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Understanding your emotions

Hello beautiful soul!

Have you ever asked yourself what emotions are?

Emotions are 'simply' energetic vibrations in our bodies, and are caused not by what is happening in the world around us, i.e. by external circumstances (job, family life, relationships), but by our own thoughts about what is happening around us.

It is you who through your thoughts and emotions that creates your experience of the world, not the other way around.

As human beings, we experience different emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, stress, resentment, excitement, joy, satisfaction, confusion...

At some point, we were unfortunately taught that feeling emotions, especially the most challenging ones, is not good, because it makes us fragile and vulnerable.

But I believe that knowing and managing our emotions makes our lives much better, lighter, and less painful.

Why emotions are important

You may have learnt that emotions are only important for some people, i.e. those who are particularly sensitive, but in fact all human beings feel emotions.

Emotions are important in our lives for four reasons.

  1. Everything we do (or don't do) happens because we link it to the emotion that we want to experience.
  2. Our thoughts provoke our emotions, and our emotions provoke our actions (or inactions): this is true for everyone. We all have emotions, we just express them differently.
  3. If we think we can achieve great results by ignoring our emotions, we are sadly mistaken! Emotions are the most important link between us and our goals, because our actions (or inactions) are based on how we feel, and what we tell ourselves about these emotions.
  4. Every experience we have in life, in the end, is simply an emotion.

Let me give you an example: you are in a relationship, and the relationship ends.

You can be either pleased or heartbroken about the end of the relationship, this is not because the relationship is ending in itself (known as the situation), but because of your thoughts and meaning you give to the situation (end of the relationship) at that given time.  

External conditions are neutral, neither positive nor negative.

if you think about it, the end of a relationship for someone can be a disaster, while for someone else it can be a huge relief. The circumstance is the same (the end of the relationship), but the thoughts, and consequently the emotions, are completely different.

I realise that this is not an easy concept, because we are not used to thinking about thoughts and emotions in this way.

It is we who create fear, rejection, or humiliation with our thoughts, most of the time without even realising it, based on beliefs and convictions that have been with us for years. But we can learn to avoid the suffering associated with these emotions by stopping ourselves from simply being stopped by the fear of feeling an emotion.

If you take responsibility for your emotions, then you will have control over the life you lead.

To create the life that you desire, you have to take responsibility for how you feel.

I know, it seems like an obvious concept: we are adults, we have to be responsible! But if you look around you, you will realise that the majority of people do not take responsibility for how they feel as it is easier to blame their circumstances for their emotions.

We are all human beings, and we are all equipped with brains, which means that we all have thoughts that create emotions: if you feel a certain way, it means that you are thinking a certain thought, it does not depend on a person or something that happened outside of you.

When you blame circumstances outside of you for how you feel, it is as if you are creating a reality where you cannot solve your own problems: you are giving that circumstance power over your emotions, and over your future, because it is as if you are saying to yourself: 'I cannot get better until this circumstance changes'.

By saying this you feel stuck and trapped, which is a lie because you always have the ability to choose how you want to feel, and consequently how you want to act.

This doesn't mean that you will feel good all the time, (which is just impossible) but it does mean stopping blaming others for the emotions you feel, and it means taking responsibility for how you feel, every moment of every day.

Many people are afraid of their emotions (this is normal and part of human nature, it can be painful to relive a past negative memory) they are afraid of feeling negative emotions, and sometimes even positive ones, but if you want to have control over your life, and live better, you have to take responsibility for all your emotions, even the negative ones.

When you are no longer afraid to feel your emotions, when you overcome your own judgement and give yourself permission to feel everything you feel, you will make huge steps forward, because you will realise that you can create and do anything you want in your life: you are no longer a product of your environment.

Accept your emotions.

When you understand your emotions, don't use them as an excuse not to act. Some people are unmotivated and doubt themselves, and let this be the reason why they do not act.

There is a saying that goes "Feel the fear and do it anyway".

The truth is that it is absolutely normal to feel fear when we throw ourselves into something unknown, but we can learn to not give it the power to be an excuse to slow down or stop.

Sometimes we interpret self-doubt, or negative emotions, as something that is indicating to us that we are on the wrong path, or that we are not cut out for it, and so we stop.

Take note of the emotions you feel and learn to process them, so that you don't give them meaning that they shouldn't have.

But why do we function in this way? 

It's all about the way our brain has evolved: it's set up to make us survive, and it will always seek pleasure, avoid pain and be as efficient as possible. In fact, avoiding pain is a good thing, especially when we are in real danger. But when we are talking about changing jobs, starting a business, or going out on a new date, in this case, is simply emotional discomfort, which we can and should welcome and process without the need to change our actions.

You will see that once you understand how this mechanism works in your brain, it is as if you acquire a superpower, and nothing can stop you!

You will be willing to accept enormous discomfort if you know that the goal is to achieve your dreams: you will finally be able to ask for a salary raise, apply for a new job, end an unhappy relationship and/or start a new one, start your own business, lose weight and everything else that comes to mind.

Every time we change we feel discomfort, it's normal!

If you think about the big changes you have made in your life, you have certainly felt discomfort at the time you experienced them: it happened to me when I left my 9-5 job, when I moved to another city and then another country, when I went on a solo trip to India, when I marched (almost) naked for a demonstration, and for many other reasons.  

Looking back with today's eyes I can say that facing, accepting and overcoming this discomfort was worth it, and I am sure you have some changes of this kind in mind too!

Your emotions are the second part of creating your future.

The first part is your thoughts. Many people only focus on thoughts, such as reciting affirmations, but they don't focus on emotions: the problem is that if we don't feel we can have a different outcome emotionally, we won't create it.

If you want to become a better person you won't do it just by writing or thinking about what you want to experience, how you want to look, how you want to be, that's just the first part. The second part is to become this person also in your emotions: only when you feel that you can have this result, that you feel this result inside yourself, then you will be able to create it.

Acquiring awareness and mastering emotions

It is important to become aware of how you feel because it all starts here, once you are aware of the emotions in your body, and how you have created them, then you can go through them and consciously decide to change them.

Now let's take a step-by-step look at how to become aware of how you are feeling right now.

1. Name your emotions
I encourage you with identifying what you are feeling or how you are feeling by defining it with one word. 
If you still don't know what to call the emotion you are feeling, you can start by calling it "unpleasant": "OK, this is an unpleasant emotion, so I know it's a negative emotion. Now I am going to get more specific: is it fear? Is it shame? Is it doubt? Is it a worry? Is it stress?" Just try to define it with one word.

2. Describe the emotion in detail
Try to explain the characteristics of this emotion: is it warm? Is it cold? In which part of your body do you feel it?

In this way, you detach yourself from the emotion and become its observer, and this is a very powerful exercise because it is as if you were inside your body, sitting next to your emotion.

3. Accept the emotion
Relax into the emotion, so that you are observing it: you are not reacting to it, you are not avoiding it, and you are not resisting this emotion. You are breathing into it and standing in the background continuing to feel it. The most important thing is not to run away from the emotion, although we often tend to do that: we go and eat something (we 'eat' the emotion, or we 'drink' it), or we go shopping, spend money, look for an external source to make us feel better. 

In fact, to overcome them, emotions have to be experienced.

For example, take stress.

The first step is: "I feel stressed".

The second step is: "I feel it in my neck, in my shoulders, like a stiff, cold feeling".

The third step is to breathe into it: "I see and feel this stress in my body, I am observing it and I am okay whilst I am doing it. 

4. Approach the emotion without negative judgement, but with curiosity and compassion
Many of us take a negative approach when we experience negative emotions. What I would like you to do is to put all your curiosity into how you feel knowing that it is going to be released.

Find it interesting, instead of pushing it away. 

5. Identify the thought that caused this emotion
This is the reason why you are experiencing this emotion. It is undoubtedly useful to know why, but most people jump straight to this point, and do it too quickly, when in fact it would have been ideal to have first described the emotion in detail, observed it for a while, and only then try to explain what caused it.

I am interested to know about you, what is your relationship with your emotions? Do you tend to feel or hide them? 

Love, Carlotta

 

If you are ready to focus on your self-care and self-love, to set up boundaries and let go of challenging emotions that no longer have a purpose in your life, Heal Within is the program for you. 

Heal Within is a self-paced program that includes over 100 lessons including how-to-videos, EFT tapping videos, meditations, journal prompts and so much more on how to understand your emotions, your limiting beliefs, so that you can release challenging emotions that have been holding you back from living the life that you truly want.

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