of compartmentalization is to prevent your emotions from preventing you from doing what you have to do. For example, if you’re at work, you’ll need to compartmentalize your emotions about your daughter’s cute little face as she waved you goodbye earlier this morning. You get the point now, right?
So, how exactly do you compartmentalize your emotions?
Identify the emotions that you can tend to at a different time.
If you want to do this, we’ll advise that you take your sweet time and try to picture the things that you want to compartmentalize. You can either write down or make a mental note of the things that you want to keep away from the forefront of your mind. This is a level of organization and planning that you need if you want to compartmentalize.
Decide which worries and thoughts should be inside the compartmentalization box
Here, you can make a list of things that are particularly bothersome to you. You’ll filter out the ones that really don’t need to be there, and then you’ll decide not to think about these things as your day progresses. It will help if you picture this procedure as an actual process happening in your head.
Decide when you want to deal with issues
Dragging problems on for too long with no end in sight can lead to you giving up before you have to. So, decide when you want to address the issue. Is there a financial problem that you need to talk to your wife about? Compartmentalize it but decide when exactly you’re going to tell her. This is just one example.
Keep the issues compartmentalized pending the time that you can deal with the problem
You cannot afford to let them slip out as they might distract you. So, ensure that you keep your mind from these things. This means that you’ll have to make a conscious effort to keep them at the farthest reach of your mind.
Do not forget to deal with the problems when the time is right
Compartmentalization becomes unhealthy when you just use it to shove aside real problems. So, when the time comes to deal with the problems you compartmentalized, deal with them.