EMPOWERING EMOTIONS SKILLS
We aren’t born knowing how to understand and process our emotions. It's a skill we must learn and practice.
We learn about math and literature in school, but why don't we learn about emotions? Understanding emotions will change your life. Realize the profound benefits and fulfillment of working with your emotions, instead of trying to numb them, mindlessly react to them, or get overwhelmed by them.
THOUGHTS VS EMOTIONS
Much of what we say we feel, is really what we think. "I feel you're unfair." "I feel stupid." These are thoughts! Thoughts are indirect - and not the true essence of who we are. Thoughts stem from what we've learned from others and our past. Thoughts are a like map of a town, whereas, emotions are like actually exploring and experiencing the town real-time.
With Emotional Health Skills you can process emotions, rather than suppress or over-express them.
Emotions also have many essential functions. With Emotional Health Skills you can untangle thoughts from feelings - and mindfully observe the dance between them. This allows for a 'cleaner' sense of self-connection, inner-knowing, and self trust.
"Emotions have information. when we pay attention to them they give us useable data - which could be a comfort for those of you who might believe that the whole 'feeling thing' is too airy-fairy."
Julia Colwell, PhD
real EMOTIONS vs STUCK, old emotions
You feel and function better when your emotions are fresh and authentic, instead of old, suppressed feelings. Old, unprocessed feelings are typically combobulated with thoughts and beliefs from past experiences (some heartbreaking or traumatic).
Unprocessed emotions can results in what dynamic psychologists refer to as “emotional constipation" due to years of emotional-neglect and maladaptive behaviors to flee feelings (flight), rail against or blame others for them (fight), or numb them (freeze)." Emotion Skills help us mindfully process emotions, memories, and beliefs to maintain a "clean subconscious closet" that feels fresh and organized.
"delivering the body from functioning as a storage room for suppressed emotions brings a sense of natural love and ease, a spaciousness, that we commonly call happiness."
Somesh Curti, PhD
WHY WE HAVE EMOTIONS
THE NEED FOR EMOTIONAL HEALTH SKILLS
Emotions give you real-time information and insight only you have access to. Emotions tell you what you need and want. With self-connection, emotions serve as a compass to navigate life, obstacles, relationships, and to create balanced boundaries.
2MOTIVATE FOR ACTION
Emotions move us (e-MOTION). Emotions ignite Fight/Flight to move at = fight or away from = flight. Emotions like 'desire,' motivate us to fight for want we truly want. Emotions, like 'fear' alert us to run away from a threat. Emotions, like 'disgust' drive us to leave/flight a toxic job or relationship.
3CONNECT AND LOVE
Emotions connect, attract, and bond us. They create love, appreciation, respect, and trust. Physical connection is not enough. Humans need to feel seen, heard, trusted, understood and valued (emotional connection).
4SENSE OF PURPOSE
Emotions directly reveal our passions, gifts, desires and values. Blocked from our own emotions may feel like 'running on empty,' lacking direction and purpose. SUPPRESSED emotions leads to DEPRESSION. With emotional-connection we enjoy a sense of purpose as if we're running on 'all cylinders.'
"HEALTHY RELATING MEANS BOTH PARTNERS ARE EMOTIONALLY RESPONSIVE AND WANT TO OFFER EACH OTHER CONNECTION."
Without Emotion Skills, you may react irrationally to stress, triggers and painful feelings - like yelling when angry or binging when anxious. With Emotion Skills you build resiliency and the ability to respond (response-ability) to stressors in ideal, adaptive ways.
6HEAL AND LET GO
Some emotions, like sadness, function to slow you down so you may grieve and heal from disappointments, failures, and losses. Sadness is the emotion that allows for acceptance and releasing, to reminisce and mature, and to let go and rejuvenate.
"We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions."
Brene Brown, PhD
7CLARITY & SELF-TRUST
Emotions are direct links to the way you perceive yourself and the world around you; messengers that tell you how you're feeling, who and what is important to you. Connect with your emotions, connect with your authentic nature for self-love and self-trust.
8BREAKTHOUGH & HEAL
Breakthrough trauma, betrayal, shame and heartbreak; resolve depression, anxiety and anguish. With emotional health skills you can process old pain, anxiety, self-pity, depression, shame, resentment, and rage to feel centered and calm.
"Hurt feelings don't vanish on their own. They don't heal themselves... they pile up like a debt that will eventually come due."
Marc Brackett, PhD, Permission to Feel
EMOTIONAL HEALTH SKILLS
STEPS FOR PROCESSING EMOTIONS
EMOTIONAL HEALTH SKILLS
STEPS FOR PROCESSING EMOTIONS
FEEL & OWN YOUR EMOTIONS
IDENTIFY & UNDERSTAND EMOTIONS
PROCESS EMOTIONS WITH EMOTIONS
FEEL & OWN YOUR EMOTIONS
YOU ARE THE SOURCE OF EVERY EMOTION YOU EXPERIENCE
Once we realize our own emotions are 100% our responsibility - we have all the power we need to use Emotion Skills to validate, understand, choose rational short-term and long-term actions for self-care, and process through EVERY emotional experience, instead of suppress or overly-express emotions. No one else can truly understand what you are feeling in each moment like you can. No one can read your mind, nor can anyone process your emotions for you.
Emotions tell you what you truly need. When you know what you need, you can plan to meet those needs! Without emotional AWARENESS, you can end up hyper-focusing on others' needs only to feel resentful and unfulfilled.
EMOTIONS ARE IMPERFECT
Emotions are irrational, imperfect, fragile, and sometimes 'childish'. We can't expect emotions to be rational! They don't come from our cerebral cortex. Yet, emotions make life worth living. What would life be like without passion, desire, joy, feeling cherished?
EMOTIONS NEED GUIDANCE
With Emotion Skills, you can feel, embrace, identify, and guide your Emotional Mind, also referred to as "Inner Child" (emotional experiences and memories). All emotions last a maximum of only 90 seconds if you accept and guide them.
WIND MIND & EMOTIONAL MIND
Wise Mind sendS messages to EMOTIONAL MIND. However, it's a dial-up connection compared to the information highway that links EMOTIONAL MIND with REACTIVITY. HENCE, THE NEED TO SLOW DOWN AND FEEL YOUR FEELINGS.
EMOTIONAL MIND = INNER CHILD
Our Emotional Mind, INNER CHILD, doesn't go away when we turn 18. It never 'grows-up' or becomes rational. We don't 'grow-out' of emotions and memories. We do, however, need to consciously connect and guide our INNER CHILD with our intelligence and rational ADULT SELF.
This is why so many adults don't behave like adults at all. True 'adulthood' and maturity is acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for guiding one's own emotions, INNER CHILD. For many, this never happens. Society tells us to not have emotions (which is impossible) - so, INNER CHILD is neglected, shamed, suppressed. This results in reactivity, irrational behaviors, maladaptive stress-reactions, and dysfunctional relating.
""For many, it is not an adult self directing their lives, but rather an emotionally wounded inner child inhabiting an adult body... a hurt, angry, fearful little boy or girl calling the shots."
Stephen Diamond, PhD
DISCONNECTED FROM EMOTIONS
Disconnected from your emotions sets you up for an automatic stress-response and amygdala-hijack - that disables access to your Higher Cortex (reasoning).
This results in reactivity and living more like a lizard in a fear-based, subconscious, all-or-nothing, cookie-cutter existence. Reptiles do not have the emotional capacity, nor the creative intelligence that humans do.
CONNECTED WITH EMOTIONS
With Emotional Health Skills you gain access to the infinite array of complex feelings we humans ingeniously generate in each moment.
With consistent connection to your higher cortex (Wise Mind), you enjoy a more rational, calm, connected, authentic existence - living in the present with mindful responses, rather than in toxic stress and reactivity.
"We have two highly developed systems: reason [thoughts] and THE emotional core still sitting there, like the primitive animal inside us... illnesses often result from an imbalance in thOse two."
Ilana Simons, PhD
"Healing comes from taking responsibility to realize that it is you - and no one else - that creates your thoughts, feelings and actions.”
IDENTIFY & UNDERSTAND EMOTIONS
EMOTIONS ARE LIKE WAVES
Emotions are ever-flowing like ocean waves. When soft, you may not notice. At MEDIUM (or "mood") you become aware. At INTENSe they're detectable to others, whether you want them to be or not! Avoiding or suppressing emotions increases their intensity (anxiety, urges, depression, etc.). Emotional Health Skills help you attend to your emotions before they get INTENSe.
EMOTIONS BLEND LIKE PAINT COLORS
Emotions are multifaceted and blend together. (jealousy is a blend of anger, sadness, and fear). There are 5 to 27 primary emotions - that mix like paint colors creating hues of 34,000+ distinguishable feelings.
EMOTIONS HAVE A PURPOSE
All emotions are necessary and useful. There are more painful emotions than pleasant ones. Most painful emotions' purpose is to ensure safety and survival. The Emotional Literacy worksheets give an overview of basic emotions and their purpose.
THE 5 BASIC EMOTIONS
“CORRECTLY IDENTIFYING A REAL EMOTION TAKES THE BRAIN OUT OF FLIGHT-OR-FLIGHT MODE AND INTO PROBLEM-SOLVING MODE, OUT OF TENSION, ANGER AND CONFUSION AND INTO EASE, CALM AND CLARITY.”
EMOTIONAL LITERACY WORKSHEETS
“The suffering itself is not so bad; it’s the resentment against suffering that is the real pain.”
"The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it."
CHANGE EMOTIONS WITH EMOTIONS
PROCESSING EMOTION WITH EMOTION
Much of today's psychological research is focused on emotions and how we can process through the painful ones so we can feel better more often. Turns out, trying to 'think-through' or 'talk-out' our emotions doesn't work - nor does medicating them, suppressing them nor neglecting them.
COMPASSION, CURIOUSITY, GRATITUDE
Hundreds of studies prove how certain emotions like COMPASSION, CURIOUSITY, and GRATITUDE help us process through painful emotions, grieve, let-go, and rejuvenate. They even have the power to heal PTSD, resolve emotional flashback and backdraft emotions, anxiety, depression and mental health disorders.
"Every emotion is valuable. The trick is to actually feel it and then fully accept it. Judging ourselves for feeling 'less than outstanding' only keeps us locked in those negative states... creating 'stuck-ness'. "
Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map
Utilizing Empowering Emotions on a consistent basis, with evidence-based practices such as GRATITUDE Journaling, Mindful Self-COMPASSION (MSC) methods and using CURIOSITY with Inner Connecting build our capacity to feel calm, joy, self-worth, and wholehearted connection - with ourselves and others.
ANGER is another Empowering Emotion. You likely learned as a child that anger is scary, harmful, or bad. But, anger isn't the problem. Reactivity is (outbursts, fighting, etc.) Without Emotion Skills, we tend to suppress anger to maladaptively protect from discomfort or conflict, or wear anger like armor to avoid feeling hurt or inferior (fight-type). Either way, we miss out on anger's empowering information, including awareness of our real needs and boundaries. Learn more in the worksheets below.