Processing an Emotion vs Wallowing in an Emotion

I am beginning to understand more about processing an emotion I am feeling before moving on to creating an intentional model or even begin to create some ladder thoughts. I need more information on the difference between processing an emotion vs letting myself get caught up in an emotion – staying in it. I understand that there is no timeline but can you tell me the difference between the two? With a few specific life issues, I feel like I can let myself “process” too long.