One thing I have learned over the years in working with emotions, not only others, but my own specifically (I suffered panic attacks as a teen), is that there is nothing wrong with having anxiety, panic, depression, sadness, loneliness, even anger...
Emotions, when viewed as the healing scab, give them a new flavor and become less of a problem. Look at this way. So many people pay large sums of money using pharmaceutical and street drugs to drown out their emotions. This is like picking a scab. It only makes the matter worse.
When you get a physical cut, perhaps a deep gash in the arm, a scab forms over the wound. The scab is itchy, ugly, irritable and you want to pick it off. But, you know to pick the scab before the wound heals is to make the healing take longer and you run the risk of infecting the original wound and making your situation worse. In fact the scab will have to grow thicker and larger to cover the wound.
So, if you have sadness for an example. Sadness is the emotional scab that has formed to protect the original wound done to your psyche. If you try to get rid of it with drugs, prescriptive or street, the original wound is in danger of becoming infected and your sadness turns to depression...a thicker more irritable scab.
It is imperative, just like a physical scab, to just let it itch. If you learn to just watch sadness, you will see how the sadness changes and eventually you will feel better. The sadness falls away and you are healed from the original wound.
Zazen helped me see this. I also used to get depressed quite a bit during the winter, but after years of Zazen...my winters are filled with, well, just winter as it is. I highly recommend a regular meditative practice that allows you to 'just watch'. It is a lot cheaper than prescription drugs or street drugs...and no side effects!
Thanks for visiting. My Dharma name is Shinzen. I began studying Goshindo Karate under the watchful eye of Shihan Paul Dean in 1969. Yes, I now have gray hair. I am also Lay-ordained in Soto Zen under the tutelage of Rev. Nonin Chowaney of the Nebraska Zen Center.