I love my weekly emails from Dr Nicole The Holistic Psychologist.
“This week I chatted with Whitney Goodman, LMFT (@sitwithwit) – Whitney talks about all things emotional regulation, including, how to work through difficult emotions in relationships.
Emotional intelligence is something I talk about frequently.
We live in a culture that doesn’t understand emotions. Most of our caregivers don’t teach us how to regulate emotions. Our schools don’t speak to emotions at all. Entertainment reflects the emotional confusion we feel as a collective.
Here are some things to understand about emotions:
1. Emotions = energy in motion. Emotion comes from the Latin word that means “energy in motion.” Emotions are energy. They run through the body. The body responds with flutters in the belly, tightness in the chest, a rapid heart beat. When we understand emotions as energy we can allow ourselves to feel them, not become them.
2. We feel emotions, we are not our emotional state. From the time we are children we hear caregivers say “I am sad” or “I am angry.” Then we begin to communicate in the same way. Emotions are something we experience, they are not who we are. Shifting our mindset in this way allows us to be aware of how we are responding to the emotions we feel.
3. All emotions are messengers that have important roles. Unfortunately, our lack of emotional awareness has led to rejecting certain emotions. Anger, jealousy, and sadness are often seen as negative or “bad” emotions. This leads people to repress or ignore these emotions. There is no such thing as a negative emotion. By becoming curious about why you’re feeling an emotion you can gain self-awareness.
4. Learning to breathe will allow you to process your emotions. Breathwork is one of the most powerful tools in learning emotional regulation. Just a few belly breaths during challenging emotions can shift your state of consciousness in both mind and body. I practice breathing every time I feel emotionally overwhelmed. It helps me to remain conscious (most of the time), not habitually react, and it helps me to make a conscious choice in how I will respond.
5. It’s very normal to have confusion around what you’re feeling. Sometimes we have no idea what we’re actually feeling. For example, sometimes when I’m excited, I think I’m feeling anxious. So I’ll take a moment and ask myself “what am I actually feeling?” “Could this be excitement?” I find that our minds rush to label an emotional experience before we’re actually sure what we are feeling. Remember, there is no rush to label.
I hope these tips help to create some clarity around emotions.
The Holistic Psychologist”