Understanding Our Emotions

Mariel Witmond
Mariel Witmond

17 February, 2019

Understanding Our Emotions

If thoughts are the language of the mind, then perhaps our emotions are the language of our body. For each emotion we experience, there seems to be a physical reaction that accompanies it – in the simplest of forms: when we are happy we smile and laugh, when we are sad we cry, when we are angry or anxious we tense up. We already focus a lot on our minds – trying to understand our thoughts, quiet the unnecessary chatter, control the thoughts we choose to give our attention to – but, what about our emotions?

So often, instead of listening and trying to understand our emotions, we bottle them up, ashamed of the way we feel. We all know the trouble with bottling things up though. The moment that bottle gets too full, it is going to spill. Those moments of spillage tend to be unexpected and at times uncontrollable, ultimately taking attention away from the validity of that root emotion and focussing attention instead on our perhaps erratic behaviour. This would happen so often to me. There was truth in what I was feeling, but the ways I wound up expressing myself would completely take away my right to be heard, leaving in its wake a bitter taste for whoever was on the receiving end of my outbursts. Because I didn’t allow myself to understand what I was feeling, I was unable to express myself properly.

Our feelings are integral in helping us to learn about ourselves and can serve as a compass for direction and understanding about the kind of life we want to be living. They help us to comprehend the things that matter to us, which ultimately become part of our values, helping us to live more fulfilled lives.

Our emotions are neither good nor bad, right or wrong, and we all have a right to feel the way that we do. It is our responsibility to fully examine those feelings and emotions in an effort to better understand and express ourselves. We can internally empower or strip power away simply by learning to name our emotions, providing more control over our state of being.

Allow yourself to feel all of your emotions and get in touch with that universal energy. The more you try to ignore them, numb them, or brush them aside, the deeper they fester and grow.As Brene Brown says, when you numb the bad, you also numb the good.We already beat ourselves up about so much, don’t beat yourself up about how you feel. Instead, have self-compassion and try to understand where these feelings are coming from. Be your own best friend. Be there for yourself and allow yourself to be, with compassion in your heart. Connect with your emotions… Feel them… Learn from them… Own them… And from there, you can express them, and yourself.

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