One of the main components of any healing process. Everything starts and finishes with the ability to connect to our emotions, to be aware of our emotions so we feel, understand, and release.
What is an emotion?
It starts with an event that creates a thought; the thought triggers an emotion; the emotion is followed by a fight or flight response (in case of a trauma). That cycle gets repeated until we get conscious of what is happening. That emotional awareness allows us to stop the vicious cycle and to bring us back to reality.
In today’s society, emotions are treated as the enemy. Often, you hear comments such as control your emotions, don’t be so emotional, you are acting crazy. I have even heard someone says, “Do you have your periods?” meaning the menstrual cycle is the cause of emotional imbalance.
To add more complexity and confusion, we are taught to avoid the so called “negative emotions” such as anger. Yet, how can we switch ourselves off to some emotions and on to others? How can we compartmentalize ourselves while being aligned? How can we value the more positive emotions when there is no opposite side?
Being emotionally unaware can lead to:
· Suppressed emotions
· Denied emotions
· Inability to cope with negative emotions
· Inability to manage emotions which can lead to addiction, substance abuse, unhealthy behaviours.
How can we get emotionally aware?
We learn the emotional awareness by witnessing and copying our caregivers. For a child, the most important people on earth are the parents. They are the ones who:
· validate what the child feels,
· encourage the child to feel in a safe environment, without judgement,
· teach the child to self-soothe, meaning that the child learns to use his/her internal resources,
· inspire the child to befriend his/her emotions
· educate the child to see emotions as signals that something needs attention
As adults, we may struggle with emotional awareness if we have not had the chance to experience the above. We may categorize emotions as too hard, too difficult, cannot be bothered. Addictions, avoidance in all forms or shapes are usually the go-to to numb emotions.
Becoming emotionally aware is not a linear process, it requires time, a willingness to explore our inner world and to let go when the time is right.
Emotional awareness means to reconnect with your inner being, the parts of you that are wounded, that have experienced traumas and usually want to hide. Given them space to feel, grieve, is an important part of the process. We need to create a new relationship with ourselves.
If the process seems overwhelming, being accompanied by a professional is a good start to explore those emotions and learn technics to feel them safely without being outrun by them.
I would be honoured to be part of your journey.