Thursday, March 07, 2013

LIVING WELL: EMOTIONS

I think emotions often get a bad reputation. We sometimes tell ourselves that we should repress our emotions by not crying, feeling angry, or getting too excited, because it shows weakness or is viewed as being unstable or, my favorite, "illogical". I've often talked with amazing women about the fact that they didn't let themselves cry for years because they hated crying and felt that they needed to resist it. On the flip side, I've heard of friends who don't let themselves get too excited about something happening in their lives because they don't want to be disappointed. Future pessimists as my husband likes to call them. I think there is a stigma attached to emotions that they are the creepy next door neighbor of rational thought and logic and should be avoided, at least in the "extreme" sense if you don't want to be viewed as unstable.

Let's step back for a second. Number one, you are not a robot. Number two, we were created with emotions. They are beautiful, expressive and help us "feel" life. It's not some mystical unicorn hoopla for weirdos or your aunt, it's a natural part of your beautifully created body. I would even argue that our bodies need emotions. Have you ever been in a situation were you have a lot of stressors built up in your life and you just need to cry it out...after that you felt magically better? I'm like this. Over time, stress will build up and something small (like smashing my finger) will set off a good 10 minute cry-fest. My husband knows when I "just need to cry" and will often hug me and let me get it all out. Afterward, I feel so much better. My mind is clear and I'm ready to move forward. Or what about those times when something AMAZING happens in your life. Maybe you're sitting in your car with one of your best friends and you just start screaming?? I'm pretty sure we've all done it. ;) Expressing joy and letting excitement overcome us for just a few seconds is thrilling. Or maybe something tragic has happened in your life and you're not giving yourself time to fully grieve a loss?

Photo Found Here

People! We need to cry, we need to jump for joy, and we need to allow ourselves to grieve loss. It's good for you. It helps you move forward, enjoy life, and take unnecessary pressure off of yourself. And not to sound too "cheesy" here, but developing a connection and self-awareness of who you are is so important. This idea, of course, is an ongoing process, and if you're a little rusty, will take practice. Also note, that just like everything else in life, there is a balance. While it's not healthy to NOT allow yourself to experience emotion, it's also not healthy to be ruled by your emotions.

A couple tips on practicing your emotions:

1. Ask Yourself - Take a little time to go somewhere quiet and peaceful. Ask yourself honest questions about what you are feeling that moment. Maybe practice asking yourself this question on a daily basis. If something eventful happens in your life, ask "How does this make me feel?" It's a simple concept, but allowing yourself to actually think about this question will be so good for helping you process what you are truly feeling.

2. Express Yourself - This week if you feel like you need to cry or laugh, then cry or laugh!! Cry until your body is done and laugh until your stomach is cramping. ;) Respond to your desire to express emotions by expressing them.

3. Serious Stuff - Sometimes our emotions can be reflections of serious things going on in our lives and can result in sadness and grief. If you are struggling with how to express these emotions and allow yourself to move forward, I encourage you to talk to a trusted friend or seek counsel from someone unconnected to the situation to help you process. It's okay to seek help for things you are struggling with. It's so helpful to have someone there to help you process through everything and it is so freeing.

4. Celebrate - Too often when something awesome happens, we acknowledge it, get a little twinge of excitement, and then carry on. I'm thinking we don't spend nearly enough time celebrating as we should. If something exciting happens (like quitting your job to go full-time with your business, accomplishing a major goal, getting pregnant, getting your entire to-do list done, or an anniversary) then celebrate!! This can be as simple as buying yourself a foofy drink or that top you've had your eye on or as fancy as throwing a dinner party. Celebrate the exciting things. :)

I just want to point out that I am by no means an expert in this area of life. I've got a lot to learn myself. However, I love being able to have some good "real talk" with you about living well and treating yourself good! If you have any tips/advice to offer in this area please feel free to share in the comments below. I wish all of you the very best!


11 comments:

  1. Beautifully said Savannah! I'm going to feature this on my Friday Finds tomorrow :-). More people need to hear this message to embrace how we were made! Thanks for sharing it!

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  2. what a wonderful post :)
    i had to laugh when i read 'future pessimists' because it's the perfect description for who i am .. but i'm working on it and not to avoid my feeling .!
    thank you for this post . he's really encouraging :)

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  3. thanks for writing this! emotion is so beautiful!

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  4. I totally agree! Well said. I am quite an emotional person, but it's not deemed acceptable to be emotional in public. Sometimes when I'm stressed out I just need a cry and the littlest things will set me off! I also agree that we don't let ourselves enjoy the successes as much as we should. Life is so much more fun when you're expressive :) xx

    www.jessthetics.wordpress.com

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  5. I've had people call me bipolar, simply because I have strong emotions.

    When I'm happy, I am VERY happy and giggly and excited.
    When I'm sad, I am very sad and crying to the point where I can't breath and want to throw up.
    When I'm angry, it's like I don't know what to do with myself - so I force myself to cry.

    Not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but it's the way I am :)

    -Cole
    youngmommymemoirs.blogpsot.ca

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  6. Such a beautiful and inspiring post. Thanks so much for sharing!
    ♥Emma Deer

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  7. this is a great post, you are so true,and have inspired me today :)
    thanks,
    Tereza

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  8. This is a gorgeous post - and so, so true!

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  9. Very awesome post! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. i absolutely love and agree with everything you have just stated. a resource that i have found super helpful in better understanding myself to in turn help others is the book Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. i can't begin to express the insight this book has brought to understanding myself and bettering my relationships with others. i highly recommend it. thanks for your insightful words. as always it's a joy to follow and hear what you are learning in life.

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  11. Savannah, I love this post. I am not very good with "expressing emotion" and a lot of times I feel like people think I feel a certain way that I don't feel. But I am trying to allow myself to express myself more and show how I feel about things. Thanks for this post. I really love it.

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