Emotion is a feeling of what is happening inside you. It is often experienced in the body. Hence, the term, gut feeling. While we experience pleasant feelings (e.g., joy, affection) and unpleasant feelings (e.g., rage, frustration), there are no inherent “good” or “bad” emotions.
Read on to better understand this point.
Emotions serve as a compass for navigating life.
Emotions are connected to our needs. When we are able to make sense of our emotions, we understand what we need. For example, feeling sad points to the need for comfort and connection. Feeling fear points to the need for protection and assurance.
Often, we are unable to feel our emotions clearly because they are tangled up. Like different strands of yarns mixed into a ball.
At CaperSpring, we are experts in emotions and would help you work through this entanglement of emotions, so that you are clearer of what you need.
Emotions and what
they tell us
Disgust warns us that something has turned bad. The facial expression is that of a “pinched” nose, as if to shut out foul smell. It tells us to get away from that bad situation.
Sadness tells us that we have lost something important. This can be a relationship, an opportunity or even a functional aspect of our body. It tells us that we need comfort, support and even grieve for the loss.
Anger appears when a boundary has been violated. It is like an alarm that goes off when an intruder enters your house. It tells us that we need to stand up and assert ourselves.
When we feel anxious, it tells us that the situation is either unsafe or uncertain. Anxiety is a warning of possible risks. Therefore prompting us to adopt measures to deal with this risk.
Feeling ashamed tells us that we have fallen short of given norms. These are norms of a social group that we belong to e.g. family, religious or just people-group. The natural tendency when we feel guilty is to hide. As there is a possibility of being cast out by the group, whose norm was violated. However, the rightful action is to take ownership of our actions.
Guilt is often confused with shame. When we feel guilty, it has to do with hurting someone, be it physically or psychologically. The right action to take is to make amends, such as an apology.
Emotional pain is like physical pain, it tells us that something is wrong, and we are hurting. Pain calls for our attention. Pain serves a protective function e.g. when we touch a boiling kettle, pain causes an almost instinctive reaction to retract. Feeling our pain is important. Yet we often ignore or block our emotional pain, by telling ourselves:
When should you reach out?
When you feel overwhelmed with intense and strong emotions.
When you feel confused with what you are feeling.
When you have to decide on an important matter and could not.
When you feel an overpowering form of sadness.
When you feel anxious all the time.
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