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Being aware of your emotions

 

By Mojabeng Dorcas Senekal

We often regard the strongest people as those who walk over their emotions without a second thought, of course they are strong, but are they emotionally healthy? Quick recap;  emotionally healthy people are those who know when a situation is too much for them to handle, and the seek help; they are those who like any other human being feel stress, sadness and anger but can manage them along with any other negative feelings.  It begins with emotional awareness; a skill we acquire as we grow, getting better by the day at knowing what we are feeling and why. Understanding our emotions helps us relate to people’s perspectives; it helps us know what we want and how to make choices. Even those emotions we consider negative can give us a better insight into ourselves and others. Emotional awareness may come more easily to some than others. Good thing is, it is a skill that anyone can practice.  Here are ways for you to become more in touch with your emotions:

  1. Label your emotions; start by just noticing different emotions as feel them. Name them to yourself. Example you might say “I feel excited” when you are about to make a presentation, or “I feel disappointed” when you don’t do well in a presentation. Label these emotions so you know which emotions add a positive spin to your life and which are negative.
  2. Track one emotion; pick the feeling that you love the most, that should obviously be the one that makes you feel at your best like joy and track it your whole life. Notice how often you feel it and when. Whenever that emotion shows up, you can simply make a mental note to yourself or jot it down in a journal. Notice where you are, who you are with, what you are doing when this emotion is present. Now hold onto this feeling.
  3. Build your emotional vocabulary; make up your own feelings and name them, when you are over joyed perhaps, or when you are broken, or even when you are just in your normal state, have a name for your own emotion and that way to some extent you will feel in control of the emotions, how you should feel it and how to handle yourself in it.
  4. Keep a journal; writing down your experiences and feelings builds emotional awareness. You also can express emotions creatively, who knows maybe you are a poetess and even you don’t know it yet. Take a few minutes each day to write about you, talk about you with you, you’ll realise how much power you have over yourself.

 

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