Emotions are a big part of life. Even if we cover them up or bottle them away, emotions rule our decisions, and very much make the final call on the way we live our lives. As such, it’s incredibly important to be in touch with your emotions. You need to know how they flow, and what might trigger certain moods, to ensure you can make the best rational choices in the face of all eventualities.
And we all know this, of course! But we can still struggle to get a handle on the way we feel. Sure, there are many ways to make yourself feel better in the here and now, but what about in the long term? What can you do to really stay in touch with your emotions, and better your emotional health overall? Well, we’ve got some tips below for you that might just help.
Remember, Your First Reaction Isn’t Always Accurate
The way you first feel about something isn’t necessarily the way you’re actually feeling. Emotions can often merge together, and you can have some very mixed feelings about something that’s happened. However, it can get even more complicated than this – sometimes one emotion covers up another, and it can be hard to dig deep and reveal what you’re really feeling underneath.
One of the most common emotions that cover up what we’re really feeling is anger. You can get angry about a lot of things, whether it’s what someone has said to you, or something you’ve seen on TV. And in a lot of these cases, the anger is there as a defense mechanism. For example, a person can be angry because it feels much better than admitting that they’re scared or hurt by something that’s happened. The anger you feel is more productive, and you can do more with it, and lashing out with it can very much prevent you from getting hurt in the same way again.
But in allowing such a strong emotion to ‘take over’, you can potentially damage your close relationships, and even just make yourself feel worse. Allowing yourself to let the emotion underneath out can be very scary, but it’s a lot healthier, and it can help you to overcome having such strong reactions in the future as well.
And There are No Bad Emotions!
Following on from this point, it’s good to remember that no emotion is inherently bad. What we can do as a result of what we feel can be bad, and damaging, but the feeling itself is completely valid. Which is why it’s so important to address everything you’re feeling, and try not to bottle anything up. It won’t do you any favours in the long run!
Typically ‘bad’ emotions include sadness, guilt, and anger. These are core feelings that make up the nuances in the way we feel and react to what’s around us, and they can criss-cross over into one explosive cocktail! But knowing that this can happen, and reminding yourself that what you’re experiencing in your head and heart isn’t bad or wrong, is a big part of emotional wellness.
You’re a multifaceted person after all, and you don’t ever have to push an emotion away if that’s what someone else expects of you. These emotions might be negative in nature, but they’re part of being human, and if you don’t ever let yourself feel them, you’ll never quite get a handle on living and working with your feelings. And don’t forget: they make the positive emotions all the sweeter!
Use a Mood Diary
If you really want to track your thoughts and feelings, you might want to start a mood diary. Grab a notepad, jot down the date, and then draw a table. In this table, make a column for the emotion you felt, what made you feel it, and what you did in response. If you want to take this a bit further, you can also include your thoughts on whether or not your emotion and/or response to the trigger was entirely appropriate.
Mood diaries help us to track of what we’re feeling, when, and what typically causes us to feel that emotion. Keep this diary for long enough and you’ll start to notice patterns, which you can then either show a therapist to talk about, or come up with your own solutions. For example, you can take on a few mindfulness techniques to help you unwind, but more on this below.
Remember, a mood diary isn’t there to make you feel bad about the way you feel. It’s there to help you take back control. Without the knowledge of how your emotions spark, and what you do in response, how can you begin to change the way you feel?
Think About Therapy
Therapy can be used in a variety of situations to help a person take on life the way they want. You don’t need to have had a recent tragedy or a diagnosed mental illness to get in touch with a therapist – all you need is a question about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and the help of a professional to answer it.
Indeed, therapy is a great way to help yourself get in touch with the way you feel. After all, when talking over your thoughts and feelings with someone who has a real insight into the world of emotions, you can take on a different viewpoint. This might not be possible anywhere else in your life, and it can really get you thinking about the way you treat yourself.
And there are many forms of therapy that can help you to workshop your feelings, and the way you can react to them in the future. For example, if you want to have a more constructive approach to how you feel in day to day situations, you can try out a few sessions of CBT.
Doing online hypnotherapy, on a similar note, can help you get to the root of any emotional issues, if that’s what really worries you. Being in a hypnotic state can allow you to open up without barriers, and can be effective at treating symptoms such as insomnia, and stress related aches and pains. And even if therapy has never sounded suitable for you, even just an initial consultation can get you thinking deeply about the way you feel.
Implement Some Mindfulness Techniques
Mindfulness is all about staying in touch with yourself. It helps you to be present in the moment, and identify what you’re feeling and where you’re going with it. And that can be helpful to a lot of people. After all, without checking in and reminding yourself to stay calm, it can be much harder to beat away the stresses of the day.
But what can you do? In being mindful, you’re trying to identify what you’re feeling. So do that first of all. Decide what it is you’re feeling, and then accept the emotion. Don’t ignore it, and don’t push it away. Keep in mind that this emotion won’t last, especially if you know what set it off in the first place. A lot of people like to sit or lie down and close their eyes whilst doing mindfulness, but it can be done at a desk or in the middle of a coffee shop if need be!
Are you in touch with your emotions? Make sure you take tips like those above to heart, to better your emotional health for the future.