Identifying and expressing emotions can be a hard feat, yet necessary for our mental well being, relationship satisfaction, and overall living a fulfilled life.  More than likely, if you did not grow up identifying or expressing emotions, this might be a new way of experiencing the world.  Chances are you probably know the more easily identifiable emotions (joy, sadness, anger, etc.) but there are hundreds of different emotions you may be able to feel at any given moment.

Emotions are seen as messengers to the brain that communicate some sort of information to us, whether that be a boundary is being crossed, a need is being met or unmet, a situation is causing distress or discomfort, fulfilling or unfulfilling a value, and more.  Emotions are neither seen as good or bad, that just are. So how can we better manage our emotions? 

Women trying to identify emotions

1) Get in the habit of identifying emotions.  

Awareness is key when identifying emotions.  Notice how you feel in your body, what is your inner dialogue like, what are your actions conveying, etc. A way to help with awareness is mindfulness techniques. Noticing and being in the here and now.  Journaling and exploring can also help with emotional awareness too.

2) Listen to your emotions.

Honor your emotions in a way that fosters expression instead of suppression.  There is stigma surrounding emotional experiences. However, it’s best to not judge them as that could create more shame around these experiences.  You are human, and as human beings, we are biologically wired to feel a conglomerate of emotions. 

3) Create space between your emotion and your response/reaction.

Sometimes our emotional experiences can be intense. This is why it’s important to not only listen, but to create space from your emotion and response in order to make decisions that align with your values.  

Reframing emotions in this way can help lessen the stigma surrounding our emotional experiences and help with our longing connection with others.  Since emotions are informative messengers for us, they are all valid and need to be welcomed with open arms.  Instead of judging, suppressing, or denying our emotions, acceptance is key to living a more authentic life.

Here at Heartland Therapy Connection, we help foster emotional well-being and mental wellness with our clients. Your feelings are valid here. We would like to help you on your journey to wellness, in whatever way that looks for you. Call or email us at 816-287-0252 or to schedule a consultation with one of our compassionate and knowledgeable counselors!

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