Feelings and e-motions. What would we be without them? They inspired the best songs, masterpieces by artists, and add color to our daily lives. They can also be the reason why we chase destructive behavior such as addiction to drugs, alcohol, and junk food and doing physical self harm to our bodies. What is the reason for this? What is the difference between feelings and emotions? What happens when our emotions are imbalanced? Is there even a way to have control over them? If so, what is that like? These are the answers I’ll be answering in this post.
What are emotions?
Merriam Webster defines emotions as:
- The affective aspect of consciousness
- A state of feeling
- A conscious mental reaction subjectively experienced as a strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and emotional changes in the body
It comes from the Latin word emoter, meaning energy in motion.
So what does this mean?
Emotions are mental signals we register as feelings. Feelings (anger, sadness, joy) are states of consciousness. The state of your consciousness determines how you will register the emotion to transform into a “feeling”. This is why some people are less likely to experience insecurity and jealously while others experience those feelings almost everyday.
Emotions start off as thoughts. They both carry vibrations which effect our cellular and physiological state. We are made of atoms and water which are in constant motion. The kind of movement (frequency) in which atoms inside of a cell vibrate creates wave energy that influences the wave and function. The more positive your mood, the higher the frequency, which results in your being in your best state.
When we become more in control of our thoughts, we can become more aware of whether our emotions are in the higher scale or spiraling low. Negative emotions are signals to us that we are focusing our thoughts on things that do not serve us. To redirect our emotions, putting your focus on the thought behind the emotion (the root of the emotion) will help gain more clarity of the emotion and shift the victim mind-state.
What happens when your emotions are imbalanced?
In our society, what is promoted the most to handle emotions is suppressing them. Each of us has faced trauma since our childhood, if the we keep our wounds away from our attention and care, they turn into us misunderstanding our emotional truth. Rather than facing our traumas and emotional experiences we faced in the past, we use outside stimulation to keep our focus away such as:
- Media (shows, movies, etc.)
The suppressed emotions manifest as lower frequencies (feelings) such as anger, fear, anxiety, sadness, depression, resentment, and stress. These feelings can transform into disease and bodily imbalance. (In example: tension leading to headaches, fear making your stomach feel upset) Repression of emotions also lead to disruptions in the normal balance of the stress hormone called cortisol compared to freely expressing emotion.
So what does this mean?
Because our emotions are mental signals which have an affect on our bodies (negative affect when imbalanced and suppressed), the way we think and feel, and our deep belief patterns that usually start from our childhood may result in disease of the body. Our body is always healing itself (striving for homeostasis). When lower emotions aren’t explored and dealt with they create anxiety, depression, or anger, which disrupts the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
A common way we experience this interaction of mental signals and physical sensations is when going through pain. Pain is a combo of physical sensations, emotions felt, and the meaning the pain has for us.
Basically. negative thoughts lead to negative emotions, which impacts our health.
As above so below!
How do I become a master of my emotions?
Well, this is a shift that doesn’t happen over night. Since we have been raised to not deal with our emotions in harmonious ways, when we aren’t being present with ourselves our unconscious can lead us to reactions that are negative emotions.
To become more present and centering the mind that helps to shift from being reactive with our emotions into being responsive, practices that help include:
- Pranayama + other breathing practices
- Tai Chi
*These practices help with being more present, but aren’t guaranteed for facing suppressed emotions*
The most important step to becoming a master of your emotions, is recognizing the emotions that are suppressed within you.
A pyramid is only able to stand tall beyond any weather is because of it’s strong foundation. Keeping your emotions suppressed just leads to a rocky journey to finding balance.
Facing your emotions can be done in multiple ways such as:
- Talking to a trusted friend//family member
- Writing about it
- Voice memos
- Going to events that are about discussing experiences (ex: Events that are about women discussing sexual trauma)
- Meditation that is focused on healing your inner child, reflecting on trauma
Be honest with yourself! Only you can truly change how you felt about a situation. Also, facing emotions isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. If you start to feel high amounts of feelings that are negative while you are releasing them, that is okay. Face them, forgive them, and know that you are healing from where it stemmed from.
We all have emotions, and feelings, it’s just about how we are dealing with them. If someone says they have “no feelings” 9/10 they have A LOT of suppression. Suppression of emotions leads to chasing outside stimulation, and manifestation of lower feelings which impacts our body. Facing our emotions that are suppressed leads us to climb up the emotional spiral, leading us to an abundant and healthy lifestyle.
How will you choose to feel?