One of the things I've been learning about myself over the past couple of months is that I don't think that I have really learned how to feel all of the feelings and emotions that are available to me.
In fact, I think that there's times that I struggle to recognize what feeling I'm having in a particular moment. As I learn how to feel my feelings differently, I'm also learning how to change, modify, or redirect those feelings in a way that supports the lifestyle that I want to have.
Here are the three steps that I've been taking, to learn how to feel my feelings differently, in any situation.
If I start to feel the reaction, the first thing I think is, what am I feeling? What is this emotion?
Sometimes it's hard to tell between frustration and anger, or excitement and anxiety, or sad versus disappointed. Those are all different nuances and different feelings. When we can label them, and clearly identify what they are, it helps us to really understand them.
The second thing I do to make sure that I understand my emotions and my feelings a little bit better, is to see how they react in my body.
To feel whether my shoulders are shrugging, whether I'm getting tense, whether my heart is racing, whether my face is flushing, and when I say, "Okay, what is this emotion I'm feeling?" I can respond and identify this is disappointment. What does disappointment feels like? Disappointment feels heavy, it makes me want to sink in it, it feels like a hole in my chest. I can start to identify how my body feels when I'm disappointed. It helps me to really understand that emotion a little bit better, and to see, when I'm having a similar reaction in the future I know that it's because I'm disappointed. I can then think about what might have caused that disappointment.
The third thing I have to think about as I'm understanding my emotions, is to think, what is this current feeling, helping me to avoid?
Lots of times, I will think, I just feel like I got a lot to do, I am feeling very busy and just kind of running around a little frantic. Frantic is the label that I would give that emotion. It feels like heart palpitations, quick movements, and it feels like a little bit of panic. Knowing this I can say, this frantic emotion is really my body's way of responding to anxiety.
When I'm feeling anxious about something, then I move into this frantic state. Maybe it would be better for me to just feel anxious and not do anything about it. Just feel how it affects my body. Learn to understand it, and know that I will survive it.
Anxiety is a moment and anxiety is a feeling, it's not a death sentence. It's not a forever type of thing. It's just something you can feel, you can understand, and you can work through.
I hope it's helpful for you to hear the three tips that I use for understanding my emotions and feelings a little bit better. The first one was to make sure I label it and I label it clearly and differentiate it from other feelings. The second one was to understand how it feels in my body. And the third is to compare it to what I might be avoiding to really get to the heart and the root cause of these feelings.
I hope this is helpful for you.