What 6 Common Emotions May be Showing You
Mindfully embracing your feelings and emotions (without judgment, with an open heart and mind) allows you to accept them with compassion, awareness, and more understanding toward yourself and others. Feelings and emotions – whether anxiety, grief, sadness, happiness, anger, or whatever you are experiencing in the moment – serve purpose. They often help show you what to stay away from and what to approach. You can learn important things about yourself and the people and places around you when listening to what you are truly feeling.
To help, it is also important to identify your actual emotions. There is no such thing as a “bad emotion.” In fact, as humans, we don’t even have the ability to choose our initial emotions. We do, however, have a choice on how to react to them, how to view them, how to accept them, etc. This process may not be easy at times. Difficult emotions don’t feel good, and your instincts may often tell you to avoid them, rather than dive deeper into them. However, if being honest, you may also admit that holding on to them or avoiding them doesn’t feel good either.
By rejecting your feelings, thinking they are “bad,” or not allowing yourself to fully experience them, you may, in turn, be doing more harm to yourself – physically and/or emotionally. When you don’t acknowledge true emotions, you allow reactions to them to become stronger. Perhaps even causing “emotional outbursts” that are actually your body’s way of releasing any pent-up emotions. Doing this can not only impact your emotional well-being, but may also lead to physical problems such as digestive issues, headaches, or insomnia. Additionally, you may engage in certain behaviors to avoid experiencing feelings – especially painful ones – doing something to get rid of them or push them away or turning to other things or people to try to “feel better.”
On the flip side, recognizing and validating your emotions (they are valid) can help you react in a healthier way, perhaps even begin a healing process, or may even help you form deeper connections with loved ones and learn about your emotional triggers. Mindfully embracing your feelings and emotions may take intention and time. By doing so, you may actually start to feel better, and your relationships (with yourself and others) may also start to improve. In fact, studies show that accepting your feelings and emotions can help lead to fewer mood swings, improve emotional regulation and balance, create a greater connection with yourself and others, and increase resilience.
Want to attempt to be more mindful in embracing your feelings and emotions? Try these 5 tips:
- Identify and Name the Feeling – “This is anger” or “This is anxiety.” Or what about “I am lonely” or “I don’t feel enough.” Don’t push the feeling away – acknowledge and listen to them, even when they are difficult feelings.
- Accept Your Feelings – Don’t deny the emotions, acknowledge they are there and what they are. This allows you to not only recognize their presence, but also empower you to remain somewhat detached from them at the same time. These are your feelings. You are not your feelings. Think of what you would say to a friend having the same feelings. Say those same things to yourself – with compassion and kindness.
- Realize your feelings are temporary – Even when things feel overwhelming remember “they will pass!” Feelings arise, stay with you for a time, and then go away. Giving them the time they need while they are there will help you realize this – asking yourself what you may need at the time, giving yourself “permission” and grace in the process.
- Dig Deeper – Ask yourself “what triggered me? Why do I feel this way?” Asking these questions will help you gain empathy and insight into what you’re experiencing – and perhaps even help you begin to learn the “roots” to them and what you can do to best handle them, get out of autopilot, trust yourself, and see things in a different perspective.
- Let Go of the Need to Control – Be open to your feelings and what unfolds from them. Really listen to what you’re feeling – without judgement and before reacting. Be patient. Recognize your feelings are valid – truly explore them and how your body feels with them.
Accepting your feelings and emotions like this does not mean you are resigning to these feelings. Rather, you are being aware of them and crediting them for what they really are, recognizing what may have actually triggered them, and acknowledging they won’t last forever.
In addition, when giving your emotions the recognition, validation, and time they need, it may make it easier to dig deeper into what they may be trying to tell or teach you. For instance, the following may be true (what 6 common emotions may be showing you):
Bitterness – shows you where you need to heal, where you’re still holding judgement on others and yourself.
Resentment – shows you where you’re living in the past and not allowing the present to be as it is
Anger – shows you what you’re passionate about, where your boundaries are, what you believe needs to change about the world
Guilt – shows you that you’re still living life in other people’s expectations of what you “should” be
Anxiety – shows you that you need to wake up, right now, in the present, and that you’re stuck in the past and/or living for/in the future
Sadness – shows you the depth of your feelings and the depth of your care for others in this world
Emotions are adaptive and can regulate our lives. Disguising them may sometimes seem “easier” or an initial “quick trigger” reaction. Disguised emotions can also often be persuasive. However, when identified and recognized in a genuine way, they can also protect us and prepare us for all we can be, in the healthiest version and within relationships with others.
We took a deeper dive into feelings in this week’s newsletter (hopefully you have signed up for it) – identifying “When I Feel ____ (insert the emotion/feeling), I Will _____ (the acknowledgment/awareness action)”. Each week we try to correlate the two together – the newsletter and the weekly Blog. In each newsletter, you will also get a helpful Mindful Minute – this week, “Identify and Listen to Your Emotions” (a Mindful “how to”). You don’t want to miss these. Simply enter your first name, email and click “yes, please” in the black box within the main Blog Page of this website to have these drop into your inbox each week.
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