Emotional intelligence is a fun buzzword and all, but knowing how to relate to and process our emotions is the key to it all.
Let's get into it.
Emotions like joy, love, and gratitude are a bit easier to process (because they feel better to us).
But emotions like: overwhelm, doubt, and anxiety…can really throw us for a loop.
Anxiety is oftentimes impossible to ignore.
Overwhelm can “freeze” us.
And doubt is just like an annoying mosquito that zaps us when we least expect it, no matter how many repellents we have (can you tell I’m currently in Florida?).
These less-pleasurable emotions feel like they hold power over us because they are much more noticeable than our happy, higher pleasure emotions.
Think about it - rarely do we notice when we’re experiencing joy because we’re usually so present with it (and it FEELS good).
But then anxiety comes along…and we notice it because it’s really damn annoying.
Sadness comes along…we can’t stop crying.
Anger comes along…our bodies feel hot and our hands, clammy.
Uncomfortable feelings can often feel impossible to ignore and completely overpowering.
Our emotions are not US, yet they are important to notice.
We are the soul underneath the emotion, not the emotion itself. However, it's important to not bypass our emotions entirely.
Feelings are meant to be FELT. What. A. Concept.
But how can we feel our emotions fully AND still know that we have control?
It takes practice, but there's one easy way to process them... PERSONIFY THEM!
This week I wrote a little poem about resistance on my Instagram - you can see it here on my blog to help you with the exercise below.
Try it with me.
Resistance is the feeling of denying our reality. It is us saying no, I don’t want that. We like to make the crunchy feeling of resistance go away as soon as possible. Shocker* I was experiencing this emotion last week as I was adjusting to life back in the United States, so I decided to look more deeply.
I imagined what would happen if Resistance was a person.
What do they look like? What texture are they? What does resistance want from me? Most importantly, what does Resistance teach me?
OUR EMOTIONS ARE HERE TO TEACH US.
We don’t just end up on earth to experience the myriad of emotions we have access to for no reason.
So what would happen if we looked at our emotions in this light, knowing they are outside of us, and diving into the purpose of the emotion?
For example, if sadness showed up on your doorstep, what does she look like? How do you treat her?
Do you ignore her and pretend like everything is fine?
Do you hug her like a good friend or a loving family member?
What does sadness teach you?
Imagining our emotions as people allows us to look at them with a more objective viewpoint. We take ourselves OUT of the story, letting us look at the situation from a larger perspective.
This is the power of doing the Work.
Processing our emotions in healthy ways means taking the time to understand them, seeing the emotions when they come, and holding space for ourselves.
When we get too wrapped up in the story, our minds go down a rabbit hole - often leaving us feeling like absolute sh*t.
Emotions are not your enemy. They are messengers, protectors, and teachers.
What would happen if the next time you felt joy, you let yourself fully feel it?
What would happen if the next time you felt angry, you let yourself fully process it before putting it down and going on with your day?
When we understand our emotions, our lives become much easier to navigate. We feel empowered. We feel confident. We feel clear. My invitation to you is to try this exercise with one emotion (the next BIG, scary one that comes your way), and see how you feel. For more love letters like these, sign up for my free weekly newsletter HERE All my love, Kelsey