Emotional self–awareness can be a bit tricky at times. Almost all of us are raised to ignore our emotions especially the challenging ones as if there is something wrong with us for feeling the way we do. Our families, schools, churches all teach us to contain our emotions even the positive ones. The great rational mind is much less trustworthy about the truth than is the rainbow of emotions inside of us. There is often amazing pressure to stuff how you feel so you can fit in. As we get older we either become increasingly out of touch with how we feel or at some point we decide to tune in more for great self-awareness.
This kind of conditioned repression of our emotions has had a negative affect on most of us and I sometimes think the cause of many of the problems of our world. Let’s focus on the personal affects of being out of touch with how we feel. If we are unaware of our feelings we are missing out on essential information key to creating a life of joy, freedom and personal expression. Our emotional guidance system tells us very clearly when we are on course or off course. If we are feeling good about what we are doing then we are on course. If we feel uneasy then we need to re-evaluate where we are headed.
Positive feeling indicate that we are heading in the right direction; negative feelings indicate that we need to course correct. I know I just repeated what I said above. I did that because I want to make it very clear, that our emotions are very important and need to be paid attention to if we want to have the life we desire. The following are some ideas to encourage your greater emotional awareness:
• Take time to become aware of what you are feeling. You are constantly moving in and out of emotions. Get to feel what you are feeling.
• Your body and your heart are clear indicators of your emotional states. When your heart feels open or when it feels close are indicators of different emotions going on. Open heart = love. Closed heart = fear.
• Keep a feeling journal and note the range of emotions that may be flowing through you in a day. Use the following checklist to help you identify what you are feeling at any given moment
Intense - loved, adored, idolized, alive, wanted, lustful, worthy, respected, empathy, awed, enthusiastic, zealous, courageous
Strong - enchanted, ardor, infatuated, tender, vibrant, independent, capable, happy , proud, gratified, worthy, sympathetic, important, concerned, appreciated, consoled, delighted, eager, optimistic, joyful, courage, hopeful, valiant, brave, brilliant
Moderate - liked, cared for, esteemed, affectionate, fond, excited, patient, strong, gay, inspired, anticipating, amused, yearning, popular, peaceful, appealing, determined, pleased, excited, jolly, relieved, glad, adventurous, peaceful, intelligent
Mild - friendly, regarded, benevolent, wide awake, at-ease, relaxed, comfortable, content, keen, amazed, alert, sure, attractive, approved, untroubled, graceful, turned on, warm, amused, daring, comfortable, smart, interested
Mild - unpopular, listless, moody, lethargic, gloomy, dismal, discontented, tired, indifferent, unsure, impatient, dependent, unimportant, regretful, bashful, puzzled, self-conscious, edgy, upset, reluctant, timid, mixed-up, sullen, provoked
Moderate - suspicious, envious, enmity, aversion, dejected, unhappy, bored, forlorn, disappointed, wearied, inadequate, ineffectual, helpless, resigned, apathetic, shy, uncomfortable, baffled, confused, nervous, tempted, tense, worried, perplexed, troubled, disdainful, contemptuous, alarmed, annoyed, provoked
Strong - disgusted, resentful, bitter, detested, fed-up, frustrated, sad, depressed, sick, dissatisfied, fatigued, worn-out, useless, weak, hopeless, forlorn, rejected, guilty, embarrassed, inhibited, bewildered, frightened, anxious, dismayed, apprehensive, disturbed, antagonistic, vengeful, indignant, mad, torn
Intense - hate, unloved, despised, angry, hurt, miserable, pain, lonely, cynical, worthless, impotent, futile, accursed, abandoned, estranged, degraded, humiliated, shocked, panicky, trapped, horrified, afraid, scared, terrified, threatened, infuriated, furious, exhausted
I hope you find this list helpful. The more you know how you feel the better you can steer your life in the right direction.
Let yourself feel and you will be fully alive.