UNDERSTANDING AND LABELING EMOTIONS
I used to be terrified to show negative emotions. I thought it was one of the worst things possible. Mostly because I didn’t understand them, and I thought if I did let myself have them, they would overtake me. So I tried my best to push them away, shove them down, and pretend I didn’t have them. What I realized was when you ignore something, it gets louder! Realizing that I couldn’t ignore my emotions any longer (because it wasn’t healthy). I decided to slowly start allowing myself to have them.
Letting Yourself Feel
Slowly I started to label what I was feeling. At this point, though I only had the knowledge to be able to name them angry, sad, lonely, blah, happy, excited. Thinking in these terms, I had more negative emotions then I did positive ones, but at least it would be a start. As my emotions came up I would allow room for them.
The exercise I used was I would mentally picture the emotion as a “human” and I would invite them into my house and allow them to sit at my dining room table. Sounds super silly, but it really helped me visualize the things I was feeling. As I progressed I started to realize I can invite the emotions to the table, but that didn’t mean I had to let them take over control of the situation.
As I continued to learn and become curious about my emotions I started to realize that fear was under a lot of these emotions, and I was able to start identifying how I was afraid in a situation, and how my emotions were connected to the fear.
Chart with Emotions
Then I got an emotions chart! Talk about a game changer! All of a sudden I was able to dig deeper into my emotions, and accurately name what I was feeling. I started to realize that there was more to it than just feeling “blah.” I started to have breakthroughs because I could identify which emotions scared me the most.
How Understanding Emotions Created Breakthrough
I remember for the longest time I would feel blah when I looked in the mirror. I have been suffering with acne for a while now, and every time I saw it in the mirror I would get down. After learning about all the different emotions, what I was really feeling was overwhelmed and discouraged. Once I realized that I was able to take my power back from the situation. I could do more research about my skin, I could ask for help, I could get a new skincare routine. Instead of letting “blah” be the catch all, and feel hopeless, I could label my emotions and know I could do something about them.
Emotions Will Always Be 50/50
I always look at life as being 50/50. Fifty percent of the time I should expect to feel negative feelings, and fifty percent of the time I should expect to feel positive. When I decided this it gave me permission to stop being so afraid of my negative emotions. That I knew I was no longer going to be stuck in them. That the positive emotions would come back, and it was going to be okay.