Why Getting to Know are Emotions is Important
Getting to know our emotions seems, often, like a fool's errand. “If I get to know my emotions more than I will feel them more” is the thought pattern. In many ways this is very true. If we get to know our emotions we will feel them more frequently because we will not be avoiding them however if we are more aware of them we will feel them less intensely because the emotions will not fill up in the same way. Think about emotions like a cooler as you pour more ice put more drinks in the cooler it will fill up (of course) till at some point you will fill the bucket up to the point that it will overflow and you will be left with ice on your feet and warm drinks on the ground. This same concept applies to emotions, as you put more emotions in over time they build up and if you don’t do something to lower your emotion level it will overflow. In most coolers there is a valve at the bottom that is designed to let the melted ice water out while avoiding an overflow. Understanding emotions is like this valve in that it helps us let the emotions out without them overflowing.
Having a relationship with emotions lowers stress
Emotions in our body are interpreted as stress. When you feel sad because you just had a bad break up your body is feeling a stress response that results in sadness. But when you get a new promotion at work that comes with a big raise your body also feels a stressful response that results in happiness. In this way, almost, all emotions stress are nervous system (all emotions lead to a response in our body). With the fact that emotions trigger our stress the better we know out emotions the more effectively we can lower our stress level; and don’t we all want to lower our stress? As we begin to grow a relationship with our emotions we have the ability to lower our stress by identifying the emotion and working through the emotions.
Knowing our emotions lowers negative responses
One of the most important outcomes of knowing are emotions better is that we have a healthier control of our responses to emotions. When we are able to identify what we are feeling we are then able to avoid having blow ups. What often happens when we don’t have a relationship with our emotions they build on top of each till we have a major blow up of some kind. However when we are able to notice our emotions because we have a relationship with them we are able to avoid having a major issue with our emotions.
Emotions are tricky
Emotions are a super tricky thing to understand. The feeling in your stomach could be anxiety or hunger. The feeling of a hot face could be building anger or it could be your face flashing because you see someone you have a crush on. This tricky business of emotions allows us, when we have a strong relationship, to understand our emotions but can often keep us very confused because each emotion can be so close to another emotion. The task of understanding our emotions is an important one because it allows to understand ourselves and manage our responses to situations which well deepen our relationships with the people around us and allow us to live in healthier relationships. In Part 4 we will take a look at how moving away from view emotions as an enemy and towards an intimate relationship with emotions deepens our relationships.