Read about this and so thought I’d share, seeing as we are all going through all of the emotions right now! Paul Ekman, a psychologist and leading researcher on emotions, surveyed more than 100 scientists and used their input to develop what’s known as the Atlas of Emotions. Which breaks down our emotions into five main categories:
And yet, as a society, we’re often taught that we should try to avoid unpleasant emotions at all costs Which means for many of us our first reaction when we experience unpleasant emotions is to try to ESCAPE from those feelings, when actually it’s far healthier to “lean into” your experiences of pain, rather than trying to run away or numb your emotions.
We’re living through a global pandemic. So it’s perfectly normal for you to be feeling ALL of the emotions at the moment. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE HAPPY ALL THE TIME but equally, you absolutely shouldn’t feel guilty for experiencing joy! Here are some of the techniques (I learned) that I’m using to navigate experiencing ALL the feelings.
- Name the feeling. Be very specific here. e.g. I’m feeling angry. I’m really disappointed. I’m worried. I’m embarrassed. I feel humiliated and ashamed.
- Accept this feeling. Tell yourself that it’s OK to feel whatever emotion arises.
- Express this feeling safely. This means making sure you’re not hurting yourself or anyone else. You might talk or write about this feeling. You might draw, run, sing, dance… whatever is right for you!
- Care for yourself. What do you need ‘in’ the moment? You might need to cry, take a walk, watch a silly video, or crawl under the covers.
Remember a thought is just that and it is NOT, I repeat NOT therefore real! There’s a lot going on at the moment but please know that you’re not alone. There are lots of brilliant charities who are here to help you. Including Mind Charity, Give us a Shout Insta and Place 2 be if you need them – thanks too to Lucky Budgie who has captured our feelings so wonderfully.
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