How are you feeling today? Really? Truly? Take a breath, and for a moment allow yourself to feel everything. Did you have a hard day? A tough life? Are you overjoyed with something extraordinary that happened to you today? Are you excited for the future? … Or are you petrified of what tomorrow might bring?
Most of us have been taught to completely close ourselves off from analyzing our emotions or the sensations of feeling. We’re told “they get in the way”, that they “stop us from completing the tasks at hand”, or that “It’s selfish to be so focused on oneself”.
They become a part of us. An unconscious pattern etched into the destiny we’ve written for ourselves. Emotions become feelings, which become moods. Our moods turn into temperaments and long term temperaments become our personalities.
Our emotions become our character. How we subconsciously react to all of life’s situations.
They become holding patterns in our physical bodies as well, leading to unresolved chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, back and hips.
Our emotions run deep.
It’s not uncommon to feel many emotions at one time.
It isn’t even uncommon to have an emotion towards an emotion.
- “I feel disappointment because I’m unable to overcome this sadness”
- “I’m confident because of the happiness and support I have in my life”
- “I feel withdrawn because I’m unable to cope with my overwhelming guilt”
- “I can’t focus on my work because in agitated with anger”
- “I’m completely calm because of the trust I have for myself and my future”
No matter what you are feeling, no matter the emotions – beginning the process of self regulation, aka how we handle our emotions, all starts with one simple step:
Start giving yourself permission to feel.
Here is a three point checklist to become an emotional scientist:
- How are you feeling: Bad / Good?
- Now that you’re feeling the emotion, using the chart below: Attempt to identify and name it.
- Once you have the name of your emotion, analyse it. Can you feel it? Where do you feel it? Is there a memory attached to the emotion? What triggered this emotion?
It’s time to learn how to express the emotions you’re feeling. Below are some examples:
Anger: Attend a rage room (break things in a safe environment), scream (into a pillow if you have neighbours), physical fitness: run, lift weights, dance.
Sadness: Cry, listen to music, call a friend, journal, write poetry, wrap yourself in a warm blanket, paint or draw, sing or repeat a mantra.
Fear: Imagine the absolute worst and turn it into a funny comic, write short form horror stories, find your happy place through visualisation, practice breathwork, create polarities (when your mind thinks of the worst outcome, challenge the idea by thinking of the best outcome.)
Guilt / Shame: Watch how you talk to yourself, practice compassion, keep a gratitude journal, start self affirmations, join a yoga or group fitness class, find a simple and safe hobby, build daily routines.
Joy: Laugh, share your optimism, cook a healthy meal, move your body, volunteer, spend time in nature, cultivate a spiritual practice, learn to meditate, journal, read self help books, educate yourself in fields that inspire you, become self actualized.