Do you feel every emotion that slithers, left, and right in your brain’s hemispheres? Do you understand them? Do you even recognize them?
Every day, you go through different emotions, sometimes you are mindful and other times impulsive. You express your feelings based on expectations, history, your yearning desires, anxieties, or virtues. However, the issue rises when you are oblivious or ignore the specific emotion; hence your response to remedy the unsettling disposition or the activity you engage is polluted and possibly destructive.
Emotion is data that you should identify, interpret, and use as an asset.
Being sensitive towards your emotional response does not always indicate that you process your feelings accurately, nor toxically reacting confirms your assumptions. However, if you take the time to probe into your subconscious, astonishingly, you can manage your reactions by sifting through your beliefs. A task that most people do not dare to take on as it will take them to a sad place where they come to face the undesired parts of their psyche. Neglected emotions or merely having difficulty to label them is dispiriting and harmful. Since ignored emotions amount to negative interpretations that reinforce distressful behaviour patterns. A chain reaction that can be set right by untangling the mess in our minds.
So how to unravel your emotions?
- Acknowledge that emotions are part of life, they are part of being human
- Emotions do not last forever
- Emotions teach you different aspects of yourself and things
- Learn to describe and label your emotions
- Keep a diary of your thoughts
How to navigate your emotions?
Albert Ellis, a rational-emotive psychologist, believed that our unrealistic interpretation of events creates an irrational belief system that will encourage negative emotional response. Once you verify your negative emotions through journalling, re-examine your assumptions:
- Make a conscious decision to identify and evaluate your mental representation of the world around you.
- Re-consider your information processing based on the possibility that your way of thinking might be faulty.
- Write your assumptions with the aid of the ABC Technique of Irrational Beliefs.
Draw three columns: A – B – C
A – Activating event: In this column record the situation that leads to dysfunctional thinking or reaction
B – Belief: In the second column, write the negative thoughts
C – Consequences: The third column describes the emotions and the negative thoughts prompted by (A)
For instance: (A) You have failed an exam (B) You must have good grades, or you are worthless (C) You are depressed.
Once you discern the irrational belief, challenge the negative thoughts by reframing it. In the above example, the absurd notion leading to self-contempt caused by not getting a good grade should be re-interpreted by adopting a positive attitude to manage the negative emotion sensibly. Your focus should be on finding solutions to improve your grades, for instance, tweak your study strategy, improve on your time management, and many more productive ideas so that you consciously erase mistaken assumptions and misconceptions about yourself.
The key to processing your emotions requires honesty with yourself. Emotional transparency, whether through self-help or reaching out to a therapist, will reveal your patterns and tendencies. With careful self-examination, the clear-sighted premises will serve you to process your emotions effectively.