Tag Archives: Emotional Awareness

Moving Through E-Motions

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scared

So, what is so frightening about our feelings? What is it about intense emotions that cause us to go out of our way time and time again, in order to avoid dealing with them?

For whatever it’s worth, here’s my take. It is human nature to fear what we don’t know or understand. We don’t have to go far from our own developmental process to see this as fact. Children aren’t afraid of daylight – they are afraid at night, when it is dark. Because it is difficult to actually see things in the dark, our imagination kicks in and feeds our thoughts. (And, if you see a connection between the words imagination and image, you can link them together and come up with how our imaginations create images inside our heads all the time.) Another ‘factoid’ about human nature, is that we tend to imagine more of the worst than the best. Again, if we reflect on the way things are with young children, they imagine monsters under the bed not fairy princesses.

Having said that, what I believe is that when it comes to our feelings and emotions, we are likely to imagine them being much worse than they are in actuality. We blow them out of proportion and continue through the cycle of avoiding them because now, we are even more fearful of facing them than ever.

No Thinking

No Thinking

How do we stop the madness? Remind yourself we have not been told to think about our feelings. The suggestion is to get in touch with our feelings. We don’t touch with our brains. We need to feel our emotions, to experience them.

It has taken me a while to get it, but I finally understand this to mean I need to identify where in my physical body I am feeling the feeling; to acknowledge it being there; to breathe into it and stop resisting it, and to let it be. Amazingly, it doesn’t last forever. It dissipates and dissolves, eventually other feelings appear, and they move on too.

They are JUST feelings. They do not have any control over me that I am not willing to give up. They do not have any more power than anything else. They are not against me. They are for me to accept as part of who I am.

One of the neatest things about feelings that I’ve discovered, is that there is absolutely no such thing as wrong or right to them. They just are.

Meditation

Carve out 10 or 15 minutes to get to know your feelings today. As I heard said the other day “don’t just do something, sit there!”

I would truly love to hear how it goes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

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What About Feeling?

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Emotion Poster

Let’s talk a bit about emotions. I’m not sure why, but most people seem more comfortable referring to them as feelings than as emotions. Perhaps the word feelings sounds more personal and less official in a way and that makes them a bit less ominous.

But whether we call them feelings or emotions, they refer to internal sensations that get stirred up when life happens. We all experience them. Interestingly however, if you do a search to find out how many feelings an average person experiences in any given day, you will find nothing. The options that come up will range from the number of thoughts a person has on an average day to the amount of calories a person should consume in an average day to how many times an average person urinates in an average day. But nothing about how many feelings a person experiences on the average.

According to dictionary.com emotion is: ‘an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.’

If this sounds a bit tough to pin down and measure to you, don’t worry. You are not alone. That is why we can’t determine something like an average amount of them each day for the average person. When it comes to emotions, for all intent and purpose, there is no real average. One person can become extremely emotional when they experience a specific event while another person experiencing the exact same event for the exact same amount of time has no emotional reaction whatsoever. In fact, one person can experience an intense emotional reaction to something one time, and later in the same day, experience no emotional reaction to the same event. How do you measure something that ambiguous and unique?

confusion

The confusion regarding emotions doesn’t only impact things like quantifying them. Many times, people find emotions difficult to identify, understand and manage; even their own. Quite often, if you ask someone how they are feeling, they do not really know. This is because as often as we experience emotions, we do not pay them much attention. Many times, this is not a very wise thing, because emotions have a funny way of piling up if they are intense and they are not dealt with.

When we think about the way we feel, we extend the feeling and compound the emotion. This would be a good thing in regard to positive emotions, like if we feel excited about an upcoming event and think about the way we feel, we intensify the excitement. It would not be a wise thing to do when it comes to negative emotions, however. But many people tend to do just that. By thinking about feeling upset, we ‘work ourselves up’ even more and become angrier.

What’s a person to do? This poses a dilemma because we are finding that it is healthful to get in touch with our emotions, yet we are saying it is not wise to think about them if they are negative.

The key is in the word “think.” Getting in touch with our feelings is not a cognitive process. Let me say that again. Nobody ever said to ‘think’ about feelings. Getting in touch means experience them – not think about them.

Just Be

Just Be

Feelings equate to being, not thinking. And most of us don’t know how“to be.” That is not a concept that many of us are familiar with. In fact, it is a concept that most of us are very uncomfortable with.

Now “THAT” is something to think about.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Why Vs. How

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Why

Why


I’ve been doing some more work with emotional awareness and mindfulness. This is quickly becoming something that has a firm grasp on my interest and focus. And one of the things that I am zeroing in on is the difference between :

• Thinking about feelings
• Feeling the feelings

Historically, I am hugely analytic. Ask anyone who knows me. They will confirm that at some point or another, I have undoubtedly made them a bit crazy with my tendency to analyze and over-analyze anything and everything.

I can’t recall a time in my life when I didn’t try and understand why things happened the way they did. As I experienced life more, my need to understand why things happened gave way to understanding how things happened.

I believe the transition from why to how occurred because life taught me a bit about acceptance. Even as I write this now, it seems to me that why comes from more of a non-accepting place. I wanted to understand because I wasn’t content or accepting of what happened. A great example of this would be when you ask yourself or someone else “why did that person have to do that” In essence, by asking why we are also questioning why something else did not happen. It sounds extremely non-accepting to me.

Acceptance

Acceptance

But when I began to become more interested in how, I stopped asking why. By asking how, in essence I am saying that I accept it is happening this way or that it will happen this way, but I am looking to understand more about the process. I have accepted that there is nothing for me to do regarding whether it happens or not – but rather I can learn more about the occurrence.

If all this analyzing and thinking sounds like a lot of work, that is correct! I spent so much time thinking and over-thinking, analyzing and over-analyzing, that I left myself very little ability to feel anything. Lo and behold, there was an entirely different dimension to who I was that I knew practically nothing about. My emotional development suffered greatly due to the fact that I felt so much more comfortable in my intellectual self. It felt so much safer to me because that is where I had experienced success and established so much more familiarity.

I tried to break down one concept into a lot of words to assure readers can relate to where I’m going with this. We cannot bring ourselves into balance unless we allow all of who we are to develop; even the part or parts we are not comfortable facing.

Acceptance

Acceptance

Learning to become aware of the way I am feeling in the moment was not something comfortable for me – rather, it is something I avoided for a long time because of just how afraid of it I was. I had to do a lot of work on myself before I was ready to get there. But now that I have begun the process, there is nothing that makes me feel more complete and I choose to devote a part of my day practicing emotional awareness through practicing mindfulness – also known as ‘self-care,’ for the rest of my life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Miraculous, Marvelous Mindfulness

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Emotion Chart

So, let’s talk a bit more about emotions.

It is not a huge leap from understand and accepting physical development taking time to that of our emotional development and growth needing time to develop into maturity as well.

That is why as children, we cannot cope with many events in our lives in a balanced way.

This begs the question “How DO we handle feelings that we are not yet developmentally able to balance properly?”

Submerged

Submerged

It doesn’t seem unrealistic that we submerge them, right? I mean, we are facing emotions that have come up and as children, we don’t possess the ability to experience them in a healthy way. But we also know from our own experiences later in life, that feelings don’t disappear or evaporate. (Refer to my previous post and analogy to an extremely obese person wearing Spandex.) They have to come out sometime and somewhere – usually catching us completely off-guard and unaware.

Experts on the topic of mindfulness say we need to be able to experience our feelings, not submerge them, in order to bring ourselves into proper balance. And although our emotional system was not developed enough to do so when we were younger; we CAN learn how to as adults.

Enter (you guessed it) MINDFULNESS – the process of getting in touch with and facing our feelings in the moment, experiencing them, and getting on with life without dwelling or analyzing or over thinking them (all which in turn, cause us to relive them and get stuck in them) hindering and sometimes entirely stalling our ability to progress through our lives.

Mindfulness

At this point, there should no longer be any doubt as to how big of a deal mindfulness really is to personal growth.

But, did you know how important of a role it plays in our relationships and interactions with other people throughout our lives.

That will be the focus of the next installment on miraculous mindfulness.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Interior Vs. Exterior

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Internal Image

Internal Image

There is so much more to be said for the topic of mindfulness. One image that continues to come back to me each time I start to write about it, is that of shadow boxing. When we are in a situation in which we are not able to see or understand whatever it is we have to undertake, there is no way we can be very effective with it.

The more we understand the task we are faced with, the better we can accomplish it. That seems like it would be such an indisputable fact that it boggles my mind when it comes to issues like anxiety, depression or emotional struggles we may have.

That is not to say that we all need to obtain a PhD is psychology or biology, but it does speak clearly to emotional awareness and mindfulness. Nobody knows better how we are feeling that we do. And nothing helps us get more in touch with how we feel than learning how to zero in on the moment and experience it more fully by focusing on it more intently.

By shifting our focus from the external to the internal and then back again brings a new level of awareness and depth to the way we experience life.

How Much Time

Balance

Balance

Finding a balance is key. It doesn’t help us to dwell on our feelings or sensations for too long; in fact, it could actually become counter-productive if we do. And, conversely, it isn’t effective if we don’t spend enough time and attention to our inner feelings, because we can’t truly get in touch with what is going on unless we experience it.

A good springboard is approximately 20-30 minutes a day. And, as with developing any habit, it takes our brain 30 days to learn a new routine. Devoting more time than that is not helpful and as I mentioned, it can be counter productive. The idea is to experience sensations, not to think about them too much or to focus on them beyond the allotted time.

Internal Benefits

When something goes wrong inside our bodies, if it is not easy to detect outwardly like symptoms of a cold or flu, a physician will call for testing that delves deeper like blood work, x-rays, scans or even an MRI.

I see mindfulness as the emotional equivalent of that. And the great news is that it is much less expensive! It does, however, require a lot more courage and commitment. For most of us, it is coming face to face with fear, anxiety, rage, sadness and emptiness. These are not the types of things we look forward to experiencing and yet, becoming mindful means we are voluntarily opting to experience them.

Meditatinon  and Yoga

However, by allocating a time and a place to let them come up, we become free of the fear they hold over us.

Very rarely are emotions released in a crazed rush that overwhelms or overtakes us. It is much more like time released vitamins or medication. The process is a gradual, slow and steady one. Our emotional ‘wounds’ can take days, weeks or even months to release and heal.

But if you stay devoted and committed to the practice of mindfulness, you will find that you truly hold the key to making your life better.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

The How To’s of Mindfulness

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Habits

Habits

If we wish to learn a new habit, there is much documentation to support that we need to spend approximately a month repeating the new behavior in order to get it to become routine in any way. We learn better slowly, giving our brains time to process and absorb and finally retain important pieces of information and behaviors that we wish to repeat and incorporate as part of our regular activities.

Having said that, mindfulness cannot truly be effective until it becomes a habit. And as we have stated earlier, mindfulness is something that we practice, allowing it to become more comfortable and familiar the more we practice.

Digging deep inside to learn more about who we are and what we feel takes determination and courage. Self exploration into the depths of our being means we will be confronting the sensations (feelings) associated with some of the most significant events we have faced in our lives. There are going to be intense emotions that will most likely come up.

Strong Emotions1

But if we choose to follow a path of mindfulness, we are willing to face them anyway. I strongly encourage anyone willing to follow this type of path of self-discovery to keep this in mind and take some time each day to recognize just how wonderful what you are doing is. Realize how brave you are being and praise yourself for taking these steps. I am 100% certain you would do at least as much for someone else if you learned that they were undertaking something like this.

Be gentle with yourself throughout the process. Make sure you have set up a system of support for yourself, a friend or two who you can talk to anytime about what you discover. You are looking for someone who will listen to your experiences and not judge or have their opinion over-ride your actions.

And please remember to continuously grant yourself permission to experience all the feelings you encounter without dwelling on them for too long. The purpose is to experience all your feelings, but not to get lost or stuck in them. And the glorious part of mindfulness is that you don’t have to stop feeling as you go through the rest of your day. You can do both at the same time. The trick is not to stay deep in the emotions. Just know they are there and validate them and feel them.

If what you find yourself feeling strongly is a sense of numbness, remember that is a feeling as well. Come face to face with your feelings as being a significant part of yourself (because they are) and breath through them, maybe even asking yourself when you first started having this feeling. No judging, no analyzing, just experiencing, learning and accepting.

Here is a small trial run you can try, starting today. If you place one of your hands on your stomach and the other on your chest and feel if your breath is shallow or deep, if you haven’t practiced anything like this before, you will more than likely find it is fairly shallow. If your hands move an inch or less when you inhale and exhale fully, your breathing is shallow.

Don’t get discouraged. Most people don’t breathe deeply. This is mostly because in our crazy world of multi-tasking, diversions and interruptions, we don’t take the time to even think about how we breathe. If we did, more of us would breathe deeper.

So, over the next week, make a point of becoming more present to your breathing throughout the day. I understand you will not be able to do this for hours on end. Gently bring your awareness back to your breathing from time to time throughout the day more often than you normally would.

Then see how far your hands move when you measure how shallow or how deeply your breathing is. If you’ve done this routinely for a week, you should find a significant increase in how deeply you breathe.

The reason for the change is because you have brought your level of awareness regarding your breathing to the forefront. You have become mindful of what your body is doing and the outcome is improved breathing.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness

This is how mindfulness works in all aspects of our lives. By becoming more in touch with what we feel and who we are, we improve it automatically.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Coming Face To Face With Stress

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Balance

Balance

Learn to Recognize Stress.
As hard as this may be to believe, there are many of us who are so used to being stressed out much of the time, that it actually begins to feel normal. Another way to explain this is that many of us have completely forgotten what it feels like to be totally relaxed and alert and if that situation should happen to occur, we are uncomfortable with it and seek to get ourselves back into a state of stress and what we perceive to be ‘normal’ once again.
We actually feel out of balance when we are experiencing a healthy, balanced state.

How crazy is that?

Calmness is not only feeling relaxed, it is also just as important that we are fully alert. We need both to be able to withstand harmful effects of stress. Being in a balanced emotional state means maintaining a calm state in three areas:

* Energy
* Alertness
* Focus

If you find that you do not feel calm, alert, productive and focused much of the time, then you may be experiencing problems managing your levels of stress.

My Life Experience Example

Stress Ball

Stress Ball

Today presented exceptional situations in my personal life that threw me into a level of stress that I have not experienced in a very long time. It absolutely stemmed from events out of my control and it involved people I love and care about, including my own reputation.

All is calm right now, the reality of the day’s events before me, whether I like them or not. It is evening here as I sit at my desk to write this post, and things are quiet enough for me to get in touch with my body’s reaction to the stress.

* Changes in breathing – without a doubt, I am sighing more and feeling something akin to a ‘need’ to take in huge breaths through my nose.
* Tightness in muscles – there is a noticeable tightness in my neck, back and shoulder muscles. They are rigid and flexed rather than feeling relaxed and at ease.
* Heavy Eyes – I had enough sleep last night, but my eye lids feel as if they weigh a ton and need to shut. It is a struggle for me to keep them open.
* Throbbing Head – I am experiencing a pulsating sensation in my head, especially around both my temples. The pounding is constant, persistent.
* Stomach Ache – My stomach feels extremely tight and sore. My eating habits today were not ‘typical’ for me. I ‘forgot’ to eat breakfast entirely and although it is dinner time and I “should” be hungry, I feel as if eating will only further upset my stomach.

Quick Tension Review

In order to get in touch with your body’s response to tension and stress, try the following:

* Pay close attention to your muscles and ‘inside feelings.’ Do your muscles feel tight or sore? How about your stomach, do you sense a tightness or soreness there? What position are you hands in? Are they clenched?

* Pay close attention to your breathing. Are your breaths shallow? Try watching the rise and fall of your hands with each breath, while placing one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Observe when you breathe fully or when and if you “forget” to breathe. Also observe sighing, a need for deep breaths or hiccoughs.

Get in touch with your own body’s response to stress.

There are some stress responses we all share internally as humans. Our heart pumps faster, our muscles constrict and our blood pressure rises. Our bodies work extra hard and pull from our immune system when we are stressed. For more information on this and other information about emotional awareness, visit Help Guide..

Stress Plus

Stress Plus

On the outside, however, there are three different ways we can respond to stress:

* Overexcited Stress Response
– Anger and agitation – we can show this by yelling or acting out in ways that demonstrate this such as throwing things, hitting things or other people, almost always resulting in our feeling regret and remorse for saying or doing something we shouldn’t have. We will respond best to stress relief activities that quiet you down.
* Under-excited Stress Response – Spacing out or withdrawing – we disconnect ourselves, allow ourselves to become distracted in other things around us, lose our focus and attention and pull further and further away in attempts to avoid the source of our stress. We will respond best to stress relief activities that are stimulating and that energize your nervous system
* Both Under-excited and Overexcited Stress Response – Freezing up – we become immobile, numb or paralyzed. This is because we are experiencing both a speeding up in some areas and a slowing down in others. The result is an inability to move in any direction at all We will need to work with stress relief activities that provide both safety and stimulation to help you “reboot” your system.

By understanding your body’s specific stress response, you can more quickly relieve it.

The next post will go through the reason, understanding and techniques for quick stress relief.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

A Second Time to Second That E-Motion

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Emotion Chart

Emotion Chart

The response to my highly E-Motional post from yesterday was quite overwhelming! Enough so, it motivated me to continue with a bit more on the topic. In other words, due to popular demand, I would like to introduce I SECOND THAT E-MOTION – Part 2.

There is something you may have heard about called our EQ. Our EQ is to our feeling and emotional aspect of ourselves as the IQ is to the intellectual, cognitive aspect of ourselves. It is gaining popularity as more and more people are beginning to realize how important it actually is for people to develop maturity in their emotional skills, which help us better understand, empathize and negotiate with other people. As our economy become more global, this is becoming more and more important because we need to carry this maturity with us as we cross continents and work and live more with diverse cultures and norms.

A person’s EQ determines how well you can understand other people, how to work cooperatively with them, and what motivates them.

Self-Awareness –
This is recognizing emotions in the moment, as they happen. It is the key to EQ. It takes practice and more practice because you need to tune into your true feelings, something many of us are very much out of touch with due to all the distractions our lives contain. The only way we can evaluate our feelings is by tuning into them first. Then after we evaluate them, we can set out to manage them. Self-awareness includes:

* Emotional awareness – Recognizing our own emotions and their effects.
* Self-confidence – Be sure about our self-worth and our capabilities.

Self-regulation. Very few of us have any say over when we experience emotions. We do, however, have a lot to say over the intensity of the emotion and its duration. There are a number of techniques we can learn to help anger, anxiety or depression. Utilizing various types of sensory techniques, meditating, praying, or even walking; all are methods for self-regulating. It involves:

• Self-control. Managing disruptive impulses.
• Trustworthiness. Maintaining high levels of honesty and integrity.
• Conscientiousness. Owning full responsibility for your actions.
• Adaptability. Being flexible and bendable, open to change and growth.
• Innovation. Accepting of new methods and ideas.

Motivation

Motivation

Motivation. Two things are necessary to succeed. Clear goals and a positive attitude. By being able to tune into negative thoughts right in the moment of their conception, reframing becomes more possible, improving chances to achieve goals. Components of motivation are:

• Achievement drive. The desire to keep improving or reach a level of excellence.
• Commitment. Staying in line with the goals that have been set forth.
• Initiative. Being ever-ready to act on all opportunities as they appear.
• Optimism. Seeing obstacles as stepping stones rather than setbacks.

Empathy.
Being able to tell how others are feeling based on relating and connecting to similar feelings in ourselves – brings us closer to others. The more empathetic one is, the more they are able to excel at:

• Service orientation. Anticipating, recognizing and meeting the needs of others.
• Developing others. Tuning into the needs of others to help them reach their fullest potential.
• Leveraging diversity. Finding common ground between varying cultures and individuals despite their differences.
• Political awareness. Being able to recognize levels of power and the relationships of people within a group.
. Understanding others. Discerning the feelings behind the needs and wants of others.

Social skills. Being able to relate to people from all walks of life on various levels becomes more and more valuable. There is value in being able to connect to others, it makes whatever encounters we have with them easier and more effective. These skills are invaluable:

• Influence. The ability to persuade others.
• Communication. Sending and receiving clear messages.
• Leadership. Inspiring and guiding groups and people.
• Change catalyst. Although it is something most people fear, being able to initiate and manage change is an invaluable skill.
• Conflict management. Understanding, negotiating and resolving disagreements.
• Building bonds. Nurturing relationships.
• Collaboration and cooperation. Working with others toward common goals.
• Team capabilities. Creating good feelings and systems within groups to reach goals.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Harvard graduates in business demonstrate how important developing our EQ is for success in life. The more we know and learn about Emotional Intelligence, the happier we can be and more balanced of a life we can live.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

I Second That E-Motion

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Emotional Chart

Emotional Chart

Emotions are quickly becoming the focus of research in mental health fields. Where most of the focus has been on how people think (Cognition) and most recently behavior and outcome results (measurable and simply definable), there is an upcoming trend to study people and emotions.

Historically, emotions have been given a really awful rap. I can remember my father telling me from the time I was a little girl that I needed to let my head lead me, not my heart. His well-intentioned advice and the way he lived his life as well, totally devalued emotions.

Just the way our actions are ‘birthed’ in our cognition, emotions also provide a birthing ground for our behaviors. Many of our actions and behaviors are responses to how we feel. For a long time, emotions have not been looked at or given credence as a partner in human behavior.

Truthfully, not only may emotions be part of why many behaviors occur, in some instances, they are the strongest factor or maybe even the only reason for behavior.

Emotional Chartb

Emotional Chartb

Recognizing and controlling our emotions is one of the most valuable gifts we can provide ourselves with. Although many people avoid recognizing their feelings, when we choose to be courageous enough to face our feelings, we can:
• Gain control over the way we react to challenges
• Improve our communication skills
• Enjoy more fulfilling relationships

Our emotions are the foundations of us being able to understand ourselves and relate to other people. When we lose control of our emotions, we:

* Lose our ability to think clearly and creatively
* Lose our ability to manage stress and challenges life presents
* Lose our ability to communicate well with others
* Lose our ability to display trust, empathy and confidence

Loss of these skills produce confusion, isolation and negativity.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Emotions are constantly ongoing, but the experience of each individual emotion does not last very long. In other words, we’re always feeling things, but if I become angry at something my husband said, that individual emotional response, in this case, anger; does not last much beyond 15 or 20 minutes at the most.

Becoming emotionally aware requires getting in touch with the feelings we are having in the moment, and understanding why we are experiencing it. It also involves being able to identify and express moment to moment feelings and to understand the connection between those feelings and our behavior.

When we connect to our own emotions and become more emotionally aware, we become better able to understand and empathize with what others are feeling. This is how we begin to isolate less and become more connected with others.

Emotional awareness involves:
• Recognizing your moment-to-moment emotional experiences
• Handling all of your emotions without becoming overwhelmed

It is always a good idea to have a support system in place – someone you can talk with and trust to share your experiences with. Self-help is wonderful, but, like everything else, has its limitations. By having a strong support system available, you’ll assure yourself an added cushion of comfort during the process.

This is a great place to begin getting our lives more in balance by becoming more aware and involved in our emotional selves.

It only gets better from here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!