Emotions are an essential part of who we are. Yet, so many of us struggle to process, reflect, and connect with our emotions. Our emotions are very much a present force in our lives that create all sorts of feelings. They play a pivotal role in our behavior, and how we experience and interact with the world. It is said that three out of every five persons have difficulties processing and connecting with their emotions.
Emotional self-care plays a fundamental role in supporting our well-being. It is the process of understanding how you feel, identifying what your emotions are and nurturing them to evolve your consciousness and intellect.
Contrary to popular opinion, the idea of “controlling your emotions”, while it seems so beautiful, is a myth. In reality, you can only learn to react to your emotions. That is to say, you must learn to recognise what you are feeling and decide how you will react to it! When you can do this soundly, then you will be said to have a healthy level of emotional intelligence.
There are five things you can do to rightly reflect, process, and connect with your emotions because, like a flower in the garden, you must nurture your emotions if you intend to create a healthy relationship with your emotions. These include:
- Being still and engaging in meditation: When you are engaging in meditation, what you are doing is developing a level of self-awareness. This means that you are reflecting on, and processing, your emotions at that time. You really cannot do anything about your emotions till you even know what they are! So in meditation, you seek to answer the question, "What am I doing?" Taking a break from the numerous distractions around you, finding a quiet place, and thinking about your feelings.
- Journaling: You should learn to articulate how you feel, and what better way but to write things down? Here, you are not just writing a to-do list or some kind of article. In journaling, you get to express how you feel about a thing, event, or person. You will be surprised at how relieved you could be once your daily log of experiences can present your thoughts, helping you notice trends so you can effectively deal with them.
- Finding an outlet to express your emotions: Aside from talking, you always have a choice to make in dealing with how you channel your emotions. And, like any other skill, you develop it with practice. You can find various media such as art, dance, music, nature, sport, and the like. This way, you can express those emotions where words fail.
- Talking with family and friends: Though it is difficult, probably for the fear of hurting the people you care about, learning to talk with family, friends and loved ones eventually helps you get comfortable such that you can open up your innermost feelings. This way, overall, your conversations are easier.
- Setting emotional boundaries: Boundaries set a clear line between what you are and what you are not. So, when you create boundaries, you separate your feelings from that of another. Healthy boundaries come from believing that, though you are not perfect, you are okay the way you are! You begin to set these boundaries by knowing and understanding what your limits are, and this is very important as it will even help you deal with yourself better.
Ignoring, suppressing, or not dealing with your emotions at all can create an unhealthy balance that leads to anxiety and stress. This is a process, so you do not need to be hard on yourself. Savor your little victories as you go further in this journey of understanding and channeling your emotions.