As a sensitive and very emotional person, I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve.
However, I tend to blow up with anger, sadness, love, jealousy-you name it.
My maladaptive response to learning how to control my emotions was to simply remain positive at all times, burying my actual feelings and casting them to the back of my mind. Then, I started to think that not feeling as much would be easier than constantly wrestling with my emotions.
After a long sum of months trying to experience with different ways to ‘check out’ from my emotions, I realized I was allowed to feel. I was allowed to be angry, happy, sad, inspired, jealous, anxious, stressed etc.
Use these 5 steps to help to identify your emotions in a healthy way, and use the knowledge to access your inner wisdom, and brighten your life.
#1: Name The Emotion.
Naming emotions is tricky. A really great way to tackle naming your emotion is using this wheel of emotions to target what you are feeling!
Rather than simply feeling angry, maybe you feel coldness, resentment, or impatience. If we can pinpoint exactly which emotion we are experiencing, we can notify more accurately why we are feeling that, and what we have to take from it.
Sarcasm and arrogance can be forms of anger, just like rage, violence or bitterness. When someone is filled with anger and hostility, passive-aggressive behavior can be common; in furious outbursts.
Secondary and tertiary emotions stem from core emotions. So, our goal is to identify feelings before they form into a second or third form. Once you have opened yourself up to harm – you’ll know scared and insecure far before they develop into it.
#2: Accept Them.
Don’t dismiss the feeling. There is a reason why you are experiencing the emotion that you are. When we validate our emotions, we become more aware and accepting of them, and we begin to understand where they come from. It’s only in this place of awareness that we can see what power they may hold over us.
Just observe the emotion – don’t judge it, block it, or distract yourself from it. When you think “I’m mad about this, but I know I shouldn’t be,” You’re judging the feeling. You must simply note that you are angry or upset, rather than tying reasoning or opinion with that feeling.
Every feeling has a message for you about yourself. Maybe that message is to allow yourself to feel the emotion until it dissipates, or perhaps it is guiding your decision on your actions. When an emotion persists (such as anger, fear, or anxiety) think about what that feeling is trying to tell you.
#3: Investigate the Emotion.
Sit quietly and allow your mind to reveal the answer to you. Try meditation or writing in a journal.
It may take time to clear out what we’re in the habit of stuffing down, but the more we lean into the feeling asking to be seen, the more life will open and expand.
Once you have given your emotion some quality time and attention, you will eventually feel at peace with it. Once at peace with your feeling, you will have reached the conclusion as to what that emotion has to tell you, teach you, or guide you on.
You must remember that you may not always like the answer you get.
#4: Take responsibility.
Courage is required to express your true self to other people.
It’s true that other people’s behavior and actions affect us all the time, but we also need to take responsibility for the emotions we feel in response to those words and actions. No one can make you feel anything; it’s always your choice.
Consider also that people act a certain way based on many influences that differ from your own, such as culture, upbringing, beliefs, and life experiences.
Choose direct communication rather than indirect people-pleasing behavior. Choose to express your needs, wants, and feelings. You may lose some friends by doing this, because people have gotten used to the people-pleasing you. It’s worth it.
Have you ever noticed how naturally authentic folks seem to attract so many people?
They’re so comfortable with themselves that they also make you feel comfortable. And you know this because you will feel inexplicably good around them.
#5: Safely React.
When you’re feeling an emotion that you know can cause some negative reactions, it’s important to take time away from the person or situation you are reacting to. Never act on strong emotion.
Or, release the feeling in a healthy situation. For example, beat pillows, or scream into them to release anger – this can lessen the intensity of the emotion, and allow you to then react with a more balanced mind to the situation.
Sitting by yourself and saying out loud what is upsetting you, or again writing in your journal, are both forms of the psychological concept known as “conscious complaining.”
These tips can help you to stop regretting that you reacted in the moment, and you’ll end up learning a lot more about yourself than you ever thought you could!