Expressing and Identifying Feelings

  • Feelings involve a whole-body reaction. For example, when you are excited, you feel it all over and may experience increased heart rate. Perspiration, shaking or trembling just as what you may feel with panic.
  • Feelings do not come out of the blue but are influenced by thoughts and perceptions. They come from how you perceive events, memories and how you use self-talk. They may be unconscious. If you are under stress your body is aroused so it may impact your feelings as well. Therefore, it may not take much to impact you as your tolerance level will likely be smaller.
  • There are different groups to feelings, some are complex and others simple. Complex feelings usually involve different emotions, also shaped through thoughts and memories. Simple emotions tend to not carry on as long but are more reactive. Fear of panic is a basic emotion whereas on going anxiety is more complex.
  • If you are in touch with your feelings and can express them then they you are less likely to feel tired, depressed or anxious.
  • Taking the time to sort out your feelings reflects that fact that you can feel several feelings at once.
  • Feelings are not right or wrong. It is normal and healthy to have a wide range of feelings and you will do better if you express them. The perceptions may be incorrect but that does not mean the feeling is incorrect.

Tuning into your body

Staying in your head tends to keep you out of touch with your feelings. Therefore, shifting your thinking to your body can help. “Pain in the neck.” These steps below may help you do this.

  • Physically relax
  • Identify your feelings
  • Tune into where you feel those feelings in your body
  • Allow yourself to feel it without analyzing it or judging it

Express your feeling by sharing it, writing it down or physically discharging it (hitting your pillow, cry, exercising)

Referenced by: The Anxiety and Phobia workbook by Edmund Bourne

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