Some days ago I was disturbed. My mind was completely chaos, with a lot of different thoughts. I cried, but didn’t feel any better. Then I tried something new; I wrote down questions to myself – asked myself why those different things disturbed me. Then I answered the questions by writing t in the same book. Suddenely I calmed a bit and understood why i was feeling like that. Then I came over a TED-talk one former psychology professor of mine was in. He talked about dealing with emotions. It touched my heart, so I decided to share it with you.
He said that dealing with emotions entails:
- A capacity of being aware of and telling your feelings apart. This was something I did that day, which I think made me feel better. I tried to discover what feelings I actually had. Was I sad? Was I irritated? What was sadness and what was irritation?
- A capacity of acknowledging and valuing and thinking about your feelings and their inherent meaning. Basically you need to find why a particular feeling is triggered at a particular time and use that as a source of information about yourself and the world around you. When I wrote what I felt, I started to write why these feelings arose in me. This helped me gain a new knowledge or awareness of what makes me feel like that and made me understand what I have to work with.
- Entails a capacity of aknowledging to others that you have a feeling and communicating to others in such a way that they understand how you feel. I didn’t communicate my feelings to those concerned, so I cannot tell you how that is, but I did share my feelings with my supervisor at the clinic I am in this semester, and that made me feel better. Just that someone else says that the feelings you are talking about sounds very normal, can make wonders.
Further he says that being characterized by these capacities is what we define as a high level of affect integration or affect consciousness or more simply put, being good at dealing with feelings. It means to notice your feelings and tell your feelings apart. If you are generally able to accept how you feel and understand how that feeling makes sense and if you are generally able to let others know how you feel, then you are dealing with your feelings in a good enough fashion.
Dealing with feelings is associated with good mental health and high psychological functioning. For example dealing well with feelings is related to experiencing low levels of psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Furthermore, it’s related to high self-esteem, high levels of overall functioning, for instance in work or school. It’s also related to having a healthy personality and the absence of common personality problems, such as narcissistic, paranoid, avoidant or antisocial personality traits. Dealing well with feelings are associated with having more satisfying relationships to other people and less social and relational difficulties.
I am sharing this with you with the hope that this will help you too. Next time you feel overwhelmed by something, try to answer why you are feeling the way you are, try to tell your feelings apart and let your feelings be a map to understand who you are and how you perceive the world around you. I do believe that if we share our feelings with the ones concerned, will help us to contradict some assumptions we have made of the people around us and make our bond with the significant other more strong and deep.
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PPS: I am sorry for posting so rarely these times.