Research indicates that in many cases when people are feeling physical pain, general malaise and chronic weariness the cause can be linked to unexpressed emotion. As a society, and especially as men, we are not taught how to properly express our feelings or even to notice the message they are trying to send us.
Experiences that are uncomfortable or painful are often pushed to the back burner of our mind because it is easier in the moment to ignore rather than deal with the feelings they cause. Unfortunately, these still exist in our lives even if we ignore these emotions. Learning to process our emotions in a healthy manner will increase your health and well being physically, spiritually and mentally. Appropriate actions can be taken and appropriate words can be used to express your emotions in a healthy way.
Noticing Your Feelings
It is important to take a moment and notice the emotions you are feeling. Just because you are feeling a certain way it doesn’t mean you have to act on it. It means that you need to start noticing that these emotions are there. This recognition is the first step in dealing with them. We have become so adept in our society of glossing over things with distraction (gaming, computers, media entertainment) That rarely is there a moment of silence to recognize what your emotions are telling you. Take that moment and notice how you feel. Learn to express them appropriately through words and actions.
Reflecting on Emotions
Ask some simple questions. Where is this feeling coming from? Why am I feeling it now? What is this emotion trying to tell me? Seeking honest answers will give you a clue about any latent emotional issues hiding in the background. The more you understand your feelings, the better you can deal with life. Instinctually we don’t want to show the world that something is bothering us or we are affected by things. Inside we view it as a weakness, but the real weakness comes from not understanding the message of our emotions.
Strength in Acceptance
Many situations in life do not occur from a conscious choice. Dealing with a death, loss of job, accident, illness, aging or betrayal are difficult situations that lead us to fight back in unhealthy ways. Denial, escaping into fantasy, substance abuse, manic activity or over stimulation can be common ways to try to deal with the flood of emotions hitting you. Until you accept a circumstance as true it is impossible to deal with it in an emotionally healthy way. Accepting something doesn’t mean you give up, it only means that you understand where you are and why. That will give you power over your emotions and they can be used for your health.
Using Your Power
Becoming emotionally and intellectually self-aware will allow you to create insights into situations which will make the decision-making process easier. This will work in all aspects of your life because you are working from a platform of honesty. Our feelings are there to help guide us, and when they get attention you are being proactive. You are starting to write your own story.
Here are some emotions and what they might be trying to tell you.
Bitterness- Showing you where you need to heal, where you’re still holding judgments on other and most importantly yourself.
Resentment- Letting you know you are living in the past and not allowing the present to be as it is.
Discomfort- There is an opportunity for change right now. Pay attention to what is happening and try to do somthing different than you typically do.
Anger- Warning sign which displays your passions lie. It will also show up when boundaries are crossed and/or when you see things in your world that you feel need to change. A good guide to your inner workings, but not a poor leader of your behavior.
Disappointment- Can be hard to deal with. Shows you are above apathy and still care about people and things. Disappointments in our past not dealt with and accepted will lead to apathy and lack of expectation.
Guilt- If you are still living in the shadow of other people’s expectations of you. Mistakes happen, things are broken, other people are not always going to like what you do. That is their emotional baggage not yours. Accept responsibility for your actions, put it behind you and move forward.
Shame- This happens when we internalize the expectations of others on how we should be or live or who we have been or have lived in the past. Time to reconnect with yourself and understand who you are and what makes you happy.
Anxiety- This is a feeling that stems from fear. Usually fear of the past or fear of the future. You need to come into the present moment and let the past be the past and the future fall where it will. Anxiety is a clear guidepost to get into the present moment. Identify the thought that is leading to the feeling of anxiety.
Sadness- There is a depth of feeling that brings on sadness. This will display when we look at the world and care deeply about others their circumstances and situations. Ask what is making you sad?