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Identifying Emotions

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

How easily are you able to identify what you are feeling? We are experiencing emotions all the time. I believe it is important to detect how we are feeling as early as possible to avoid our emotions from escalating.

It may not be an intense emotion . . . yet. However, do you really want your emotions to escalate into an intensely emotive state? Be it positive or negative, all elevated emotions pose risks. Like intoxicating substances, they can affect our ability to think clearly. When we are not thinking clearly, it can affect our emotions. It could be that we disregard a warning signal from our emotions. It could be that our thoughts escalate our emotions. It could be that our emotions escalate our thoughts which in turn impact our emotional state. All of this will impact on how we behave. In turn, how we behave will affect how we think and feel about future experiences.

Likewise, our emotional reactions in the present are shaped by our previous experiences of that emotion or a situation that provoked that emotion. We will all interpret situations and emotions differently because we are all unique. Our individuality will depend on our experiences, thoughts, and perceptions.

So, how are you feeling right now? Listen to your physical being. What are you thinking? Are you avoiding thinking about something? Are you thinking about something too often? Does it keep you up at night? What are you physically feeling? Hot? Fidgety? Tense? What are you doing? Or what are you not doing? You may have difficulty sleeping. You may be tired all the time. You may be oversleeping. How are other people reacting towards you? Are people avoiding you? Are people telling you, you look tired? Are people asking what’s wrong? Focusing on asking yourself these questions, in both directions can help you to identify if there is an issue.

Practising asking ourselves these questions will serve to increase our self-awareness. It may help some people to keep a journal. These are also amazing ways to self-reflect. In this technological age, it doesn’t have to be a written journal, it could be voice notes, or it could be a visual recording of your internal monologue spoken aloud.

It is important to be able to identify emotions at the early stage of the experience. This can prevent it from escalating to a stage where it can hinder our performance or affect our behaviours negatively. Therefore, it is worth keeping track of how we are feeling regularly.

If our emotions escalate, they can activate the fight or flight response. This is a natural response where our body is preparing for action, either to run towards opportunity or run away from danger. If our body activates in this way there will be three main indicators: in the head, heart, and lungs.

We may experience tension headaches or overthinking about a particular issue. There may be changes to breathing. Our heart rate is likely to change as it prepares to pump blood around the body to the muscles for action.

There are many methods we can use to manage our emotions and different techniques will work for different people. We are all individuals.

In the meantime, if you are having difficulty with identifying or managing your emotions, please book a Free Mindset Meeting here: Home | Chloe Mepham BSc Certified Life Coach.

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