Similar to emotional intelligence, emotional awareness is the ability to identify and understand the emotions we are experiencing at any given time.
Let’s change the way we view our emotions.
For too long we have been made to believe our emotions make us weak. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, our emotions are actually more like our superpower. Why? Because they are our guides. They talk to us about where we are at in life, and where to go next.
This is where emotional awareness comes into play: by exercising this awareness in our daily lives, our emotions become the guideposts that help us better understand what’s going on and how it’s impacting us specifically in that moment.
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Think about any situation that has stirred an emotion in you. Before you listened to that voice that told you to shut the door on those feelings, what message were they trying to send to you?
Become aware that your emotions are not an accident, but rather a gauge for your emotional state. If you think back you will see that every moment when you experienced heightened emotions, there was a message trying to come through.
Let’s look at an emotion that’s pretty easy for us all to understand: Love.
Your emotions are not an accident, but rather a gauge for your emotional state.
When we fall in love, emotions bubble up to the surface, even overflow. We know exactly what they are trying to tell us and we generally allow them to express themselves. We embrace that emotion because it is welcome.
But, negative emotions are quite different.
For example, when we are criticized for something, the emotion that wells up is suppressed. When our feelings are hurt, we hide from our emotions. Anger, fear, shame, sadness. All the supposed ‘negative’ emotions are kept well and truly locked away.
But, for whose benefit? What purpose does it really serve to shut these emotions away? And, what purpose could it serve if we didn’t?
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We hide our emotions because they are inconvenient. For others! We hide them because they make other people feel uncomfortable.
‘Oh, I said something she didn’t like and now look at her, acting all miserable.’
Instead of dealing with the discomfort of others’ reactions we bottle up all those important emotions. We would rather ‘save face’.
The problem is there are two very sharp edges to this sword.
Firstly, we establish a mask, which over time has resulted in a society of inauthenticity (and a lack of trust in each other). Secondly, we are no longer allowing ourselves to process those emotions. That is a dangerous road you just don’t want to go down!
Remember the old pressure cooker analogy?
Well, this is what you are doing when you don’t allow them to be released. You build up emotional pressure, and like it or not it has to be released somehow. You can either process and release or bottle it up and risk it coming out as anger, bitterness etc.
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Our emotions are not a glitch, or a mistake, in our makeup. They are there to serve as essential tools for our lives. They are connected to our soul and our purpose in life. They are the signposts on the road that tell us which way to go.
Emotions and intuition work together to steer us in the right direction when we have gotten off course. Without these two elements connecting us to our truth we would be permanently lost. But, if we listen to them we can live a life of truth. Mask-less and free.
Our emotions are not a glitch, or a mistake, in our makeup. They are there to serve as essential tools for our lives.
What if these two elements of our lives could help us transform the way we live? Just these two! Trusting both our emotions and our intuition is like trusting in the universe. What a freeing way to live!
Feel an emotion: listen to it. Feel guided by intuition: listen to it. Pure surrender and trust. This is the act of emotional awareness.
You could argue it’s no big deal if you had to pretend you were okay with someone else deciding where to go for dinner when you had other ideas. Or, what’s the big deal if you’re told to move offices but you really want to stay where you are?
Here’s the thing. It all adds up!
Denying your own needs over and over adds up to feeling disrespected and unseen. And this is just an example of not listening to your emotions. It applies to so many aspects of our lives, including relationships, boundaries, respect, etc.
Pay attention the next time you feel denied. You feel that knot in your stomach?
The tension we experience in our bodies comes from denying our emotions.
That’s your emotions trying to send you a message. Now imagine you speak up for yourself. Immediate release! But, if you don’t speak up the knot stays and the pressure begins to build.
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What we need to do is learn to give our emotions space, which means recognizing when we are angry, processing why and then working through the root cause of the anger. What we mustn’t do is bottle up our feelings. When we can feel our emotions, that awareness helps us acknowledge, process, and move forward.
Consider your emotional awareness. Are you are allowing yourself to process your emotions? Think about whether you are tuning in to their lessons. Every one of them has a reason for being. Every one of them could be the key to your superpower.
Often, all we need is some space to cry, or have time alone. When we practice emotional awareness, we give ourselves what we need and our emotions will guide the way. If you don’t acknowledge their lesson, though, they will hold on tight.
How different would things be if we weren’t afraid to shed a tear or speak up when we felt hurt? Think of the tension in your body when you don’t express yourself and how you feel. What if, instead, you expressed yourself?
The tension we experience in our bodies comes from denying ourselves and not respecting ourselves enough to speak up. If by holding space for emotional awareness, we listened to and honored the messages our emotions are giving us, we would be able to release that tension.
The more we do this, the more we trust and the more we free ourselves.
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Our emotions in no way make us weak. Learning from them will help us become the best versions of ourselves: authentic, free and honest. This is what learning from our emotions can do for us.
If we can see them as a process then maybe we can finally understand we need to go through the motions.
You need to allow yourself to experience the emotions, or you won’t get the magical lessons they have to offer. That would be like making a chocolate cake and leaving out the cacao.
How would your life look if you were open to expressing your emotions?
Would you feel more in control, more authentic or more free? The next time you feel the need to hide your emotions, stop first and think about why they are coming up in the first place. Your emotional intelligence will continue to strengthen each time you do!
Realize that being open to your emotions means letting in the lessons they have for you. And, these lessons could set you free. So cheers to honoring our emotional awareness for a more confident and fulfilled y.o.u.
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