Get Curious and Deal with Your Emotions

Curious About Our Emotions

When we get curious about our negative emotions, positive things will happen!

So many of us see a side of ourselves that we don’t like and we bury it deep or we blind ourselves to it by blaming others or outside circumstances for the way feel and behave. We try constantly to be a ‘good’ person and not react to situations and people that push our buttons. But as we all know, that is not always possible, and once you’re triggered, you’re already ‘in it’ and even if you don’t react you still have this horrible feeling inside.

But what would happen if we started to observe these feelings and behaviours and get curious? Do we learn anything by being ‘good’ all the time? The answer is no, we only ever learn from our mistakes and we can only heal and grow as a person by glaring these ‘negative’ ways of being and feeling right in the eyeballs.

The first step to dealing with your emotions is to OWN them. They don’t belong to anyone else but YOU. When we blame others and situations we immediately lose our power and control over our emotions. When we own them, it puts us back in control where we can start to manage them.

By simply observing how we feel we can get a better understanding of why we feel the way we do and sometimes it isn’t always as obvious as it first appears. It’s also very interesting to note that we can sometimes cover up and justify ‘childish’ feelings such as missing out, being left out and feeling insecure with another reason as to why we’re feeling the way we do, as we don’t feel ‘entitled’ enough or it being too immature to be feeling the way you do for that reason. But if we don’t own up to our true feelings, we will never be in a position to deal with it.

Next time you’re triggered into a negative feeling just stay with it for a few moments and try to observe and get to the real reason as to why you feel the way you do and you might just find you uncover more than one emotion.

For instance if i’m angry at my co-worker for making a mistake I might feel justified for lashing out at them, however if I’m also aware that my emotional reaction includes anxiety around having to fix the issue I might be more inclined to stay calm and recruit their help to fix it. By being more aware that there may be other emotions behind the most prominent one we can start to manage our emotions better and respond in a manner that keeps our relationships stronger.

Just by labeling your emotions you are already on your way to dealing with them. When we feel anxiety about a situation, simply by expressing how we feel and labeling the emotions will reduce the physical symptoms caused to our bodies as it alleviates some of the emotion and improves our wellbeing. By observing and labeling we can also try to see the situation from another perspective, rationalise and attribute new meaning/perception so it becomes less ‘scary’.

A Simplified Process to Dealing with a Trigger
Step 1. Observe
Step 2. Label the different emotions and ask why you feel like that, specifically, to gain a greater understanding.
Step 3. What can you do to change the situation? Can you try and see the situation from a different perspective. If there’s nothing you can do, then what can you do manage the emotion? Meditate, reading, writing, exercise?

Jennifer Hall – The Life Buddy

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