In the search of emotions

Take a moment to calm your mind and check in with yourself – how are you feeling. You may want to write down any thoughts with regards to the past course and stress and what insights did you get from that time. Now, examine your body mindfully searching for any evidence of the emotions. Once you feel that there’s some emotion, try to name it, using an emotional wheel.

If you can’t identify any emotion, it is fine. You do not need to look for it or try to bring it purposely. You may not necessarily be emotionally charged at all times. However, be careful not to mistake an emotion with a feeling or a thought. Emotions arise by themselves. Feelings are the brain’s reaction to the emotions, whereas thoughts are the interpretation of the feelings.

Take a moment to think about what emotions you recently experience the most. You may think back to today, past week, a month, or even a year. You may have had a very tense year, with the emotions bringing stress, or you may have had an excited and a positive year with many events that made you feel proud and joyful. Note any emotions that come to your mind in your journal, leaving a few lines after each for later notes. 

Now, try to identify which events have triggered the emotions you have listed in the previous step. What thoughts come to your mind when you think of these events? Next to each of the emotions you have listed, write down all the associations and the events that were causing them. Try to build a holistic picture, distinguishing emotions, feelings, and the thoughts, or your interpretations of the each.

Once you are done, you may observe that you assign a meaning to emotions. This is what builds your brain wiring when emotions arise in response to specific events, even when you would not expect them to bring such an experience. To deal with emotions, you first need to understand what you see as threatening on a deeper subconscious level and re-evaluate whether some events pose a threat that you assign to them.

The same is true for positive emotions – they may sometimes arise in inappropriate situations when you perceive something as a reward, which in reality is not (for example, alcohol abuse).   

Get closer with your emotions without trying to blame them for your actions. Get to know them better and make friends with them – they are here to serve you, so you should find a common language which will be understood for both – your consciousness and your subconsciousness. 

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