30 Days of Gratitude – Day #6, Emotions

gratitude

Continuing with my 30 Days of Gratitude, I am thankful for something that has taken me years to come to grips with – an ability to know and understand my emotions.

Day #6 – I KNOW How I Fell About That!

As I wrote about a few months ago, your ability to know and manage your emotions can have a huge impact on everything in your life. Conversely, an inability to perceive and manage emotions can also have a big impact … generally negative.

For many years, Lisa would ask ‘how do you feel about that’ and I wouldn’t know. We used to joke that I grew up in a loving but incredibly emotionally constipated environment, and looking at stuff my siblings and extended family have experienced … it is very true. Amongst the things Lisa and I have worked on through the years is my ability to appreciate how I am actually feeling and truly OWN those emotions.

Yes it is very true and possible to have ‘mixed feelings’, but generally I can identify and talk through my feelings on things going on. There are a few examples I can think of immediately, including one fairly recently where I felt annoyed (which really isn’t a pure emotion but a reaction to other emotions, in my experience) and realized it was a matter of stress, anger, inconvenience, feeling like a secondary priority, and some other stuff.

My ability to truly OWN my emotions has made me a much stronger person, and also a much happier person. I believe it has strengthened my marriage and allowed for deeper relationships with friends.

How do you deal with your emotions?strong>

And of course, the Bee Gees have something to say about Emotions (which really has nothing to do with the post, but hey … whatevs):

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17 thoughts on “30 Days of Gratitude – Day #6, Emotions

  1. I struggle with recognizing and expressing my emotions. Its something I am working on and I don’t think it will ever be easy for me, but I’ve realized how important it is to not just ignore everything I’m feeling, whether it be good or bad.

    • “I don’t think it will ever be easy for me”

      I wouldn’t assume that to be totally true – as I said I have come a *long* way through the years. It will never be totally naturally me, but I can definitely see the changes it has made in my life! Good luck πŸ™‚

  2. Recognizing and expressing emotions doesn’t come naturally to me and I have to slow down to think about it and identify how I’m feeling and what caused it. The “owning” part is really important too, because I think many people feel shame around emotions that leads to other problems.

    • Totally agree with you on the ‘owning’ thing – I have heard way too many people apologize for genuine emotions … it is sad. And I think that learning to deal with emotions is a life-long process for many of us … I was certainly not very good at it when I was your age!

  3. Wow, I’d never really though about this before, but I think I grew up in a home similar to yours. I knew I was loved, but as a family we rarely said I love to one another. We hardly showed emotions at all (saving the upset for behind closed doors, or just a friendly pat on the back to share in someone’s happiness).
    As a result, I’m a very emotionally guarded adult, which some friends and past boyfriends have mistaken for disinterest. Hopefully it’s something I can change for the better like you have πŸ™‚

    • haha – absolutely agree! For many years my ability to ‘make nice nice’ as Lisa says actually impeded me fully expressing feelings. There were times Lisa would listen to me on the phone and ask “what were your TRYING to say”, and reflect back how I did express myself. Which is why it is great having a partner in these things!

  4. This is a very timely post given the last few days/weeks of my life. I have gotten a lot better about recognizing my emotions and dealing with them, but it’s a conscious effort for me, its not something that comes naturally to me, I am much more of a bottle it up or ignore it kind of person. Robyn has had a huge influence on helping me better deal with this, which I am very thankful for!

    • Awesome on all fronts – having a partner who is there to help emotionally is really helpful (though sometimes frustrating for other reasons, haha), and with all of the stress you have going on right now it is important to be able to separate where all of those thoughts and feelings are coming from.

  5. And now you have the BeeGees, who I adore. I named a horse Sweet City Woman even.
    I think that I have emotionally grown so much over the past 5 years, and the past 2-3 years, especially. Learning the difference between fear and excitement, realizing that I have to re-learn to deal with regret, learning perspective, learning to communicate my feelings…. I owe so much of it to Alex and so much of it to the situations. But there is always room for improvement!

  6. Yes the video plays!!!!

    I have always been a feeler. As a child I used to say I am not crying because I am angry I am crying because I am hurt. That would drive adults crazy.

    As an adult I get the crazies when I don’t acknowledge my feelings. As soon as I acknowledge that feeling I calm down. Of course being single and over 30 its the number one way to chase men away. When I answer “How do you feel?” honestly they run away. Then months later they try to come back. I think dealing with your feelings are an important thing that should be taught to kids.

    • Glad the video came through … πŸ™‚

      I think suppressing feelings always leads to an explosion one way or another, so it is best to just deal with them. Honesty is essential to me, so pretending to NOT be a ‘feeler’ would be a bigger issue in my mind.

      And I agree that dealing with feelings is something we should teach kids …

  7. Learning to feel what I’m feeling has been a long, slow process for me. But I work at it. It’s certainly better than not even realizing I was depressed, yet behaving in self-destructive ways which felt like it was for no reason at all. I was told I was happy, so I looked happy, b really I just felt dead inside (or drank my way to dead if feelings like sadness or anger or frustration arose).

    It’s great that you’ve come to appreciate your emotions and I really enjoying reading about how you express them about your family. Healthy stuff.

    • I always like to refer to your ‘recovery’ post … because I am definitely always in recovery – from weight loss, food restriction, and ’emotional constipation’ (for Carina’s amusement πŸ™‚ ). And I think whether or not we admit it, most of us are in lifelong recovery for something.

  8. Pingback: 30 Days of Gratitude Revisited | Running Around the Bend

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