For those on the outside looking in, I appear to be together, in control and able to get through any challenge. I achieve most of what I set out to do (mainly because I am stubborn and do not like the feeling of defeat.)
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
― Oscar Wilde,
However, I do struggle, more than people know sometimes. Those that know me describe in many ways but most common is “your an open book”. My emotions spew out like a leaky tap and this is perfectly acceptable most of the time, when I am happy, feeling no anxiety, secure and confident.
I have handled my emotions better in the past but recently it’s all gone a bit tits up!
I decided to go back to the drawing board and re-learn a thing or two about emotions, how to become more aware of them and how to gain control over them again.
Emotional awareness is something you may have experienced before – knowing you’re in a bad mood, knowing you’re elated, you know how it is. But there is a second step to your emotional awareness that some people never think about. In fact, some never consider that it’s something they have control over at all. That second step is – WHY am I feeling this?
Certainly, the question of why is more important when we’re in a negative mindset. Happiness is usually a given, we know why it’s occurred. But a negative emotion can trick us, and very often does!
Here’s a very simplified example: Your neighbour has announced that they are moving into a brand-new home, bigger and much nicer than the home they currently have. Outwardly you are happy for them, but inside, negative emotions stir. You may feel very envious of their new, bigger, and better space. At first, it just seems like you’re jealous of their step up. But deeper down, if you ask yourself why you feel envious, you may find that you’re actually angry at yourself for not working to your potential to receive a promotion or raise that could get you into a new, beautiful home. Deeper down, you may be feeling inadequate, as if you can’t provide nice things for your family.
Increasing your emotional awareness can help you figure out these deeper feelings, and then work towards solutions.
Here are three very simple steps you can take to increase your emotional awareness, and thereby learn to control and modify what you’re feeling more accurately.
- Get into the habit of assessing how you’re feeling during different times of the day. This isn’t to judge what you’re feeling… absolutely not! This is simply to learn how to identify your emotions.
- Once you’ve gotten comfortable identifying your emotions, take it a step further, and take a look at the “why” behind your negative emotions, specifically. Really dig deep, and be completely 100% honest with yourself. You’ll be amazed at what you discover. And again, no judgment, just assessment.
- The third step, once you’ve identified the “what” and “why”, is to ask yourself how you can turn your negative emotion around to a positive. Nearly every situation has a silver lining, and practising this technique will really help you begin to see everything in a more positive light.
Becoming more emotionally aware is one of those simple tasks that isn’t always easy, but it is always very rewarding in the end, and well worth the time and effort you put forth.