We often only become aware of our emotions when they become really big and loud. For example; we are filled to overflowing with love in a new relationship, or we find ourselves frozen by fear and anxiety. In these moments you become intensely aware of the emotion present in your physical body.
There are times when it may feel like there is a dangerous battle raging inside you. If you want to move from feeling like a victim to your emotional life, to actually improving your relationship with your own emotions here’s a great place to start.
It’s Not in Your Head
Your emotions are not in your head, you think about your emotions using mind, also your focus and repetitive thoughts do effect your emotions, however emotions are primarily felt in your body.
Become aware of your feelings. What do your emotions feel like in your physical body? Where do they show up in your body?
Take a moment to consider the following; Anger, place your hand to the part of your body where you most feel strong anger.
Joy; now place your hand on the part of your body where you feel joy.
Nervous; place your hand where you might feel nervous in your body.
Just let the knowing that arises in your physical experience guide you.
The Dance of Focus
Now just as best you can imagine you are feeling nervous in this moment (or any other reasonably strong feeling that you choose). Notice your own patterns in reaction to uncomfortable emotions.
Do you quickly avoid or attempt to shut off the feeling, or perhaps you dive into the feeling, allowing it to take you over, becoming controlled by the rise and fall of your emotional life.
A useful response to uncomfortable emotions involves a dance of focus. First observe the arising feeling, you may choose to place your hand on the part of your body where you feel the emotion, then take a soft breath into this area.
Now bring your awareness to the deeper truth that “you have this feeling, and you are more than this feeling…”, you may even say this statement to yourself. In this way you are learning to allow a sense of space in relationship to your emotions. This helpful strategy supports you in moving from reaction to responsiveness and growing resilience.
Just like relationships with people in your life, your relationship with your emotions can be of the crappy variety, one where you just exist together but are not expressing or being heard in a deeply serving way, or your relationship with your emotions can grow, evolve and bring juice and vitality to your inner and outer experience.