I can relate to both circumstances.
When I was born, my emotional process functioned the way you would imagine. I smiled when happy, cried when upset, etc. Over time, my feelings were dismissed so I learned a fabulous coping system (this is sarcasm) that blocked feelings. I began to dismiss my own emotions and lost track of important feelings like sadness and joy.
I was more in touch with gratification and anger. With a little (well maybe a lot) of training, I became reacquainted with my feelings and can now express a full range of emotions (my husband is cringing right now) with ease!
When we are born, our brain is wired to express a full range of emotion. Your brain is like a snowflake and the way you process feelings may be slightly different from the next person. If you are not in touch with Joy, Fear, Sadness, Anger and Shame you may benefit from exploring the reason.
If you need help learning how to express emotions, there are 5 things you need to know.
For an easy guide to you feelings, watch the video below:
Here are some important things I want to teach you …
- We all have them. They are located in the limbic system of your brain. So unless you’ve had brain surgery lately, you have them too. The primary feelings we experience are joy, anger, sadness, fear and shame. These 5 emotions are like primary colors. All others are shades or variations of the primary 5. Feelings are also the glue of empathy. By relating to each others feeling, we better understand each other even when our circumstances or stories are different. If you are not aware of your feeling in your day to day life, you may consider the idea that you are disconnected, blocking, numbing or dismissing your feeling.
- They are important because they add color to our experience of life and signal to us that something meaningful is happening. Without emotions everything would seem logical and monotone. A feeling can provide the highs and lows that allow for intense pleasure and excruciating sorrow. They also communicate important information such as: you are in danger, you are receiving love, it is time to protect yourself or its time to celebrate!
- Repeatedly disconnecting from, blocking, numbing or dismissing your feelings will create a painful consequence. This may come in the form of feeling empty, a difficulty experiencing trust or intimacy and possibly even physical or health related consequences.
- Your feeling is valid, but it is not a fact. If you make decisions or react solely based on emotion, you are not considering the entire picture. It is helpful to understand how they work and to acknowledge their value. It is also important to understand that they are meant to flow, not to be restricted or stored away.
- Feelings get a bad rap. They are often associated with being weak, unacceptable and overwhelming. Most people avoid therapy or other forms of self-help because they fear their emotions. People don’t want to feel painful emotions and even avoid embracing the joyous ones out of fear they may lose their joy!
Most of us do not get enough practical training about our emotions so the experience does not feel “easy”. Don’t worry, with practice, you can have free flowing feelings minus the negative associations.