Understanding feelings and emotions
Did you know that everything we do is driven by how we want feel?
So exactly what is a feeling?
Well, a feeling (which we also may refer to as an emotion) is a vibration, triggered by our brain and felt in our body. All feelings vibrate uniquely which is why different feelings feel, well different.
So, let me illustrate how feelings are the motivation for everything that we do.
Take a moment and think about something that you want.
Then ask yourself why you want it?
And then ask yourself how you will feel when you get it?
You’ll notice that the reason you want what you chose, is because of a feeling that you desired, and that you believed you would get as a consequence, of having the thing you wanted.
So the reason we desire anything from a new house or car, to a loving relationship, is because of how we believe it will enable us to feel.
So what’s the link between the having of something and the feeling it creates?
Well it’s our thoughts about it. And this explains why the same ‘things’ or ‘events’ in life create different feelings for different people. Because diferent people, think differently.
And this is the best news because it means that you don’t have to acquire or achieve something specific to feel a certain way. You can feel that way right now – just by changing your thinking.
BUT before you dash off seeking positive thoughts and eternal happiness consider.
Feelings are part of the human experience. It is the contrast of positive and negative that makes all feeling possible.
If we only ever experienced positive emotion, we wouldn’t even know it was positive. We can’t experience happiness without sadness, nor beauty without ugliness. Once we understand the balance of emotion, our power in our lives increases tenfold.
I work with my clients to show them how to create that balance on purpose. I also teach them how to ‘feel’ their feelings and emotions.
Resisting, reacting and avoiding emotion
We’re not taught to feel our emotions. Feeling is an ability that most of us need to learn because we’re taught by the media and social conditioning to escape emotions. We are even taught that positive emotions aren’t enough by themselves—they need to be heightened by purchasing something.
There are three main things we do with uncomfortable emotions. First, we tend to resist them. This is confusing because so many of us think that resisting emotion is the same as feeling, but it creates no relief. It’s the difference between opening the door of an emotion or holding it shut. They both might seem productive, but resistance just creates more tension and perpetuates the emotion.
Reacting is another way that people like to describe feeling. Yelling or screaming or crying is not the same as feeling. When we act out our emotions, we seem to be releasing something and feeling something, but we’re often just acting them out and not processing or feeling them at all. Feeling doesn’t look like “acting”—feeling is something you can do sitting on a chair and experiencing a subtle vibration.
Our culture has made avoiding emotion quite easy and acceptable. Over eating and over drinking are two very common ways that people avoid feeling emotion. And most of us, myself included for many years, aren’t even aware that we are doing it.
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