My Experiences Not Identifying Emotions
Feelings are a subject that’s near and dear to my heart, as I spent many years as an attorney who was more likely to spend her evenings at her desk than having fun. In those years, I honed a skill that many of us know all too well: hiding and ignoring my feelings. Well, that is, until every once in a while a television ad with an adorable puppy would send me into torrents of tears.
Frankly, I thought I was nuts – but I wasn’t really. I’d just made no room in my life for an emotional reality, so my emotions would corner and overwhelm me.
I’ve since learned that acknowledging how I feel throughout the day allows me to enjoy the flow of my life and to stay in touch with my truth. Acknowledging how something makes me feel permits me either to change the situation or look at how I might feel better about it.
For example, if you have a friend who talks negatively about everyone and you find that being around that person makes you feel drained and annoyed, you can do a few things:
(a) tell your friend how you feel,
(b) spend less time with your friend, or
(c) decide that you’re no longer going to let that person’s negativity affect you.
However, if you never spent the time to acknowledge your feelings about this friend, you might never realize the variety of actions you could take.
How To Apply This Tip In Your Life
Acknowledging your feelings is also a key component of breaking patterns you’ve been using to numb your feelings. For example, if you’re looking to disrupt a pattern of spacing out for hours and hours playing computer games or munching mindlessly, try stopping whatever you’re doing, taking a few deep breaths, and asking yourself, “How am I feeling?” “What am I avoiding?”
Once you’ve identified your feelings, try to actually feel them in your body. If you find that you’re feeling sad, maybe you just need to relax and cry or ask a loved one for a hug. If you’re feeling angry, you may need to tell someone how you feel or punch a pillow or yell at the top of your lungs for a minute. You may even find that once you’ve acknowledged the feeling it goes away, changes, or even reveals something else deeper and more important to you.
Whatever you are feeling is perfect and alright. You’re not too emotional and you’re not being unreasonable, so there’s no need to judge yourself. You’re just feeling. Your emotions connect you to you, to your truth and to your desires.
Experiment with identifying your emotions throughout the week, and notice how that new-found identification affects your life!
Please share your experiences implementing this tip with me and the community by commenting below. Also, feel free to ask any questions.
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