When we are growing up we get better with understanding our feelings. Knowing our feelings helps us to know what we want and what choices do we need to make. Expressing these feelings clearly, subsequently communicates its to those around us. It also helps set healthy boundaries. It is really important to know how or what we are feeling and we all can know that by paying a little attention at ourselves. Before you can express your feelings you need to first pay attention to how those feelings make you feel (no pun intended). Paying attention to our feelings is a skill that anyone can achieve. Some of the things that we can practice to know how we are feeling are:
· Noticing and Naming our feelings: We can start by just noticing how we feel as things are happening around us and naming those feelings to ourselves. For example, if a class or work presentation goes well you might say that “ I feel proud” or when you fail a quiz or test you might say that “I feel disappointed”.
· Keeping a track of our emotions: We can pick an emotion- like anger and track it all day long. How often we feel it and noting the intensity that is it strong, mild, or medium.
· Learning new words for emotions: We should try thinking of new words or categories for our feelings. How many words can be there for angry, you might be feeling annoyed, irritated, or mad but you just confuse it with anger.
· Writing a feelings journal: We should take a few minutes out of our daily routine to write about how we felt and why. It helps us to know our feeling better.
· Noticing feelings in art, movies, and songs: By paying attention to the emotions depicted in movies, arts, or songs one can relate and identify his feelings in a better way.
5 Ways to Express Your Feelings Clearly
I was never good at expressing my feelings. I always used to hide them even if I didn’t like something about someone and felt uncomfortable about it I never dared to tell them. Not only that, I always used to think about the best way to express my feelings or is it better to keep certain feelings to myself?
Certain emotions just used to sweep over me and I didn’t have the slightest idea about what to do. I was in a relationship with someone who used to take advantage of me not saying no and not being able to express how I felt. Even my parents used to take my feelings for granted because I never complained or told them how I felt. At that point, I knew that I am done being taken for granted and it’s time to deal with the expression of my feelings. Following are five emotions and how I dealt with their expression:
1. Show Love and Happiness:
People usually complained to me about not expressing my love for them. I lost a lot of my friends because of being unexpressive about love, happiness, and care. So, I started expressing my love for the people I cared about by doing some small gestures such as:
- Cooking their favorite meal
- Sending a card on a random day
- Telling them that I am always there for them
- Hearing their stories
- Randomly checking on them.
Expressing love is really important as we all are human beings and we crave for love and attention. So, these gestures made them realize that I do care for them and their existence matters to me.
2. Acknowledge Emotional Distress:
Emotional distress can occur due to many reasons such as financial issues, losing a job, or difficulty in finding a job. Sometimes ending up of a relationship is really upsetting and you just don’t know what to do. I thought the best way to deal with my emotional distress is by confronting it as staying in denial is no helpful.
3. Unbottling Pain:
I used to bottle up my feelings believing that crying is the sign of weakness and crying in front of someone is a sin. That was the wrongest thing I ever believed, crying is the best way to express pain. I took baby steps by crying in front of people who genuinely cared about me and talking to them about how I felt. Apart from that, writing a journal is also really helpful as some people are not good at expressing themselves by talking that’s where the journal becomes handy. It helps you to write about all your feelings which helps in relieving the pain.
4. Find an Outlet for Negative Feelings:
Anger and jealousy are very common emotions. Sometimes we feel envious or jealous of a friend who is doing better than us. We get in a relationship that is not working and turns into a battleground making you angry day by day. In my opinion, the best way to deal with such feelings is through meditation or yoga as it helps to eliminate such negative feelings.
5. Acceptance and Communication:
Sometimes we have no idea about how we are feeling. It does not pain or hurt but we feel something different for example once my mother said to me, “Light pink is just not your color, it doesn’t suit you”. I was so overwhelmed by my emotions that getting over them was just not easy. So, I tried focusing on positive criticism and used to ignore such criticism.
The more we are aware of our emotions the better we can know ourselves and understand the people around us. Actions speak louder than words so, sometimes just communicating with others and telling about your feelings just not work so you need to show by your actions how you feel.It is never an easy task to express your feelings, but we all can start from some point no? Good luck guys!