Understanding Our Emotions

Understanding Our Emotions

We live in a society where being emotionless is seen as the way to be. It’s hard not to believe that’s true when there is so much pain and hurt in the world. We start to think that avoiding our emotions all together will protect us. It’s a defense mechanism. Unfortunately, that only causes more pain and suffering. Instead of taking the time to comprehend and address our emotions, we avoid them. The buildup of emotional energy will ultimately boil over in the most inopportune times and often in situations that have nothing to do with the actual problem. The urge to suppress all emotions, is an emotion in itself: it’s fear. Intense fear actually. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the complex. It’s human nature to want to push away and avoid things we don’t understand. That’s essentially the root of discrimination and prejudice. We don’t understand it, so we don’t like it. Emotions fall into that trap. We’re constantly told “don’t get too emotional” or “control your emotions” but we are never taught what our emotions actually are. Once you understand and tend to them as they arise, they will “control” themselves. Suppressing our emotions is not control, understanding them is. The lack of knowledge of ourselves and our emotions is one of the biggest causes of violence and crime in the world. Acting on emotions impulsively or reacting to an emotion without understanding it completely is something that should be avoided, not the actual emotion itself. Emotions are feedback – feedback from the world, feedback from others, and feedback from our inner consciousness. It’s not about getting rid of them, it’s about understanding them and recognizing what they mean.

Emotions motivate actions

Emotions are a source of human energy and drive (E-motion or energy that induces motion). They allow you to adapt and manage situations. Emotions help you survive and thrive in this world. They notify you when something is off. Intuition is just emotional energy. It’s that feeling in the pit of your stomach that’s telling you to avoid a situation or go for it. Emotions give you energy for action. They motivate you to do something or act on something. They are there to support your needs and your passions. For example, if you are feeling anxious about getting something done you are likely going to do it. It’s not just physical energy emotions provide you, sometimes it’s mental energy. Frustration usually motivates you to reflect on the given problem and find a resolution. Happiness gives us positive energy to put towards our goals. Fear motivates you to fight or take flight. Every emotion gives you either physical or mental energy to help you manage life.

Emotions allow us to understand ourselves better

Emotions (specifically negative ones) signal inner wounds that need healing. They bring attention to the harmful views or ideas that you hold on to. Negative emotions let you know that it’s time to adjust your mindset and your life to better serve you. Our emotions are simply symptoms. Physical pain is a signal to the brain that there is a problem with the body. Emotional pain is a signal to our consciousness that there is problem within our subconscious. It’s the way our subconscious communicates with the body, brain and self. We typically try to avoid negative emotions and those are the ones that need the most attention. Those are the symptoms of a deeper trauma in the psyche that needs resolving. When emotions like these arrive, we have to look internally to what sparked this. Our instinct is to look outside of us for the cause and the remedy but our emotions are strictly of our own doing. Therefore, when something affects you negatively you have to ask yourself why. Did you allow negative energy to enter your life? Are you depending on others for approval and self-worth? Are you repeating a cycle of bad choices? The only actions we can control are our own. When high-intensity emotions arrive, take the time to understand where they are stemming from and what healing needs to be done as a result. Not addressing them properly is just burying them into your subconscious and deepening the wound. It’s a never-ending cycle unless you take the time to heal yourself.

Emotions allow us to experience the world

Emotions are a form of communication. Through empathy, we are able to feel what others are feeling. It’s almost like a sixth sense in a way. You are able to understand who someone is and what motivates them. For example, when someone is talking excitedly about a topic, you can assume that they have a deep interest and passion for it. Emotions allow us to relate to one another better. I would argue that emotional intelligence (EQ) is more valuable than IQ. Sadly, it is not something really taught to us as children. Your success and happiness will be limited in life without it. If you don’t know how to interpret your emotions and the emotions of others, you will struggle in day to day life. EQ is one of the keys to success. You have to be accepting of other people’s emotions and not to take them personally. Everyone is on their own journey, learning to heal themselves. Our emotions get misconstrued constantly. It’s important to understand that emotions are subjective. They are not definitive. They are your interpretation of an event. For example, you may send your significant other chocolates as a little surprise. You send them with the best intentions and expect that they will be happy and appreciative. Instead, they get angry because they are on a diet. They assume you were being unthoughtful since they had just told you they were trying to lose weight. One situation, two different interpretations, two different emotions. It is not your responsibility to take fault or guilt for other’s reactions. That is their journey, not yours. We often retaliate with anger or sadness when people don’t react the way we expect them to. Try to understand others’ viewpoints. We all have lived such different lives and have been through different things so it’s no surprise we react to things differently. High EQ is having more empathy and understanding for others. It’s recognizing that our emotions are of our own accord and that they are no one else’s responsibility. Your emotions are caused by you and you only. They are not caused by anyone or anything outside of yourself.

I hope this gives you a little insight and appreciation for your emotions. They are not something to fear but something to embrace. Use them to your advantage. The study of human emotions is unfortunately neglected in our society today. We look at them as blockades that get in the way of life when they are actually one of the most useful tools we have as human beings. Without them we would not be able to cope and heal. We would not be able to relate to one another. We would not be able to survive. All of the answers are inside of you. Take the time to understand yourself and your emotions. Self-awareness is key.

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