embrace emotions practice embrace emotions practice embrace emotions practice
Express, Explore, Examine
Allowing yourself to feel your emotions fully does take courage and determination. Many people are raised to suppress, hide, or deny them altogether. So deciding to address how you feel and why is no small feat. But hopefully by using this practice you’ll be able to detect the root cause of your emotions, thus gaining understanding and appreciation for them.
Before you implement this practice into your daily life, begin by choosing a day *beginner* or a week *advanced* to pay attention and take note of your emotions. Observe how you feel internally, like your reaction to criticism, and externally, like your verbal response towards judgment.
EXPRESS: The first step to embracing your emotions is to allow yourself to express them in the first place. For some people this comes naturally while for others it’s uncomfortable or difficult. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, for the day or week you’ve chosen give yourself permission to feel fully. Perhaps it helps to think of it as an experiment which requires a level of honesty. If you want to accurately analyze your emotions, then overdoing or under expressing them won’t do you any good. Don’t overthink or judge what you’re feeling. Just go about your day as normal and express your emotions internally and externally.
EXPLORE: After you’ve expressed your emotions, the next step is to explore them. During the day or week of this practice pay close attention to your strong reactions. We feel a variety of emotions throughout the day, many of which we’re accustomed to. We know we’ll feel annoyed being stuck in traffic, frustrated by our classmates and coworkers, or relieved to finally relax. So it’s important to notice when you have an unusually strong positive or negative reaction -you feel something you don’t understand. These are the emotions you need to find the root cause for and discover what they’re trying to teach you.
EXAMINE: Once you’ve detected your strong emotions the final step is to examine them. At the end of your day, go back to the times when your emotions or responses guided by emotion overwhelmed you. Tap back into the moment, remember how you felt, and consider why. What was the situation, who was the person involved, and what caused you to react so intensely? Were you protecting someone, yourself, or what you believe in? Were you offended, taken off-guard, or pleasantly surprised? Do your best to find the root cause for the extreme positive and negative emotions in your day to day life.
By expressing, exploring, and examining your emotions fully, you’re able to better identify the reasons why you feel the way you do. Emotions aren’t just here to complicate our lives. We feel emotions for a reason. So when you know the root cause of an emotion you have more insight into your motives. Once you realize the reasons why, you have the opportunity to put that knowledge to good use. Allow your emotions to lead you towards inner understanding and choose to respond to life with a positive outlook.
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