Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Tips for exploring your feelings
By: Marissa Anteby
Usually your behavior is predicated by rational thinking, but once in a while your emotions get so tangled up with your actions that you can't discern between the two. It's hard to know if you are choosing your words and deeds or merely reacting to forces around you. To unravel this web, focus on figuring out how your feelings are being triggered instead of what the catalyst is. Don't try to fix anything or anyone, simply observe the situation.
Here's some tips for feeling your feelings:
- Be honest. Lying to yourself about what's going on in your life or justifying it, just masks the true source.
- Be vulnerable. When you take the risk of putting yourself out there with your loved ones and those you feel safe with, you'll experience deeper connections.
- Be seen, and be heard. Totally retreating from difficult situations won't get them resolved, but being present with yourself and others, will.
- Be specific. Expanding your emotional vocabulary will help you flex your volitional muscles and be more in touch with a wider range of sentiments.
- Be flexible. Don't rush to judge things as 'good' or 'bad,' recognize the whole land of possibilities in between.
- Be sad. Grieving your losses is just as important as celebrating the happy occasions.
- Be human. It's natural to have feelings even if they're unpleasant, don't worry about what you 'should' be feeling, be with what is.
Stay real by striving for authenticity in all that you do. Don't exacerbate circumstances or agitate yourself with exaggerations. The truth doesn't need embellishment. Train yourself to deal with reality by recognizing the psychological pathways of your mind, peeling back layer upon layer to uncover stronger, deeper mental states that lay hidden underneath the top superficial surface. Ask yourself, "What is under this disappointment?", "What is under this regret?", "What is under this anger?", "What is under this shame?", etc. The further you dig in to your subconscious, the clearer your habitual patterns become. Instead of denying your inclinations, experiencing them will take you closer and closer to where you started, and the elemental 'how' and 'why' of your predisposition will gradually be revealed.