What is your emotional vocabulary?
Do you know what you feel, when you are feeling it? Do you know what angry, worried, happy, thoughtful, grateful and more feel like? Do you use these words to describe and recognize how you feel? Do you even know very many of these words? How many feelings can you list, right now? How hard or easy that task is, is a telling thing.
Surprisingly, it is important to know what you feel (that is why we therapists are always asking you!) Feelings are biochemical signals from the brain to the body to communicate to you something important. All feelings have a message associated with them. Do you know what it means when you are angry? How about sad? There are some universal meanings, and many more that are personal and circumstantial conveyed to us by how we feel.
Because feelings are signals of information, they want to be felt. If we feel them, their mission is accomplished and they will disperse. The problem for most of us is we block them. We block them based on how we were raised, societal expectations, to protect ourselves, and for other reasons. As a result, we carry around our suitcases chock full of unpacked emotions, everywhere we go.
What does that mean for us? It might mean overreacting to smaller things. It might mean overall higher levels of stress. It can lead to things like isolation and depression. It generally feels not so great.
What to do? Come to therapy of course. Let someone (me!) trained help you carefully unpack your feelings suitcases, one by one. Learn what your emotions are or were telling you, and how/when/why they got packed away. Learn how to identify and experience your emotions as they happen (mindfulness!) and how to express your needs or modify behaviors based on what they are telling you.
So, Creative, that you more fully understand my question, how does that make you feel?
(C) 2018 Creatively, LLC
The information provided in this blog is from my own clinical experiences and training. It is intended to supplement your clinical care. Never make major life changes before consulting with your treatment team. If you are unsure of your safety or wellbeing, do not hesitate to get help immediately.