Monday Mojo – Notice the Feels

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How are you feeling?

When life is busy, we might struggle to recognise or find ways to describe our emotions.  When there’s so much going on, we might experience a range of feelings – we might even realise we’re feeling none of them or all of them.  One thing I talk about in my book Answers In The Dark is the paradox of grief, for example: the reality that we can feel sad and happy, at exactly the same time. 

The thing about emotions though is that they are a process.  All emotions have their own intelligence, ie. they’re trying to tell us something.  If we can learn to become aware of a feeling, for example, when it rises and what drives it, we can learn to regulate it more easily.  Sadly, few people teach us this growing up, although we may have been told which emotions we can show and which we can’t. One example of a particularly tricky emotion which can rise up without warning is anger – or at least, it’s not always what we think it is.   If we’ve learned to sit on emotions that are uncomfortable, it’s like resting on a bed of thorns – it’s painful and it rarely ends well.

The good news is, if we can learn to recognise when we’re not ok, we can get ahead of it.  This can help us find our mojo and get our sparkle back.

Here’s what might help:

This week, maybe set the intention to Notice the Feels.  A sign of emotional intelligence is being able to recognise what you feel and when you feel it.  Our body speaks to us in a myriad ways throughout the day; it tells us when we’re hungry, tired and when we’re feeling something.  It’s not easy though and requires a certain amount of time, practice and body awareness.  Mindfulness is just one way, if it’s something that’s right for you.

If we can get in touch with what we feel, we can start to plan and prepare for how we respond when we recognise it.  The next time you know you’re going to a meeting where someone is bound to push your buttons, for example, plan in advance what you’ll do and how you’ll respond if you feel tension rising.

An important point is that your feelings aren’t “wrong”, they’re valid – it’s what we do with them that connects or separates us.  We also don’t have to “be happy” all the time, in fact trying to “be positive” in sad times can lead to feelings of guilt and disappointment.  Feel what you feel, because pretending can make things worse.

Another key thing is balance.  Work and life intermingle, and at the end of the day it’s all life.  But there are things we can put in place that can help us tune in to our emotions, and respond appropriately. One example, is to recognise your “gut” feeling – how do you know when something is “off”, and what do you do about it?  You might find keeping a journal helps you embrace your intuition and learn to recognise how your body reacts when something just doesn’t feel right.

Getting to know yourself better takes time but you will get there.  Remember, your feelings matter and that you matter too.

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You might also like: my book Answers In The Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal, out now.  

© Delphi Ellis 2023