Understanding and Coping with Emotions
Good morning world! Today is a brand new chance to make a difference!
What is something that we all have, often don’t acknowledge and probably don’t fully understand?
The answer is feelings (I bet the giant hint above helped you with this answer!) Even as I sit writing this I’m struggling with determining whether I’m truly physically tired or just feeling some emotion that is making me want to go back to bed. Almost all of us know when we have been cut, burned or scratched. Physical feelings are pretty easy for all of us to ascertain. It is emotional feelings that seem to baffle us the most. We need to communicate our feelings and the fact that we don’t understand them makes it pretty difficult. This leads to many of our communication problems; how can we eloquently communicate something we just don’t get?
Feelings are something that you are aware of through the mind or through the senses that is not connected with sight, hearing, taste, or smell.
Sometimes we try to stop feeling when it is uncomfortable. This can make us really tired and further confused. Feelings need to be acknowledged, sometimes spoken and released. The Feeling Wheel (above) is a favorite tool of mine. It helps us identify the layers of underlying feelings. Robert Plutchik developed it in 1980. This wheel is used by a lot of counselors because understanding our feelings leads to an even greater emotional health.
One of the feelings I hear the most about is motivation. “What can I do to stay motivated to workout?” “I’ve just lost my motivation to lose weight.” Far too often we speak about emotions, which are changeable and transient, as if they are fixed and permanent. Emotions come and go and if we allow them to do so while calmly observing them it gives us room for success. Motivation waxes and wanes but that does not mean you’ve lost your drive, it just means today might be powered by willpower. An emotional eating binge does not mean your entire diet is blown, or even that the day is shot. Just as the sundae is gone, so is the slip. Gather yourself up, forgive yourself and let the emotions pass.
Once we understand a feeling, we can get to the next step to either create and enjoy the feeling, communicate it better, change the value that influenced it or to move on and change the situation to eliminate the cause of the bad feelings. This wheel is similar to a color wheel! It shows the opposite feeling opposite ends of the wheel. For example gratitude is a peaceful feeling and peaceful feelings are the opposite of scared. This wheel is a great tool to use to get in touch with your true emotions!
Today, I am feeling thankful, cheerful, and intelligent and truthfully a teeny bit scared that I am not going to get all my work done! I am also feeling loved and loving which gives me mostly peaceful emotions. Maybe if I get all my work done I will feel powerful too!
xo, Ana Maria