You DO NOT have to handle your emotions.

Today I stumbled upon yet another post where a fellow human was referring to the practice of tending to our emotions using the word HANDLE.

It is my pet peeve, like the word DEAL WITH; they are harsh and don’t reflect the kind of care our emotional landscapes need.

Nothing needs to be handled or dealt with—it sounds like leaving a child in a corner if they’re “acting out”—but we can navigate them instead. 

Navigate, what a beautiful verb. It reminds us that emotions are temporary like the weather at sea; unpredictable like storms; strong like the wind; untamable like waves; full of surprises, like deep ocean waters.

So friends, this is your friendly reminder to re consider your words. Now, how do you navigate your emotions as a human being in this complex world? How does it compare to “handling” or “dealing with” them?

About the Author

Ely Bakouche

I'm Ely, pronounced Ellie, or /eli/ if you speak phonetics. I'm the writer behind EB's Notebook, a multilingual place off the noisy world of the internet dedicated to curiosity, questioning, and calm. My toolbox for thinking includes language, rest and savasanas, dancing, reading, discussing, and traveling. I'm also the magazine editor at, where we bring critical thinking into the yoga space.

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