How to identify your emotions is an art in itself. We’ve all felt passion in one way or another, whether it’s happiness, anger, or sadness.
Emotions are there to be listened to. How many times have we given in to emotion?
Sometimes our emotions dictate our actions and speech, and we’re often full of regrets for acting on them. Or perhaps for letting a chance slip away.
As a general rule, emotions dictate. Yet, there are actual physical ways of controlling them. Rather than seeing them as the enemy, emotions can help us go beyond tension and physical pain. Listening to them and understanding our emotions is key to a better life, and it is attainable.
The right way of listening will allow us to understand and deal with our emotions. It’s not rocket science.
All you have to do is put a little thought into it, as we’ll discuss below.
Table of Contents
- 1 Basics to understand before being able to identify your emotions
- 2 How to identify your emotions
- 3 Go beyond the emotion and understand the message
- 4 How to identify your emotions: Conclusion
Basics to understand before being able to identify your emotions
Have you ever heard of the term ‘rising emotion’? It’s not just a figure of speech. There’s actually a reason behind it.
How an emotion rises
Think of yourself of being in neutral gear, level ‘0’, which is a state of well-being or relaxation.
Then an emotion, whichever it may be, starts to ‘rise’. Think of it in the same way as charging a car battery. 🔋
This load increases until it reaches a peak, which would be the maximum intensity generated by feelings.
When your battery is full, then it will start to discharge, which is when the emotional intensity decreases.
Three main situations can occur:
- The discharge is normal and the emotional intensity is reasonably drained.
- The discharge is abnormally prolonged. There is difficulty in purging your emotions and this throws you off course.
- The discharge does not take place. That results in a strong emotional blocking, harmful to the body and mind.
Each emotion experienced creates a state of bodily tension.
If this tension is not evacuated, then emotional blockages are created, and proceed to become physical problems which are what we call psychosomatic disorders.
Illness occurs because these unreleased tensions impede the flow of energy, gradually bringing the physical body into a state of toxemia.
In such cases, illness is created by the brain as an alarm, trying to bring the body back to health.
The good thing about all this that there is a way to successfully rid yourself of the emotional blockage.
You can learn to recognize it, welcome it and name it to be in a better emotional control.
If you want to master your emotions, make it part of your daily routine to harness emotions by understanding them.
Listen to your emotional state
To hear your emotional state, you will need to make room for silence in your life.
Make it a habit to set aside moments of silence each day. It’s amazing how hard it is for most of us to hear the silence.
How many of us need to turn on a TV or watch or hear something constantly from the time we get up to the time we go back to bed?
Whole families miss out in terms of communication when they let external noise such as TV invade.
Silence is key to understanding and identifying emotions. Starting a dialogue with yourself can also help you uncover your emotions.
How to identify your emotions
This is the way to go about identifying your emotions chronologically.
Take a deep breath
Breathe. Breathe deeply and regularly. Breathing is very important when you want to listen to your body and mind.
The one we recommend for this exercise is a continuous mouth breathing, with no pause between breathing in and breathing out.
You breathe in and out, mouth open, deeply but without forcing, at the rhythm you want. You may experience physical manifestations such as tingling in your hands or feet.
If it gets too intense, just stop breathing through your mouth and continue breathing through your nose only, for a while.
Then return to breathing through the mouth. Through an effect on your blood pH, breathing promotes the rise of the body sensation of emotion.
You may become more aware of the tension you have built through excess emotion. This breathing will facilitate the release of these tensions.
Determine the meaning of your intention
Specify your intention. What do you want to achieve by doing this exercise? What are you looking for?
Discover the emotion you are experiencing. Learn to feel. Find your sources of tension. Listen to your body.
Say it out loud if you feel comfortable doing so. This strengthens your intention.
Make room for inner silence
Make room for inner silence, which means silencing the mind and silencing your inner critic.
It is quite a challenge, because if you start by listening to the silence within, your mind will take over and dictate your thoughts.
Being in the inner silence to listen to your emotional state needs you to chase away those thoughts so you can listen to what your emotion has to tell you.
If you find your mind wandering, stop it and bring it back into focus.
Be ready for the message
Sit or lie down (in your top plus size furniture, for example), in a such a way that you will be completely comfortable and which will allow you to concentrate.
Everyone is different and feels the effects of emotions in different parts of their body.
So focus your attention on this place, breathe and listen. If you feel tension turning onto one particular place, do a light massage of this area of the body, which will allow the tension to dissolve and the emotion to rise and expel themselves.
In addition to the release of emotions, a massage will also stimulate your lymphatic system and help expel toxins from your body.
Be patient and listen carefully
Listen to how your emotion speaks to you. Is it a physical sensation, an image, a word you hear inside you or even a fantasy?
Be patient, don’t force it and don’t give up too quickly, especially at the beginning when you’re new at this.
If nothing comes up, just keep breathing with confidence and it will come.
Don’t use excuses
Don’t be distracted by so-called resistances like:
- Lack of time
- The fear of suffering
- The negation of what is there
- The flight in the words of the mind
- The rationalization of what emerges
- Minimization (thinking it’s too simple)
- Judgment (don’t worry about negative emotions, it’s the only way to expel them)
Register without judging
Just accept what is there without judging it. Allow yourself to embrace what is presented without labeling it good or bad.
Everything your emotions tell you is about yourself and your needs. There is no judging as to what is acceptable or unacceptable.
It is there and if you don’t respond to it, it will come back, more intensely and perhaps in the form of physical discomfort.
So, contemplate what emerges, observe what it arouses in you, accept it and be grateful for it.
Your emotion may save your life. You will have listened to it, rather than allowing it to control you.
When you feel an emotion, feel it as intensely as possible, then name it to understand it.
Expressing it through the body (speech, crying, shaking, etc.) will allow the emotion to be discharged.
Check for pain
Be more aware of your body to feel where the discomfort or pain is located. It is often in the form of muscle tension, burning, points, tightness, feeling uncomfortable in your skin, pinched nerves or as a kind of inner vibration.
Breathe through this discomfort in your body, question it and then listen to its message, without trying to understand it at first.
As we did with emotions, welcome the pain, contemplate it, accept it and give thanks.
Go beyond the emotion and understand the message
Now that you have named the emotion, you need to understand what it is telling you. This is how to identify your emotions and why it’s useful.
What is meaningful to you about your life?
Allow all the inner images, voices and memories rise to the surface and having a link to this emotional emergence.
What need is being sought to be fulfilled? What part of you did you leave behind? What are you trying to hide from others or from yourself? What need is not being met?
In which direction does action emerge naturally?
The need has been identified and now you are aware of which part of yourself you need to respect and reveal.
Everything becomes clearer and you now know the path to take. So now the ball is in your court.
Commit to changing what needs to be changed. Share the result of this exercise with someone important to you. It will be easier for you to act.
Examples are a need for better social relationships in your life, more physical activity, or perhaps you have a fear of rejection, a desire for recognition, or you need to do something about your trust issues?
How to identify your emotions: Conclusion
We’ve all been there. We’ve allowed anger, sadness, even happiness to overcome us and dictate our actions and words, and have often regretted it.
Yet with a little patience and goodwill, there is a way to control that, and using those same emotions to learn about ourselves will have wonderful mental and physical benefits.
How to identify your emotions and why it’s useful is nothing more than an exercise of self-appreciation and self-acceptance.