An emotion is defined as a state of mind derived from one’s circumstances, mood or relationships. The basic emotions most agree we come equipped with are anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise. Many psychologists believe they exist as evolutionary triggers; we have built-in predictable responses to situations.
Though assumed to be naturally occurring, there isn’t agreement as to whether all emotions are a product of our own evaluation, or it’s just automatic, that is, do they come from experiencing physiological changes or do they arise from the individual judging a situation. In 2017 a study was published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences wherein 27 different categories of emotions were identified! Clearly as we grow we are developing an extensive array of “feelings.” Are we all just naturally in agreement about what they mean?
Well, as human bodies work about the same way no matter where you go, our physical responses to our environment are generally the same. What’s not the same is our interpretation of those physiological reactions, the labels we give them. This is easy to imagine if you think about how differently each one of us experiences the world, has been raised, or what different cultures believe what is and isn’t acceptable. A great example in everyday life is the person who interprets “butterflies in the stomach” as excitement/joy vs someone else labelling the same feeling as fear/terror.
What we really want to address here is the “downside” of emotions. How wonderful that we can feel joy, pride in achievement, amusement, contentment, etc. but that’s not the full range of what we experience on a daily basis. There are unavoidable moments of emotional pain. Just like physical pain, this is a signal that something in our lives is out of balance and needs healing.
Consider these suggestions: give yourself time (for example, to grieve); let go of control and just be (try meditation) instead of forcing or rushing; be the observer of your pain, notice the incessant negative thoughts that keep feeding it – you are not your thoughts, you are not your pain; look to others, and nature, for support; trust that no pain is forever and that you can learn and grow from it.
Do not suppress emotions. Do not resist the symptoms, but get to the root cause. When we don’t express our emotions in a healthy way, when we don’t deal with them immediately and then move on, we form an emotional block. This means we have forced them down into our subconscious where they become barriers that can keep us from moving forward in our lives.
Ask yourself these questions: am I always tired or depressed (it takes energy to keep emotions buried); do I constantly procrastinate (is there a theme?); have I become a people pleaser, or, conversely, do I distance myself from others by having unrealistically high expectations; do I pretend something doesn’t matter when it does; am I fixated on a past relationship; am I eating or drinking (or exercising) more….
Emotions get deeply buried because at the time we felt they were too painful to deal with; we don’t realise we are actually dealing with them all the time, because they have not gone away, they are influencing our lives in the present. Long-term repression affects not only our mental health, but our physical health as well – it can lead to chronic fatigue, arthritis, and even cancer.
Sometimes we cannot find these blocks on our own, we do not understand our triggers, and we need some help…The Neural Alignment Method® could be of great benefit to you if this is the case: http://go.dawncady.com/the-neural-alignment-method