I’ve had several conversations recently where the other person said some variation of “I was being emotional” or “I need to be less emotional”. EVERY time, the idea of being emotional was labeled as bad or wrong.
We live in a society that is very much anti-emotions. Yet emotions are neither bad nor good; they simply are.
It is the value we attach to them that give them meaning. We have been taught to attach meaning or even judgment to our emotions. This makes it difficult for us to be with them and unable to access the wisdom they bring us.
Feelings vs emotions
Feelings and emotions are often confused with each other and get used interchangeably. However, they are not the same.
Emotions are lower level responses that are tied to primal reactions in the part of our brain required for survival. They can be experienced consciously or unconsciously. Psychologists have identified six basic emotions: anger, fear, disgust, happiness, sadness, and surprise.
Feelings are our response to emotions. They are your conscious awareness of emotions and reflect your association with them.
Though your feelings are what you notice first, emotions usually precede feelings. Emotions happen quickly. Feelings stay with you and need to be processed/fully felt so you can get to the emotions underneath them.
Why you NEED to be emotional
Emotions are energy
That energy builds up in your bodies whether you express them or not. Your body bears the burden of that energy and you pay a price if you suppress it.
Like a pressure cooker, the energy WILL find a way out and usually in the most unhelpful way possible. Allowing your emotions to be moves that energy out of your body in a safer, more productive way.
Emotions provide necessary information
Emotions bring important information with them; information you need to have. They may be indicating you have an old wound that needs tending.
Or, they may be calling attention to a red flag that someone or a situation is not safe for you. Your emotions could also be leading you to the exact right decision you need to make. Processing your emotions helps you get to this helpful information.
Naming emotions calms your brain
Just naming your emotion will calm you and your brain down, pulling you out of the fight/flight/freeze state emotions can sometimes put you in.
By accessing the emotions you’re feeling, your brain can return to a balanced state between logic and emotions. Getting to the underlying emotion gives you what you need to take the next right step.
What to do with your emotions
Feel them! You have to feel all the feels.
This means if you want to cry, you need to cry. Tears get a bad rep in our society. Yet they are often the healing you didn’t know you needed. One of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho says tears are words that need to be written. Your tears allow those unspoken words to find expression.
Don’t apologize for your tears. Your heart has something it’s trying to express, and your tears are a needed part of that process.
Also, don’t fear your anger. Instead, find constructive ways to move your anger through your body. My personal favorite is to grab a pool noodle and start hitting the couch, the bed, or the wall to move that energy.
Whatever the emotions, let yourself feel it without judgment.
Your emotions and change
In the Change Cycle, a wave of emotions hits you and those emotions have to be processed. If you don’t process them, you will get stuck.
Even if you’re taking action and it looks like you’re moving forward, you’ll actually tether yourself to that moment in time. Those emotions will keep pulling you back until you look at them. Not having time to “deal with them” is only putting off the inevitable. They will eventually find you or you will pay a price for ignoring them.
As you move through change give yourself permission to be emotional. There is no problem with being emotional. In fact, being emotional is a gift you give yourself. A gift that will yield something beautiful on the other side.
Now I want to hear from you. What are your thoughts about being emotional? Tell me in the comments below.
Here’s to you making peace with being emotional and rising into your greatness.
From my heart to yours,
P.S: If you’re struggling to make peace with your emotions or are feeling overwhelmed by them let’s talk. Click here to schedule a complimentary call with me. On this call we’ll take a look at what it will take to move you from where you are to where you want to be. Schedule your call today.