By Cynthia May, MA, LLP, EAC Clinical Specialist – What’s the value of having emotions? Do you know that many people try to avoid feeling anything? Many people even think emotions are not for certain people to express at all! In fact, we’re all experiencing emotional reactions to life all the time – it’s one of our natural abilities to navigate our life prior to being able to make decisions or problem solve. Emotions/feelings allow us to discover what activities we want to keep in our lives. Why? Because we enjoy them; we find “joy” in them. Joy is an emotion. Pleasure is an emotion. We arrange our life based on what we want to experience. Without emotion, there is NO experience! Perhaps we might call that a “neutral observation” – like a video camera. No emotion or reactions.
So, let’s learn the absolute value of recognizing the various emotions. Then, we can learn how to use them to gain more fulfillment and experience less disturbance in our own life. Emotions are actually information!
Here are some of the categories where our emotions fall (for a complete list, click here):
Something is working for me. I like what is happening. I like what you did.
I’m losing something important in my life. I’m losing someone important in my life. I think I’m losing something (someone) important.
I’m injured or in pain. My reputation is being harmed. Low finances – high prices; “hurts my pocketbook.”
Danger! My physical safety is in question. My credit score, my income, etc.
Something in not working for me. Something is happening that I don’t like. Someone is doing what I don’t want them to do.
Anger is a secondary emotion. What feeling is anger covering up? Sad? Hurt? Fear?
The key is discovering what area of your life the emotion is affecting. It could be in any or many of these areas: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, professional, social, marital, parental, or relational.
So for you:
It’s telling you where you feel powerless.
Your Anxiety? (fear)
It’s telling you that something in your life is off-balance, that something you care about is in danger.
It’s telling you where you’re overextended and burnt out.
It’s telling you what happy experience is leaving your life.
Your feelings are not random. They are messengers. And if you want to get anywhere, you need to be able to let them speak to you – and tell you what you really need. Most importantly, you must allow yourself to feel them so you can IDENTIFY what you feel. And… the level of intensity tells you how big the situation is to you.
In learning that our emotions are our information system, we can use our mind to make our personal decisions and actions. And that, my friends, is empowerment.
Become the director of your own life!
For help in discovering more about your information system, reach out to EAC. We’re here to help!