Emotional Therapy, Emotional Counselling in London, Camden - Emotional Health, Emotional Resilience
Experiencing Our Feelings
(See also Range Of Specific Feelings & Emotions)
Validating, Exploring Our Range Of Feelings Understanding ourselves and others, our contradictory and sometimes contrasting feelings, whether we are too in touch and overwhelmed or out of touch with how we are feeling, may be important for us, as may tracking those feelings as if they come from nowhere, disidentifyung from our feelings when we need to. Imagining the inner knowing of our feelings as our inner child and validating the information they are giving us, loving and caring for these feelings may support us. On the surface things can be OK yet underneath we may experience powerful feelings, e.g. fear, sadness, anger. For those of us who are consumed, absorbed and swept up by feelings, containing them may be a challenge. Blocked inside, accessing and expressing feelings, releasing our emotions may be a different need for others. (We may have been brought up not to express certain feelings or have an unspoken "no feel" rule to some of them.) Discovering the truth of our feelings, compassionately learning from them - even our painful ones - willing to feel these (without ignoring, rejecting, judging them) may be important. Our feelings arise by the chemicals created through our thoughts. Staying aware of how we are causing our feelings, through our perception, what we tell ourselves (see also Inhibiting Rules, Loyalties, Oaths, Sacred Cows, Obligations) can be challenging, yet can also change how we feel. We may also want to recognise our emotions and the impact they have with our equilibrium & others around us. Being open about what is loving to us & others, rather than closed to protect us from the pain of life may be a further need. How we experience, treat, express & take responsibility for the spectrum of our feelings & ourself can be opened up in the counselling & psychotherapy. The therapy may therefore include exploration of our emotional self-awareness, our free will, including how we can support our sense of worth, enhancing life's joys & pleasures. Finding ways to attend to our feelings, integrate, regulate & manage them, so we can act and react in the world, communicate well, be creative, can also be explored in counselling & psychotherapy as may training ourselves to choose whether we banish or embrace our feelings.
Emotional counselling London & emotional therapy in London, expressing emotions, managing emotions, controlling emotions, emotional connection, gut feeling & intuition
Feelings In Our Relationship Some of us may fear rejection, have abandonment issues. We may crave attention. For some, envy & jealousy may at times be overwhelming. Some of us may have become emotionally dependent on our partner, others may deny we have any dependency needs. From our wounded place we may try to control and make others responsible for our feelings or take responsibility for their feelings (see also Codependency (Co-Dependency) - Caretaking). Some of us may struggle expressing feelings. We may have got into a habit of projecting onto our partner feelings in us we would not rather have, acknowledge. Many of our feelings may be unconsciously communicated, picked up by our partner. Some may not want to get so caught up, or drawn into, our partner's feelings. Being caring and looking after ourself, staying calm, when others around us are being very emotional, may be important for us. (See also Relationship Style, Attachment Patterns)
Over-Talking, Oversharing - Whether Or Not To Share Our Feelings - Taking Responsibility & Care For Our Feelings Most of us have innocently shared our feelings (or exaggerated, over-emphasised, accentuated things) with others and we can feel surprised they have backfired on us - this includes texting, emailing, social media, online chat, internet communication - using emojis ☺ can sometimes simplify things (see also Over-Talking, Oversharing - Balance Between Withholding Or Sharing All Our Thoughts). Living in the moment without awareness, reflection, some of us may over-share our feelings - spilling out at times and oversharing feelings may become our way of relating. (Some of us may need stimulus, overstimulate ourselves, overshare our feelings, which may be related to certain conditions, e.g. ADD/ADHD, having an overactive thyroid.) We can share our feelings for very different reasons (sometimes just too much at times). We may want to get someone to make us feel better with an intention to control. By pulling on others, for example trying to control them to make us feel better by letting others know what we are feeling (e.g. stressed) and want them to do something about it. (They in turn may become defensive, withdraw, get irritated, become angry or judgemental (see also Drama Triangle of Victim, Rescuer, Persecutor) or struggle to tolerate our uncomfortable feelings.) In our relationship we may want to be truthful and emotionally honest, believing that by having to say everything we are authentic, we may be in the habit of sharing all our uncontained feelings, holding nothing back, struggling to filter them, contain them (see also Impact Of What We Say). A tactful approach and adapting to situations may be missing. Self-control, emotional resilience, managing our internal dialogue may be an issue for some, distinguishing between what's private, what's secret, for others. Sensitive at times, we may wear our heart on our sleeve yet don't have to share all our feelings or always be tearful when we don't need to be (see also Loose, Porous Or Uncontained Boundaries). The intention we have when we share our feelings can shape the outcome. (See also What We, Others Observe - Giving, Receiving Feedback To & From Others, Our Partner)
Oversharing Our Feelings In Stressful Situations Some of us may need stimulus, overstimulate ourselves. Hyper-emotional at times, maybe living from our eternal child or feeling hurt from our wounded self and allow all our feelings to spill over especially when we are hungry, angry, lonely, tired, lost or stuck, traumatised, feel shame, or experience loss, separation. We may also take personally someone's unloving behaviour towards us. There is a difference between saying "I am feeling very stressed" - pulling on others, our partner to do something about it as opposed to saying "I'm feeling very stressed and I'm going to go for a walk - taking responsibility for our feeling. We can let others know what we are feeling (e.g. stressed), ask for help in what our stress may be about, or tell them what we are going to do about it, by taking responsibility for our own feelings, learn and being compassionate towards ourselves and the others' unloving behaviour, allowing any sadness to move through us and this can help support our self-esteem. Managing, regulating and transmuting our emotions, filtering our feelings, may be important for us. (See also Giving Feedback To Others)
Overwhelmed By Feelings - Managing, Regulating & Transmuting Our Emotions, Core Painful Feelings When we are constantly ruled by our emotions, it is viewed by some as an emotional addiction. (Certain conditions as ADD/ADHD, having an overactive thyroid, may also affect our outpouring of emotions.) Triggered by our stress, fear, anxiety we may experience irrational emotions. Sometimes our emotions can leak and spill out, leaving us vulnerable, disorganised, messy, chaotic at times. It can be as if we experience waves of emotion (e.g. sadness, anger) when our feelings arrive upon us, especially in our relationship. This can affect our behaviour, procrastination. Whether or not to share our feelings may be a dilemma. We may be faced with a choice of acting like King Canute or riding with and embracing the passing waves. Our emotions may be all at sea and we may feel lost at sea. We can become hijacked by our emotions, as if in a drama, hyper-emotional at times - letting them rule us (see also Our Painbody). In order to manage, regulate, transmute our emotions, core painful feelings we may want to take charge of our emotional security, dramas and have emotional control so we also feel anchored, centred, grounded, solid in our body. (See also Overthinking, Overanalysing, Overwhelment, Confusion - Stuck In Our Head)
The power of reflection allows us to approach rather than withdraw, from, whatever life brings us.Daniel Siegel
And when we learn to "stay with" a feeling, to give it its time in awareness, then we discover that feelings -
even very strong and threatening feelings - first arise and then dissipate like waves breaking on the shore.
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Familiar Feelings That We May No Longer Want Some feelings can become embedded. In the therapy we may also examine your "feelings template", and what other feeIings you may have, besides the ones you are aware of. We may allow certain emotional memories to take us over and as our energy becomes heightened (often felt in our body), these trigger old patterns of thoughts. Resentment may be something else we hold on to, as we struggle to forgive. Feelings themselves can have an addictive element, like sadness, happiness, fear or rage, as this emotion becomes our state of being. Some of us may continuously feel pain, battle with emotions, as if they are attached to us, stuck in our body. We may overlook that we are OK in-spite of what we feel. Integrating our feelings yet being willing to feel our core painful feelings, find our way through our pain, expressing, understanding and letting go of our pain may be challenging as may taking charge of our own emotional security.
emotional boundaries, emotional resiliency (emotional resiliance)
Responding To Our Likes & Dislikes All of us have likes & dislikes, and these don't have to limit our experiences. We don't have to like everything we do, yet by doing certain things, we broaden our minds. What we like in the long run may not always be good for us, conversely, what we don't like may turn out to be exactly what we need. Some of us are able to gradually like our dislikes, because it serves a greater good in us or others. Taking risks sometimes may be our challenge.
Our Sensitivities Some of us can be hyper-emotional, easily hurt, disrespected, controlled, abandoned or invaded (see also Caught In-Between Fear Of Rejection, Separation, Loss, Abandonment & Fear Of Engulfment). For details see Our Sensitivities - Pushing Each Other's Buttons.
Moodiness, Emotional Mood Swings, Severe Mood Changes, Low Moods Our moods bring changes to our thoughts, judgements, actions and we may struggle to have perspective over our emotions. Some of us allow others to dictate our moods. Our moods change, vary, can test us. We all experience different moods, some level of mood swings, up and down moods, yet when they become severe, last a long time, we may get stuck in them. Some of us can look for things to fuel, reinforce a certain mood. Our moods are a temporary state of mind & usually pass - what we feel at one moment, not only affecting us, but others around us, so surrounding ourselves with supportive others can be helpful. Especially when our helter-skelter moods change like the weather (see also Taking Charge Of Our Emotional Security, Our Dramas - Emotional Control). Tuning in, being aware of what we are feeling (the subtle mood changes) & addressing why we are feeling what we are feeling, can inform & support us when choosing what to do with our mood, exploring the solutions available, and how we want to appropriately respond to others. We may have anxious moods, irritable moods, grumpy moods, empty moods. We may feel happy, overjoyed, sad, depressed, maybe experiencing some sort of existential despair, struggling to find meaning, purpose in life, affecting our wellbeing. Managing our moods (so we don't blame, criticise others - including our partner), finding & working our way out of bad moods - rising above them, doing things which feel good rediscovering our lightheartedness, playfulness, carefreeness, laughter, fun and our sense of humour may lift us. Recognising a point when we need to "put the brakes on" or say to ourselves "Enough's enough", and giving a deadline may support us (see also Emotional Responsibility; Emotional Energy, Emotional Health, Emotional Wellbeing, Emotional Evaluation, Emotional Resilience, Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Growth, Emotional Maturity - Being Emotionally Connected). When in a better mood we may want to consider understanding what put us in a bad mood in the first place - what triggers, thoughts shape our moods, what choices we can make the next time to put us in a different mood, elevated mood.
Feelings & Senses - Our Guide At a basic level, our feelings & senses inform us whether things external to us are safe, unsafe, loving, etc. They can tell us if we are heading in the right direction - whether we are off or on track in our thinking, behaviour. We are full of feelings when a child (not good/bad ones - just feelings) and how our feelings were responded to, may affect us now. Some of us may have left our feelings behind. We may have learnt to hide, avoid certain feelings (see also Overwhelmed By Feelings - Managing, Regulating & Transmuting Our Emotions, Core Painful Feelings). Our feelings can also let us know if we abandon ourselves or have self-compassion. Just as we feel the senses, physical sensations, reactions in our body, so too we may need to respond in similar ways with our emotional senses & feelings. When, for example, we have a persistent physical pain, this stimulates us, informing us we need to do something, check it & respond. Initially in our body we may feel a sensation, notice it, ascertain what's happening, find out what sort of attention we need to give it, how to actively respond (maybe massage it, exercise, move the energy), so the pain dissolves, when we give it the right conditions to heal. Experiencing the stimulus of our emotional feelings also give us pointers towards our direction. Observing our feelings & senses, simply as our moment by moment experiences, give us up to date information, guiding us, informing us of our direction. Trusting and being in touch with the ebb and flow of our feelings - feeling them fully, enables us to be freer to then choose to express what we feel, feel what we say. Some of us may struggle to accept what we are feeling without judging them as good, bad or having to endure them, maybe wanting them to go away, which may block the energy of feelings, cutting out useful information, stopping us moving forward. Others may struggle to freely experience our feelings as indicators of where we are right now yet not totally allow our feelings to be a definition of who we are. We may want to grow with our feelings, rather than avoiding them. (See also Emotional Responsibility; Emotional Energy, Emotional Health, Emotional Wellbeing, Emotional Evaluation, Emotional Resilience, Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Growth, Emotional Maturity - Being Emotionally Connected)
Intuition - Gut Feelings, Hunches, Instinct, Improvising Intuition can be experienced as a direct sense, knowledge without rational thought, analysis. Our intuition, feelings may have been mistrusted and may have got lost or crushed in childhood (see also Relationship Style, Attachment Patterns). We may therefore ignore ourself when things don't feel right, ignoring our intuitive self. Moving away from the clutter in our head, what we instinctively want may come from a more intuitive place than what we think we want. The quality of either may affect our will & motivation. Sometimes our sensitivities, intuition helps inform us to respond instantly, enabling us to improvise. And our intuitive responses may also let us know where we are, help us understand things with more accuracy, help us make formed choices, point towards our inner direction. Similar to the satellite navigation system, GPS, our intuition informs us where we are, the direction to take and how to reach it. Noticing what we resonate with - our energy, tuning in to our intuition or intuitive nudges, trusting our instinct (gut feelings) - the part of us that "knows" what we need, what's right can help us make better decisions, understand ourselves and others more accurately and give us valuable feedback, guidance. Our intuition can be more of a guiding, caring nature and at times it can appear from nowhere, nudging us towards change as if we are in tune with something larger than ourselves or it has a spiritual connection. Utilising our intuition helps us make sense of all our senses, of things and to make better choices. Sensing, listening to this inner voice, our emotional intelligence, inner wisdom may support us. Sometimes we may have a hunch, instinctive gut reaction to things and listening to, trusting our gut feelings, taking a leap of faith can at times be exactly what we need to do and be accurate and helpful. It can be as if we can trust what we need to do because our instinctive gut feeling, instinctively "knows", which supports our authenticity. On other occasions we question our intuition. (Closely linked to our home truths, conscience & personal integrity, there can be a difference in us between truth & knowing things. And this may also impact how truthful we are in our relationship.) When the time is right (and often we know this) valuing, listening, appreciating, trusting & following our intuition & senses, a place deep inside of us not only of reason or instinct, as if our will is aligned, may be exactly what we need to do - acting on our own intuition and taking risks in the process, yet other times not so. If we are coming from a wounded place inside, maybe emotionally fearful, the choices we make may have more negative consequences. Instinct has a fear component, is linked with the amygdala part of the brain and its function is to act as a survival mechanism (i.e. fight, flight, freeze) and our fear can overly dominate our intuition, gut feelings, instinct. Sometimes it may benefit us to act counter-intuitively away from our fears. Some of us may be led by our intuition, instinct, no matter what and sometimes our gut reactions or so called "instincts" may not be right, and we can't always trust them. Testing it, we may need to validate & verify our intuition, instincts, discriminate where they come form, double check our gut feelings, supported by all our senses, with our logical and rational thinking, our reasoning and the information we can gather around us, how this sits with us, our values, goals before we come to conclusions, make decisions so they don't come from other aspects of us, e.g. our projections, perceptions, attitudes, searching for things which support our beliefs, our wishes, desires, hopes, old templates, assumptions, prejudices, biases or unconscious aspects. Taking charge of our instincts, so we control them, may be important. When we have instinctive feelings, we still have a choice of whether to act on them or divert our instinctive energies in creative ways.
The only real valuable thing is intuition.Albert Einstein
Our Biology We may ignore, deny our biology - the natural process of being human, the energy of our animal & basic survival instinct (albeit primitive at times) - see also Reflecting Upon Our Mortality. We all have a genetic inheritance influencing and governing aspects of our life, our physicality and psychological development. These genes interact turn on and off in relationship to the external environment and internal environment - how we think, feel, envision, etc. Certain emotions, reactions can be experienced as biological responses - our shame, fear, being surprised, disgusted. How these affect us can be explored in the counselling or psychotherapy. Our basic and sometimes base aspect of us can be a disowned shadow part of ourselves, affecting what arouses us, drives our feelings, behaviours & thoughts. This may include our responses to danger, threat & aggression, loss of status, loneliness, pain, excitement, sex & lust - see also Men & Women. (Our hormones to some extent regulate & control everything in our body & influence our emotions & passions, e.g. our appetite through leptin, our stress levels through cortisol, our bonding through oxytocin.) Our instincts can arouse powerful responses in us. Often linked to our early bonding patterns, attachment style, these strong instincts (often powerfully sensed physically in our body - see also Our Painbody) can especially emerge when we are lost, stuck, tired, hungry, angry, irritable, under threat, traumatised, feel shame or experience loss, separation (see also Physical Feelings, Somatic Reactions, Other Reactions) affecting our basic need for survival, safety, comfort, food, shelter and comfort (see also Getting Our Basic Dependency Needs Met In A Healthy, Loving Relationship). It may be very essential to act from this instinctual place, yet other times essential to choose not to (see also Diverting, Changing Responses To Our Drives, Urges, Impulses, Passions, Desires, Aspirations, Energies, Creativity). Listening to and compassionately taking charge of these aspects, utilising our wisdom, ability to reflect, may help us to have a sense of interconnectedness, acceptance, forgiveness, allowing for any integration & healing.
Physical Responses To Our Feelings Not only are we on an emotional journey, so too we are on a physical journey. Many of us revert to a fight, flight or freeze response with our uncomfortable feelings, and we can often feel corresponding responses to these feelings in our body. Counselling & psychotherapy can explore these physical responses - the interconnectedness of our body, feelings, mind with you. (See also Our Painbody)
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What We Do With Difficult Feelings No matter what our intelligence, we all get stirred up by things, experiencing certain unsettling feelings as awkward, uncomfortable, painful or even devastating. Small things can become like mountains. Waves of powerful feeling, emotion, may visit us, and it can be hard to ride them. Their intensity at times can overwhelm us and it may be hard to create the space to think and understand them. Our emotions can be experienced as the "energy in motion" of our feelings. Our emotions can be triggered internally (e.g. having a memory or thought) or externally (e.g. hearing or seeing something). Once the emotion is triggered (often unconsciously) the energy in our body changes. This shift in energy, or emotion, regardless of whether the emotion is experienced, changes our physical processes and thinking. Our feelings can drive our thoughts, and the reverse is also true, as if our thoughts, which are providing chemicals to make us feel, become our emotions, and this is who we are. Our strong emotions can lock our attention and we can become trapped in ways of thinking and behaving. We may end up procrastinating. There can be a discordance between what we are doing & what we are feeling inside. We may believe that we are not supposed to have certain feeIings, or that feeIings make us weak. Some of us have attempted to numb, shut down, avoid, internalise, repress or deny so called "negative", uncomfortable feelings. Avoiding some of our uncomfortable feelings we may turn to unhelpful habits, addictions (including emotional eating) or distractions. Some feelings we may have, yet not be conscious of and the counselling & psychotherapy may also take into consideration your perceptions & attitudes.
Tolerating Our Uncomfortable Feelings Some may have closed off, shut down our feelings, fleeing from them, pushing them away. Others may have allowed our feelings to run away with us (see also Over-Talking, Oversharing - Whether Or Not To Share Our Feelings - Taking Responsibility & Care For Our Feelings), losing our self in the process. Opening the gates of feelings may be important for some, closing them down for others. We may have developed certain templates, which are no longer helpful when responding to certain feelings. Some of us can feel uncomfortable or frustrated in areas, which are beyond our control. With good intention some of us can be very tempted to rush in to fix things or try to please others, without acknowledging our own uncomfortable feeIings or strong emotions. These uncomfortable feeIings, disconnections, frustrations, moodiness, low or bad moods or mood swings, are different for each person. Our sensitivity, shyness & vulnerability may hold us back at times. Counselling & psychotherapy can discover with you ways these feelings can be tolerated, ways of managing our painful feelings and how we can take responsibility for any destructive emotions when they arise, so we don't cause harm to us or others. (See also Unexplained, Uncomfortable Feelings, Uneasiness Inside)
emotional boundaries & emotional resiliency, emotional resilience in counselling
Brushing Our Feelings Under The Carpet - Managing, Regulating & Transmuting Our Emotions, Core Painful Feelings When younger we might experience painful events or separations, which made us feel lonely, scared or vulnerable. We learnt (maybe by mimicking others) to manage our pain, hurt in the best way we could at the time, with the limited resources we had. This way of coping might include our blame, shame, guilt, control or judgement, keeping busy with distractions, turning to unhelpful habits, addictions. The way we coped back then, may not be working well for us now, if we are feeling empty, miserable or depressed now. Our pain may run so deep, that it can be as if we are inconsolable. Some of us may have avoided our pain - hidden it away. We may have bypassed our feelings. Being in touch with how we feel, different ways of regulating these feelings, managing our pain (see also Our Painbody), with our sense of compassion & calmness, alongside looking after our own needs, being grounded, secure and inhabiting our body, can be included in the counselling & psychotherapy, where our painful feelings, including loss or grief, don't have to be locked away or emotionally drain us, so we can release them, make sense of them and give us meaning. (See also Integrating All Our Feelings)
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Bypassing, Internalising Our Feelings, Withdrawing, Withholding
We can't go over it. We can't go under it. Oh no! We've got to go through it!Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury
Bypassing Our Feelings Lost or stuck inside, we may have put a lid on certain feelings, emotions (including our elevated emotions), be unemotional, internalising them, compressing them, withdrawing, withholding, as a defence. Repressing, suppressing our emotions, the shadow side of us, some of us may have isolated ourselves, might feel ungrounded, as if not fully inhabiting our body. We may bypass our feelings, inner child by:
- Becoming lost, stuck
- Abandoning ourself
- Fleeing to our mind, being stuck in our head
- Emotionally abandoning ourself
- Brushing our feelings under the carpet, being unwilling to feel our core, painful feelings
- Holding back our tears
- Turning to unhelpful habits or addictions, including immersing ourselves into working
- Telling ourself we are bored
- Being stuck in our painbody
- Going cold, numb
- Pleasing others, fixing things
- Avoiding intimacy
- Fleeing towards spiritual enlightenment - spiritual bypass
Watching Ourself From Afar Often it can seem as if we are somewhere else looking back or forward either sad or stuck about the past, longing to reach a destination yet not living in the present moment with choice, experiencing the journey. Anaesthetising ourself, we may frequently withdraw into our own world, zone out. Others may often go blank, feel in a state of inertia, frozen as if in a zombie-automation state, lost or stuck inside. Closing down our emotions, we may feel distant, be in a fuzzy state, zombie-like as if we have put our life on hold, disassociated, disconnected inside, become easily distracted at times (see also Connecting, Disconnecting, Reconnecting, Interconnectedness). Disengaged, sometimes it can seem as if we are in some sort of daydream, or as if we are watching ourself from afar, yet feel we have no control over our situation, have a vague sense that something is missing. For some of us this may be linked to our stress, fear, anxiety or old trauma, terrors and stuck in our survival mode, we may continue to use this way, to protect ourselves from overwhelming or difficult things, threats now (this may also include how we codependently relate in our relationship). Detached from reality (or ourselves) at times, we may be physically there but mentally somewhere else, feel chaotic in some ways yet ordered in others. We maybe drawn to inanimate things, unhelpful habits or addictions. Others may have a sense of disassociation, struggle to sense our physical sensations (see also Re-Connecting To Who We Are, Being Grounded & Secure, Inhabiting Our Body), feelings, emotions, personal will, even behaviours as somehow not belonging to our sense of self or identity as if we are not quite here, present. It can be as if can't reach ourself, that we are beyond the reach of others. Lacking momentum, we may procrastinate, feel uneasy when interacting with others and not be very spontaneous, lose our sense of humour, playfulness, lightheartedness, laughter. We may struggle to recognise our self, be in some sort of temporary fugue state, as if we have a sense of depersonalisation, having difficulty remembering experiences, yet experiencing the unreality of our sense of self. Some may also experience an unreality of our surroundings - de-realisation.
Going Cold Sometimes we can go cold on others, be icy (see also "Freeze" reaction), unapproachable, unfriendly. We may spread our coldness through our words, deeds and people react negatively to our frosty intentions. It can be as if we have frozen out our ability to love (see also Relationship Style, Attachment Patterns). We may feel emotionally cold inside and warming up and defrosting ourselves, engaging differently, coming from our heart being more loving, kinder, listening to our emotions, giving & receiving love, may help us warm up, as our icy-ness melts away, thaws, enabling love to flow again.
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Going Numb, Numbing Our Feelings, In A Daze, Lethargy - Closing Off, Shutting Down, Bottling Things Up, Switched Off Sometimes we may need our own space at times to manage our feelings, hurt, pain, old traumas, grief. Struggling to live in the moment, we may also need to retreat into our cave to protect ourselves or reflect. (Yet for some this reflection may turn into repeatedly going over old ground, or worrying about future scenarios.) How we communicate what we feel and what we need may be important. Some of us may have got too comfortable (e.g. in our state of independence), remain stuck or lost there for longer that is good for us or others, struggling to bring what's inside, out. And on the outside we may continue to keep busy through our distractions or some may turn to unhelpful habits, addictions including food for comfort, pornography yet inside feel emotionally numb as if living on autopilot. We may have become overly self-reliant, self-sufficient (sometimes to the point of stubbornness) and be hard to reach, yet disconnected inside, in a daze, in lockdown. Numbing our own feelings - not feeling what we really feel or in a state of inertia, struggling to notice the life we are experiencing, we may tell ourselves "Don't feel anything" or "Be perfect" and have switched off. It can be as if our brain have shut down. In limbo, we may have become vacant, distant, as if watching ourself from afar, in flight mode (conversely, we may be good at observing others). Going into our cave may be the easy bit (for some it can end up like a sulk). Finding our way out, moving towards the light, may be challenging and the therapy can explore this with us, so our feelings don't become de-pressed (see also Depression Counselling - Psychotherapy For Depression). We may also have bottled up our tears. Repressing, suppressing our feelings, maybe bypassing them, we may be emotionally numb inside, as if we can't feel, are empty of emotion (or for others our emotions may lay hidden just underneath the surface, as if waiting to come out - see also Emotionally Blocked, Emotional Freedom - Embracing Our Emotions). We may struggle with having empathy not only for others but for ourself. Feeling as though we don't (or can't) fit anywhere, we may have become lethargic, numbed ourself, switched off, which has become a cutting off, as if a part of us has frozen. Daydreaming, we may have kept our feelings hidden from our self, lost our focus, struggling to give ourselves the attention we need. We may withdraw, disengage or become distant, close off our heart (including in our relationship), become cynical, unreachable or desensitised, maybe worrying about being real inside. Procrastination may follow. What we ignore, deny or disown (including any guilt or shame we feel) doesn't seem to go away. Sometimes our numbness can be our inner child's way of not feeling our inner abandonment. (See also The Pain & Joy Of Life - Opening Our Heart)
Numbing Our Feelings - Other Reactions In order to numb our feelings, some of us may put all our energy into work. Others may go numb by turning to unhelpful habits or addictions. We may find it hard to access our joy, gratitude, happiness, vulnerability, tenderness, fragility and avoid intimacy or grieving what we need to grieve (see also Accessing Our Feelings, Healthily Expressing Feelings, Fully Feeling Our Feelings - Allowing Our Emotions To Flow)
How Numbing Our Feelings May Affect Relationships Bored inside, some of us may struggle to access, express our full range of emotions, feelings, vulnerability, tenderness, fragility, avoid intimacy, which may relate to old protective patterns. Protecting ourselves against emptiness, loneliness, heartbreak, some of us may be used to keeping our emotions in, close to our chest, holding on to them (affecting our breathing) & bottle things up, pulling the shutters down, ignoring certain feelings (or uncomfortable thoughts) as if we can't bear our own vulnerability. Yet retreating inside we may be uptight or cut off, because we don't want to, or don't know how to say what we want to say, express our needs and release our emotions. And if we do start to express our emotions, we may fear the floodgates opening, yet often we feel more alive. (And some may seek external stimulus in order to feel alive - as if we can't feel alive without this.) Frozen in fear, we may have cut off our empathy, compassion, not really care about our effect on others, become inaccessible (and for some of us this may be connected to our experiences when younger, what wounds we experienced). We may also feel sexually unsafe. Sometimes we may not know what we are feeling and looking at things from the outside, exploring what we might feel, accepting our feelings without judging them and what we might say to this person may help us understand our feelings, work through them.
When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable.Madeleine L'Engle
But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable.
How Numbing Our Feelings May Affect Our Intimate Relationship We may believe we can handle everything by keeping a stiff upper lip, yet remain emotionally unavailable, struggle with empathy and for some this may be linked to our high sensitivity. Maybe angry or hurt, we may find it hard to articulate things, we may withdraw & withhold in our relationship. We may also have sexually closed down. Abandoning ourself, struggling to open our heart, we may not only fear our own emotions, dependency needs, but those of others, avoiding emotional connection in our relationship, or struggle with intimacy, vulnerability & trust, maybe fearing being exploited, rejected, abandoned. We may no longer feel the pain we cause to others, because we struggle to feel our own and stop caring for others (see also Relationship Style, Attachment Patterns).
Accessing Our Feelings, Healthily Expressing Feelings, Fully Feeling Our Feelings - Allowing Our Emotions To Flow Emotionally numb inside, aspects of us may haven't been able to be alive. Some of us may be out of touch with our feelings, elevated moods, numb them - struggling to find our own momentum, access how we are feeling, tuning into what we're feeling, attending to any unease, articulating what we are feeling, asking for what we need. Being in the moment, we may want to embrace our feelings, fully feel our feelings and if our tears flow, allow them. Throughout the day we flow through a range of emotions from high to low and back again. A challenge for some may be to learn not to block them - to just experience them, integrate them. It can take courage to do this follow our desire to open our heart. Listening to our senses, fully expressing ourself with our range of feelings - laughter and tears (our natural way of expressing and releasing feelings), our pain (see also Willingness To Feel Any Core Painful Feelings), grief, gratitude, heart's desires may be exactly what we need to do (dropping any unhelpful judgements) Sometimes we can access, express our feelings easier physically or through metaphor, images writing, drawing or painting, etc. Counselling and psychotherapy can be a place to allow our emotions to flow, explore the range of high and low emotions, listening to them, responding to them. (See also Emotional Responsibility; Emotional Energy, Emotional Health, Emotional Wellbeing, Emotional Evaluation, Emotional Resilience, Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Growth, Emotional Maturity - Being Emotionally Connected)
Tuning In, Opening Up & Protecting Ourselves When We Need To Some of us may be stuck in our head, over-thinking, putting things in neat boxes, avoid heavy emotions (or struggle to sense them), find it difficult to face them (see also Emotionally Blocked, Emotional Freedom - Embracing Our Emotions). The innocence of our childhood and feeling self may have become almost buried. Deferring our feelings, we may lose touch with our own humanity, senses, free will, creativity, imagination and struggle to be open-hearted, compassionate to our self & others. Counselling & psychotherapy can offer support in finding our own ways to be in touch with, tune in and notice our feelings, express, release our emotions, containing them when we need to, if that is our desire. Letting go of what we no longer need to be holding on to may be a further challenge. Viewing our feelings as not so much a block, but an adventure, may help loosen us, as may finding authentic ways to engage & disengage with others, protect ourselves without shutting down, staying present - choosing to protect ourselves when we need to. We may have found ways over the years to avoid, eliminate, hide away from our pain, unable to feel our core, painful feelings, contract physically, which limits us. Being willing to feel our core painful feelings, soothing ourselves can be part of the process of managing them, letting them go. Abandoning ourselves we may be overly focused in our head or blocked off our emotions, tears. Balancing our heart with our head - being in touch with both, may support us.
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Emotional Counselling London, Emotional Therapy in London, Camden for Emotional Health, Emotional Growth
Uncertainties, Contrasting & Contradictory Feelings Sometimes our emotions can swing from one pole to its opposite. We may experience contrasting, contradictory feelings, positive & negative, at different or the same times. This can also be true in our relationship or how we see the world. Learning to manage (apparent) opposite feelings can be a challenge for some. Some of us can feel pushed & pulled in different directions. The pulling & pushing may point to having simultaneous contradictory feelings. The discomfort we feel may point to our difficulty responding to uncertainties, contradictions & ambivalences. Counselling & psychotherapy can help to contain, manage & make sense of the range of our contrasting, contradictory, ambivalent & frustrating feelings or emotions. We may become torn by conflicting feelings. Sitting with our feelings may be a challenge for some. The therapy can also look at how we understand life's unpredictabilities, uncertainties, ambivalence, contradictions, paradoxes, double binds, our need for "definites", e.g. right-wrong, good-bad, light-dark & how we want to respond to them.
Unexplained, Uncomfortable Feelings, Uneasiness Inside Most of us have experienced a gnawing discomfort inside, sense of uneasiness, uncomfortableness (see also Integration) - maybe a subtle sense of suffering that somehow grows. We may not always know why (see also What We Ignore In Us) or have held on to "don't feel" rule for long enough. We may experience a sense of stuckness, lostness, emptiness or nothingness, existential uneasiness or a sense of pointlessness, be searching for a deeper meaning or purpose in life, to which the counselling & psychotherapy can explore further, including integration of our feelings, the nature of your free will, intentions.
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Primary & Secondary Feelings
Primary Feelings & Secondary Feelings We frequently have feelings about feelings. The counselling & psychotherapy can explore these primary & secondary feelings with you. Primary emotions are the ones we feel first (usually extremely pleasant or unpleasant), our first or instinctive response to pleasant, unpleasant situations. Our primary feelings, tend to be instant, unthinking (and can affect our behaviour, or ways we sabotage things), acting as a stimulus (in some ways not dissimilar to how other animals instinctively respond using their survival mechanisms). Our primary emotions can disappear as fast as they arrive, they may include fear, anger, frustration, surprise, spontaneity, love, joy, happiness, fulfilment, contentment, peace, sadness, shame, guilt, hurt, disappointment, dissatisfaction (though some of these can also be experienced as secondary emotions). Our primary emotions are valuable, important cues pointing towards our growth & relationship to others. Expressing these helps us thrive. What we then experience are secondary emotions, caused directly by our response to primary emotions, e.g. we may fear (primary emotion) a threat, turning to anger (secondary emotion). We may also have mixed feelings simultaneously, e.g. experience joy with a tinge of sadness. Counselling & psychotherapy not only acknowledges our presenting emotions, but also attempts to explore any underlying primary emotions - much of this process may be unconscious.
Our primary emotions never go away, yet we may sometimes bury them. Sometimes we are unable to safely express our primary emotions, because we were or are in situations where it is not acceptable to do so or because we won't be accepted by another. Our core, primary feelings may include loneliness, grief, helplessness, heartbreak, vulnerability, tenderness. We may inhibit expressing all of our primary emotions for example certain aspects of our fear we may respond to immediately yet certain fears we may keep hidden, e.g. fear of exposing ourself too much, looking weak or needy. We may also hold back on our hurt, sadness or shame, inhibiting our ability to thrive. Staying in the moment, managing to identify our initial emotional response in a situation, noticing what we are telling ourself and capturing any negative thoughts about our primary emotions, replacing them with affirming thoughts may support us.
Living From Our Secondary Emotions Some of us may have secondary emotions when we haven't listened to, valued or responded to our core primary feelings, yet if we don't connect to our primary emotions, these don't go away. The more we hold on to secondary emotions the more we avoid our primary ones. Layers of secondary emotions are usually familiar and we may often mistake them as if they are our primary ones, e.g. we may assume our primary emotion is anxiety, yet underneath this may live fear or our internal dialogue our judgemental voice steps in covering up our primary emotions. Our secondary feelings may somehow get in the way, overlapping our primary feelings, like layers of onion. Whenever we feel uncomfortable with a primary emotion, we tend to hold on to our secondary emotions, often inhibiting our interactions with others because at some level they are incongruent to our primary emotion. Our secondary emotions may include insecurity, stress, anxiety and worry, jealousy, distrust, low self-esteem, confidence, self-hatred, depression, anger, hostility, coldness, disdain, disapproval. Many of our secondary feelings may be unconscious, so for example we may be angry, yet our primary feeling may be shame. Our wounded self may have one set of feelings, e.g. anxiety, anger, yet our core, primary emotions may lay underneath these.
Patterns Of Primary & Secondary Feeling Responses We may discover we have our own unique, familiar ways of responding to our primary feelings through our secondary emotions, for example fear may evoke nervousness leading to anxiety, worry, distress, suspense, uneasiness, apprehension.
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Boredom - Being Bored We may have a low boredom tolerance, low boredom threshold. We can either be over-energised - struggling to slow down, release our energy & connect to something interesting, or have low, lethargic energy. Either may lead to an emotional state of boredom. Boredom may easily set in when things become familiar or predictable. We can become bored, when we are left without anything particular to do, when we find ourselves trapped in situations we don't want to be in - sometimes wanting to kill time, as if our time is not precious, valued. Relieving boredom for some can be connected to changing our familiar routines - no longer doing things automatically, accessing our free will, source of motivation. Discovering & trying new things, letting go of our comfort zone, may be a challenge. Our boredom can be seen as an empty stage before an emerging creative beginning and may also point to something inside of us that is seeking change, as if we are waiting for the world to give us something rather than act, think creatively, and this can be explored in counselling & psychotherapy.
Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wiselyRodin
Boredom, Being Bored - Our Inner Life When bored it can be as if we are stuck, lost, our senses are dulled. We may have distance ourselves from our feelings, numbed our feelings, closed off, shut down, bottled things up, be out of touch with our vulnerability, tenderness. We may have become apathetic, lack interest, curiosity, maybe feel powerless, helpless, yet underneath this, we may experience a lot of powerful feelings. Disappointment, despondency, rarely being satisfied or unhappiness, depression may be closely associated with our boredom, as may our repressed anger or uncomfortable feelings we are unsure what to do with, e.g. a sense of emptiness, nothingness. We may confuse boredom for mundaneness. Our world may have become two dimensional, uninspiring, unloving and we may experience some sort of existential uncertainty. We may struggle to accept our situation, be engaged, in control and relaxed. Differentiating what's in our control and what isn't and responding to this, making choices may be a challenge. The pain of boredom can be used as our driving force, force for change. It can be as if our free will is captured and we struggle to experience emotional connection with the world around us, have peace of mind.
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Boredom - Not Being In The Present Some of us may get bored easily, unfulfilled or disconnected, which may be linked to overly focusing our attention on what we can do next, overlooking how else we can be now, how we can also allow ourselves to be spontaneous, surprised or simply do nothing, daydream. We may want to be more at ease, learn the art of responding to boredom, be in touch with our desires, passions. Stuck in a rut, we may find it hard to stay engaged with ourself, our inner life be in the moment, in touch with our own selfhood, be energised, comfortable in our own skin, which may also relate to our attachment, relationship style. Maybe abandoning ourself, bypassing our feelings, becoming self-critical, we may struggle when we are alone, lonely - even in the company of others. We may have difficulty concentrating and whatever distracts us, including technology, social media, may not satisfy us. The counselling & psychotherapy can be a place to look at this further.
Boredom - What We Tell Ourselves & Our Attitude Because we think we are bored, this becomes self-fulfilling. Some of us may need to be stimulated by devices, e.g. computer, internet, mobiles, etc. or by fast moving activities so our attention span for slower activities may dwindle. We may experience some tasks (or tell ourselves they are) tedious, repetitive or mundane. Yet we may also play a role in making, labelling them as such. The attitude we hold can influence the quality of our experience. Do we tend to be optimistyic, pessimistic, cynical, sarcastic. Sometimes our boredom may indicate we can't understand or connect to something. At times we can create our own interest (e.g. making light of our experience, being competitive, relaxing, reflective). Adding and practising qualities in us to the task - our enthusiasm, inspiration, curiosity, patience, playfulness and sense of humour may benefit us.
Existential Boredom Whatever we are doing, we begin to question "What is the point?", as if we experience a sense of emptiness or soullessness. Our boredom can sometimes develop into a sense of pointlessness, existential boredom (which unlike situational boredom may not easily go away) as we question life's meaning & purpose. Our existential boredom may also be linked to:
- Existential angst
- Disappointment, cynicism, sarcasm
- Sadness, depression
- Being lonely, alone
- Stress, fear, anxiety
- Our anger
- Hurt, pain, guilt & shame
What We Do With Our Frustrations Frustration can be seen as something stirring in us that needs attention and the counselling for frustration can explore this further. We may want to get rid of, or "cure" ourselves of certain frustrating or uncomfortable feelings yet frustrating times & ambivalence are part of life, especially when we can't control others, outcomes, feel helpless or when our priorities are different from others. Managing our anxiety around this may be important. Some of us may create more frustrations than we need to. How we respond to our frustration is up to us. If we have a tendency to respond negatively to what frustrates us, this can compound our frustration even more. (See also Procrastination Compounding Our Frustration) We all struggle with certain frustrations. How we respond to our frustrations, tensions, apparent opposites & ambivalence is up to us. We may become depressed, angry. Our anger may also be of an existential nature - simply being angry at life's unanswered questions and limitations, often as a result of our expectations not being met or being overly optimistic. Through exploring our disharmony, we can respond in destructive or creative ways, transforming our frustration into positive action.
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So Called Negative Feelings, Negative Emotions We often distinguish our emotions by what makes us feel good, feel bad. Each component of emotion for good or bad has its purpose. We are bound to feel so called negative emotions (physical illness and pain) as part of human nature, yet we also need them as pointers, symptoms, e.g. stress, fear or anger - they give messages to us and others and if we didn't sense these so called negative emotions we wouldn't be able to survive threat or danger. We feel those so called negative emotions because we need to as instruments towards our survival. As if we shouldn't have them anymore, it can be tempting to suppress the so called "bad" emotions brushing them away as if they don't exist, yet they usually get stronger the more we try to conceal them especially if we let them control us. Feeling all our feelings and letting them go - the ones we want to, may be our challenge (also so they don't get stuck in our painbody). Without knowing dark we wouldn't know light, without knowing sadness or loneliness we wouldn't know happiness, connection (see also Concrete Thinking, Thinking In Absolutes & Over-Generalising - All Or Nothing Thinking, Either/Or Thinking, Duality). It can be challenging to allow all our feelings, our shadow, not let them rule us otherwise we become powerless or struggle to make decisions. Our so called negative feelings may also include irritation, frustration, anger, anxiety, woundedness and hurt, emotional pain, loneliness, sadness or disappointment, guilt and shame, heartache or heartbreak, vulnerability. Some of the wounds we hold on to may go a long way back. Some of us can get stuck or dragged down by certain feelings, de pressing them. We may also not allow for so called "positive" feelings, elevated moods, like gratitude, passion, joy, love, etc. We may have chosen to disconnect from these deep feelings, which in turn affect our sense of self, worth and relationship problems. We may have put some feelings "on hold", including our need to love, connect with others & the wider world. Regulating our emotions, harnessing the positive ones may support us.
Mood Reading Taking a mood reading of us and others, tuning into the essence of what is going on, can help us feel emotionally connected
Elevated Moods, Elevated Emotions We may have learnt to repress, suppress our elevated moods, elevated emotions. Elevated moods can be experienced as momentary positive "feel good" or euphoric feelings. Being in an elevated mood affects our thoughts, feelings, body, vitality. In an elevated mood and choosing, experiencing goodwill, gratitude, appreciation, kindness, love, joy, passion (including sexual passion), inspiration, creativity, personal freedom is something we may want to decide, practice alongside being lighthearted, playful, carefree, have fun, pleasure with our sense of humour. We may be self-confident, happy, outgoing, spontaneous, think quickly, be active (and act very quickly), need little sleep, run on high energy.
Intrinsic Feelings Although many feelings are self-induced, other deep feelings may also be more of a universal nature, existential concerns, like meaninglessness, lostness, loneliness, grief, heartache, heartbreak, as part of our essence of being human. How we respond to these feelings with harshness, non-acceptance (projecting our unwanted feelings onto others) or kindness and the depths of suffering & love, vulnerability, tenderness & understanding, is up to us. These feelings too can be explored in the counselling & psychotherapy.
Integrating All Our Feelings Society often encourages us to compartmentalise or avoid painful feelings (grief, loss), "so called" negative feelings - our "emotional baggage" or distress - and seek pleasure. Like the weather, some of us label our feelings as good/bad, yet from natures point of view the weather simply is what is, neither positive or negative. Being accepting, embracing emotional experiences without turning them into bad, wrong, negative, has the potential to free us. It may not be the unwanted feelings themselves, which are the problem - our challenge may be learning to live with them, be with them, appropriately expressing them, without reacting or allowing our feelings to take us over. How we feel about our life influences us and the counselling & psychotherapy may look at things from other ways, exploring what other possibilities we have to feel other feelings. Letting go of unhelpful feelings, which hold us back, can also be explored in the therapy. Sometimes it can seem as if we have a difficult choice between protecting ourselves against pain, choosing not to take responsibility for this, or to be open to how we can learn from pain & love and take responsibility for our feelings - all of them. None of us like suffering and yet at times we can't avoid it. Embracing both suffering and love may be our challenge. It can be paradoxical that often within our very struggles - especially the ones we want to escape from - that opportunity arises for us. Some people have described that connecting to the depth of their feelings as being close to their soul. Our feelings can offer us important information as to whether we are being loving or unloving to ourselves. A struggle for some may be to validate ourselves and make it more important to care for ourselves, than to avoid uncomfortable feelings, some of them unconscious. We can't always get rid of things - for what we deny, resist or repress seems to persist. Some may want to find out what happens when we go into our feeIings behind any fear. The children's book "We're Going On A Bear Hunt" in an amusing way tells us this:
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Emotional Responsibility; Emotional Energy, Emotional Health, Emotional Wellbeing, Emotional Evaluation, Emotional Resilience, Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Growth, Emotional Maturity - Being Emotionally Connected
Emotionally Blocked, Emotional Freedom - Embracing Our Emotions Most of us find it easy to connect to what we are thinking, yet may have more trouble identifying, describing our emotions when we experience them, which can be a form of alexithymia - if we struggle with interpersonal relating, empathy. When circumstances prevent us from meeting our innate emotional needs (and some of these may trace back to our very early life), we can become stressed. The word emotion comes from Latin - to move (see also Momentum). We may have repressed, suppressed certain emotions (in the hope that any pain will be eased), struggle to be in touch with what we are feeling, articulate this (see also Going Numb, Numbing Our Feelings, In A Daze, Lethargy - Closing Off, Shutting Down, Bottling Things Up, Switched Off). Counselling and psychotherapy can support us in feeling what we feel when we feel it, embracing our emotions, releasing our emotions and then let them go, so we don't have to hang on to old emotions. This may also open up the space to be in touch with our current emotional experience. Many people don't always know how they are feeling, that it is OK to feel things, struggling to access our full range of feelings & emotions. Some may benefit from gradually getting to know each emotion, embracing, accepting them - that they need attention, letting each emotion take centre stage, flow through us, our tears, feeling the feeling (acknowledging, managing any overwhelment), allowing for any fears, pain, reminding ourselves that it's temporary, that it will pass, so we befriend our emotions, re-connect with our inner self. We are rarely taught how to have, hold and express the range of our simultaneous feelings (some of them contradictory) - so we may often choose one, clinging on to it. Other unattended feelings may become ignored, stuck, not flowing. This one feeling, whatever it may be, is usually not a true reflection of all of what we are experiencing (see also Primary & Secondary Feelings). At times we may feel in a state of inertia, emotionally blocked, as if our reservoir of emotions can't be drawn upon, not necessarily directly, but also through our imaginary world of dreams, shape, size, colour, texture, etc., including metaphor, which can also help release our creativity. The therapy can explore the complexity of who we are as a human being and our emotional capacity, connecting & balancing our heart with our head, alongside our sense of worth & esteem, conscience & integrity and imaginary world.
Our road is full of surprises along our timeless journey towards freedom.
Emotional Abandonment Emotion helps us communicate with ourselves and others - the current state we are in. Yet "Get on with it" may have been our motto until now. When we abandon ourself we are likely to have a range of reactions, we may feel anxious, empty or alone, guilty or ashamed, depressed or angry, often believing that these feelings are to do with something external, rarely connected to our self-abandonment, as we abandon ourselves emotionally. We can abandon ourself in many ways, by staying in our head - being unaware of our feelings, abandoning our natural vulnerability and tenderness (see also Going Numb, Numbing Our Feelings, In A Daze, Lethargy - Closing Off, Shutting Down, Bottling Things Up, Switched Off). We may avoid our hurt feelings, emotional pain, not be present in our body, become self-critical, judgemental, making others responsible for our feelings, by looking to them for the attention or approval we don't give to us. We may turn to unhelpful habits or addictions, reinforcing neglect. Tuning in to how we feel when we do these things, face our fear of feeling, opening our heart to the depths of suffering & love, deciding to learn from our feelings rather than avoid them, allowing our emotions to run their course (see Feelings & Senses - Our Guide), taking emotional responsibility and personal responsibility for all areas of our life may be challenging, yet also facilitate change in us, if that is our intention. Connecting with others may be important. If we are in a relationship, we may not only have neglected, abandoned us, but also our partner or struggle with intimacy. We may also be seeking a deeper emotional connection with our partner. The counselling and psychotherapy supports us in accessing and articulating our whole range of emotions. (See also Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Maturity)
Emotional Responsibility Rather than being emotionally dependent and losing who we are or basing our worth externally, we may want to base our own self-worth internally. When we recognise that our feelings - especially our wounded feelings, e.g. irritation, anger, anxiety, depression, shame, envy and jealousy come from our own thoughts, beliefs (or behaviour), rather than from others or from circumstances, we take emotional responsibility for ourself. Understanding and accepting that it is us who create most of our feelings - rather than our feelings coming from outside of ourself, we can move away from being emotionally dependent towards taking charge of our emotional life.
Taking Charge Of Our Emotional Security, Our Dramas - Emotional Control Sometimes it can be as if our emotions are bouncing all over the place and for some this may relate to needing stimulus, overstimulating ourselves. Feeling overwhelmed by feelings, emotionally insecure, sensitive, hyper-emotional or shy at times, empty, rejected, alone, lonely or helpless can be difficult to articulate (which may point to our relationship style), as can having a sense of missing out on things. FeeIing unable to control things can be frustrating and can lead to feeling depressed. We may turn to unhelpful distractions, habits or addictions. Yet our feelings & emotions don't quite go away, as what we tend to ignore comes back to us. Some of us may feeI as if we are numb or stagnating, or others may feeI as if they are on an emotional rollercoaster, that all feelings have to be induced, from highs to lows & back again, which can be exhausting, especially if we get too high and too low, feeling pulled down by our emotions. We may believe that our emotions have to be dramatic, melodramatic, that we can't manage them especially in our relationship (see also Drama Triangle of Victim, Rescuer, Persecutor), yet when we have more control of our emotions, are aware of our own script, narrative, story, we may be protecting our personal power. Being centred in our own ground - self intact, mastering our emotions (so we don't always have to overshare our feelings in stressful situations), having emotional stability, instead of being ruled by our emotions, may be important for us, so we are able to stay stable, riding through life's ups & downs. A challenge for some may be how to express and allow our feelings to flow freely, and for others - how to contain them, so they don't spill out or override what might be best for us (see also Healthy Boundaries & Resilience In Relationships). Some of our unwanted feelings may go back years & we have put them at the back of our mind. We may struggle to have compassion for our core pain, so it moves through us, rather than remain stuck. The therapy considers our judgement about our feelings, what they might be pointing to in our life, and explores how we can find our way through, and nurture these challenging or turbulent feelings (see also Moodiness, Emotional Mood Swings, Mood Changes, Low Moods). Counselling & psychotherapy also supports us, so we are not so overwhelmed by waves of emotions (so we don't have to always share or vent them), taking responsibility for them without being limited or dominated by them, so we have emotional control. Our personal boundaries, resilience & self-control can support us in controlling our emotions, without repressing or denying them.
Rather than allow the feelings to overwhelm us, we may want to be more in control, reign them in, be anchored, centred, solid, grounded (and to be able to return to memories of safe, secure anchor points in our head - as places of safety), on an even keel so we can regulate them, contain them, set them aside, be resilient. Regulating our nervous system may be a priority. So we may want to give ourselves space to reflect, be mindful of our feelings, allow ourselves to daydream, see the bigger picture, respond differently to our feelings, choosing to hold them, express them or focus on different feelings - the ones we want to feel. We may also want to dissipate our overwhelment so we don't allow our feelings to dominate our thoughts. And emotional regulation includes our ability to constructively think about how to cope with things without being overwhelmed by our feelings, soothing ourselves - our emotional and physical distress helps regulate our feelings. Acknowledging that our feelings can't swallow us up, kill us, that they are just feelings and will pass, as our pleasant feelings also do, may support us, as may not allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed by our thoughts, which produce chemicals to make us feel so we are less caught by our hooks, triggers, no longer allowing our buttons to get pressed. Experiencing our sense of presence, the connection between our body, feelings and mind may also help us regulate our emotions, control them. Transmuting, transforming our emotional energy may be a further creative resource for us as may embracing silence, stillness, balance. Tuning in to the loving, calm help of another, and nature - hugging certain animals can also help us regulate our feelings. (See also Overwhelmed By Feelings - Managing, Regulating & Transmuting Our Emotions, Core Painful Feelings)
Responses Our pain can grow deeper, especially when we or others aren't open to our feelings. Closing our heart, we may have learnt to close off, shut down, rendering us lonely. Our loneliness or emotional swings may also be related to our existential struggles and. Each of us can behave in different ways to avoid the pain of these uncomfortable, unwanted feelings:
- Distracting ourselves in order to avoid unwanted feelings, deflecting conversations
- Shutting down or closing off
- Being remote with our partner, e.g. starting conversations with our partner, so we don't have to feel our feelings (and those of our inner child) or take responsibility for them
- Become bored
- Dulling & numbing everything to feel OK
- Keeping busy or overworking
- Taking on compensatory behaviours or roles, e.g. fixing things, pleasing others
- Becoming angry
- Being unhappy, sad, feeling depressed
- Trying to be perfect, over-demanding of us & others
- Becoming codependent (Co-Dependency)
- Developing excessive habits, compulsions, addictive behaviours, e.g. comfort or binge eating, drinking, internet, other...
Our own emotional security can be enhanced by:
- Sense our presence & connection to our body, feelings, mind
- Making quiet time & creating space, taking pauses for self-awareness, observation & reflection
- Accepting that failures happen & our opportunities for improvement
- Not letting our judgemental, critical voices, moods to dominate
- Communicating well
- Being in the present moment
Emotional Health Some of us may unhelpfully believe that if we are emotionally healthy, we wouldn't feel hurt by others' judgements. Yet to not be affected by others, we may have had to close our heart, affecting our ability to connect, love. Connecting with ourselves, our heart & others, helps create our aliveness. Learning not to take others' behaviour personally, that this is not to do with us, supports us, yet deep down we may continue to feel lonely or our heart may ache. Keeping our heart open in the knowledge of our helplessness to change others' behaviour, outcomes, having the courage to feel these feelings and manage them, supports our emotional health, emotional safety, helps us evolve.
Emotional Resilience & Being Powerful Learning to ride and respond to whatever life throws at us, and bounce back (without getting very stuck on what went wrong, should have happened), pick ourselves up, move forward, grow stronger, strengthens & becomes part of our emotional resilience - feeling good about ourself whatever happens and can help form our emotional boundaries (see also Being Resilient, Hardy). Having resilience through building positive, good relationships with others, taking our power, experiencing the power of who we are without giving it away, where at times we may want to contain our emotions when we need to without having to share all our feelings, thoughts may be important for us. Being internally resilient, strong inside, being in touch with our personal power, self assured & responsible is very different to having power over others.
Emotional Wellbeing, Emotional Self-Awareness Hand on heart, most of struggle with our emotional life, emotional health, emotional literacy at times. We may also feel emotionally insecure, inadequate. Our emotions can be viewed as a compass, letting us know where we are emotionally moment by moment, governing our relationships with ourself & others. Some people seek emotional therapy for various reasons. We may want to experience more elevated emotions, be more emotionally available, emotionally connected, less lonely. In emotional crisis, we may be in emotional turmoil or be in an emotional state, now seeking emotional wellbeing, some emotional resilience (see also Internal Resilience, Psychological Wellbeing, Psychological Health, Psychological Resilience, Mental Wellbeing, Mental Resilience and Healthy Boundaries & Resilience In Relationships). And to meet our emotions it may help us to reflect upon them, evaluate them. We may want to be more mindful in giving ourself time to experience our emotions without avoidance or judgement, which can support our resilience. Taking pauses, creating quiet time, noticing when & how we stress ourselves, learning healthy ways to reduce this, may also support our emotional health, as may taking care of our physical wellbeing & vitality, sexual wellbeing, spiritual wellbeing. Opening our heart, taking ownership of our emotional state, tuning into our senses, what's happening in our body, where all emotions start as somatic sensations, becoming aware of our emotions and distinguishing them, regulating our emotions, taking action can support our emotional health, emotional maturity, enhanced by our own wisdom. Interacting with like-minded, supportive others, letting go of what is no longer serving us may support our emotional growth so we can make sense of our emotions, have a framework of meaning. We may want to use our emotional awareness & skills to support our relationship, marriage. Throughout the process of therapy we can slowly get to know our emotional life, emotional states, emotional intelligence, etc:
- Physical Skills
- Awareness of what is happening in our body - our senses, physical reactions (e.g. tension, tightness looseness, embodying our anxiety), our physical feelings, physical intelligence (see also Our Body's Interconnectedness To Our Thoughts, Emotions, Etc)
- Controlling our physical feelings, bringing our arousal levels down, e.g. breathing (physical management)
- Personal Skills
- Staying consciously present, not just in our heads (awareness)
- Identifying, recognising, knowing, cultivating & controlling our emotions (our emotional intelligence)
- Taking a mood reading of us & others
- Responding to difficult feelings, being able to name & distinguish our range of emotions (emotional literacy)
- Controlling our emotions, taking responsibility for them, managing our stress (emotional self-empowerment & management)
- Expressing our emotions (self-expression)
- Being able to return to an at ease emotional state, shortly after an upset (emotional resilience)
- Driving our self forward using our own emotional energy (self-motivation)
- Ability to have & build upon our positive emotions (optimistic outlook)
- Accessing sources of motivation (thoughts, feeIings, will)
- Listening & responding to our intuition, instinct
- Interpersonal Skills
- Sustaining healthy, positive relationships, enabling us to thrive, adapting to situations (social intelligence)
- Being in healthy relationships (social skills)
- Awareness & recognition of other people's emotions, building empathy, rapport & emotional connections with others, e.g. being, caring, warm, compassionate, understanding, affectionate, kind, generous, having a tactful approach (social intuition)
- Awareness of our impact upon others (social skills & social intuition)
- Social & self-awareness, -management, -direction (social skills)
Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Maturity Our emotional maturity, emotional intelligence enables us to patiently, moderately negotiate with insight the central problems in relationships - with ourself and others - what may be going on beyond the surface, to imaginatively enter into others' point of view, interpreting others beyond what has been directly said to us, through sensitively identifying our and others' emotions, moods, managing our emotions and reactions, having the capacity to acknowledge, reason about our emotions - processing them and getting to know how this information informs us & our thoughts can support healthy ways of thinking and our happiness. This strengthens our relationships with those around us, as we adapt to situations (see also Emotional Connection, Emotional Engagement). We can enhance our emotional intelligence by:
- Understanding ourself & others
- Recognising our thoughts are experienced through emotions as feelings (e.g. a shameful thought produces a shameful feeling, an angry thought produces an angry feeling)
- Acknowledging the impact of our old emotions
- Making sense of our hurt, pain
- Being self-aware, reflecting on our understanding of our emotions
- Being less afraid to experience difficult, uncomfortable, painful or so called negative feelings & know why we are feeling the way we do
- Acknowledging & following our intuition, especially when under stress
- Letting go of old emotions
- Managing & responding well to our frustrations
- Having a degree of self-control, being able to say "No", utilising our resilience & developing a healthy lifestyle
- Recognising realities as they are
- Regulating our emotions when necessary
- Harnessing our emotions & applying them to our thinking, actions
- Being self-motivated
- Having a level of optimism, confidence, sense of worth
- Acknowledging our dark side, despair, including our flaws, eccentricities, yet in touch with the full nature of our existence
- Acknowledging profound sadnesses & having a sense of humour, playfulness, carefreeness, taking pleasure in small things
- Being a good listener
- Being curious, which also expands our empathy, trusting others
- Paying attention to others, reaching out & supporting them, being compassionate, positively influencing others' emotions
- Utilising our social skills
- Communicating well with others, getting along well with others, making friends easily, having fulfilling relationships & emotional connection with others (including our partner)
- In our intimate & loving relationships, strengthening secure loving bonds
In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.Deepak Chopra
Emotional counselling London & emotional therapy in London, emotions help, dealing with emotions, understanding emotions, lack of emotions, repressed emotions
Counselling Questions About Our Feelings & Emotions We may have certain questions about feelings, emotions, being emotional, emotional iq, e.g.:
- What are emotions? What are feelings?
- What are the differences between emotions & feelings?
- How do I respond to feeling emotional?
- Feeling moody - I have very bad mood swings, extreme mood swings which seem to come from nowhere - why is this?
- Why do my mood swings? What are mood swings? What are the causes of mood swings? Why do I have mood changes? Why am I in a bad mood or have a low mood?
- Why are mood swings in men different than mood swings in women? What the differences between women mood swings and male mood swings?
- How to control mood swings? I have so much moodiness, bad moods, emotional mood swings, sometimes severe mood swings.
- Feeling bored is so common for me - what causes boredom?
- How can my emotional feelings overwhelm me?
- What is emotional growth? What is emotional health? What is emotional iq or emotional intelligence?
- Do I have any hidden emotions?
- How can I satisfy my emotional needs?
- Can counselling provide emotional support?
- How else can I respond to my emotional problems, emotional distress?
- What is emotional freedom? Emotional well being? What is emotional literacy?
- How can I contain my emotions? Why is managing emotions, controlling emotions, easier said than done?
- Can therapy provide emotional help?
- Should I follow my gut feeling?
- Why are human emotions so difficult?
- Emotional detachment - why is it sometimes as if I had no emotions?
- Is it possible I have repressed emotions? Can emotional counselling help
- Lack of emotions, lack of feelings - can therapy help?
- How do I remain in emotional control? Why do I get in an emotional state?
- Why do I have mixed feelings?
- Why can't I keep my positive emotions?
- I find expressing emotions difficult - what can I do?
- What are basic emotions?
- How do I maintain emotional connection?
- Can counselling offer any emotions help?
- Can therapy help me dealing with emotions?
- Can therapy help with understanding emotions?
- Why do I find coping with emotions so hard?
- How else I can respond to my difficult feelings, difficult emotions?
- What is emotional therapy? What is emotional counselling?
Emotional counselling London & emotional therapy in London, intuition & gut feelings, mixed feelings, lack of feelings, difficult feelings, boredom, feeling bored