So often I get asked by clients (and friends/family for that matter) about those darker moments, when pain, sadness, fear, or anger well up -- what to do with it?
Certainly we're not acculturated to feel our feelings, particularly in the professional setting, notwithstanding the work of Goleman on Emotional Intelligence.
So what to do with the pain?
Denial, avoidance, giddiness are all worthy coping mechanisms. As my therapist told me in my early 30's: "These mechanisms are there for a reason, and they're not meant to be exploded willy-nilly."
That said, my question back to those facing these feelings is: "Are you willing to set aside some quiet, private time to stand in the river of those strong feelings, feel them, and let them pass through?"
If so, great. That way, the crud loses its power to disrupt or corrupt a clear head and heart. If not, great. Save it for later--when it feels more right.
Self-care is key with strong negative feelings. Permission to feel: granted. Suggestion to not "pitch a tent there" also given. For leaders, this is particularly true.