7 Ways to Connect to Your Emotions
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7 Ways to Connect to Your Emotions

Sitting with feelings like sadness, anger, or anxiety may be the last thing you want to do. because they are uncomfortable. because it hurts. Why are you so tired. because you feel fragile and exposed. because you feel ridiculous. because you’re already frustrated. because you don’t know how. in fact, many of us don’t know where to start. we don’t know what it’s like to feel a feeling because we just haven’t or have done it a lot.

This is when using different techniques to connect with our emotions and express them can help. the following techniques use drawing and/or writing. and they give us different options and different perspectives, depending on what we can explore and feel at that moment.

Reading: How to connect with your feelings

  1. Make a list of the sensations you feel. try not to judge these sensations. simply write what you are experiencing. try to identify the specific sensation as best you can. tightness in my chest. buzzing in my head. tension in my shoulders. sweaty and trembling hands. lump in my throat beating heart. burning ears. if it helps, put on headphones and put on some classical music or any song that seems to help you connect with yourself. o Scan your body and ask yourself, “what am I feeling in my head, neck, shoulders, arms, fingers, chest, stomach, legs, feet?”
  2. draw an outline of your body and place x where you feel the emotion. You can also use crayons to color the area using a color that accurately represents how your emotion feels. For example, maybe you use purple or black to represent your sadness. maybe you use red to represent your anxiety because it feels like you’re on fire.
  3. draw a landscape that illustrates how you feel. maybe you draw a volcano exploding. maybe you draw snow, rain and ice. maybe you draw the evening sky with a big bright moon. maybe you draw a deep, deep ocean. ask yourself, “what does my emotional landscape look like?” or “If my emotional experience were a landscape, what would it look like?”
  4. Create a character to represent your emotion. make it a complex, multidimensional character that reflects the many layers of your emotional experience.
  5. write about what you feel as if you were describing it to a 5-year-old. use simple words to reveal the most elemental truths.
  6. speak directly to your emotion. ask your emotion to tell you more. ask your emotion to help you understand what is happening. ask your emotion, “what else?” and you need?” and “what would help?” write down your answers. it doesn’t matter if they look silly or “stupid”. Write down what comes up automatically.
  7. Draw the objects that represent your feelings. an empty cup a broken necklace. a withered flower a torn blanket lots and lots of dishes in the sink.
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there are times when feeling our feelings feels impossible. because why would anyone want to connect with their discomfort and pain and anguish and anger? it is much easier, at least in the short term, to dismiss it, to distract ourselves with television or a podcast. it’s so much easier to tell ourselves, “I’ll get to this later,” knowing full well that no, you won’t.

When they are not felt or processed, our emotions grow, evolve and change form: we take out our frustration on loved ones who have nothing to do with our feelings. we make decisions that are not true to our wishes. we turn our anger inward and do not treat each other with compassion or respect. we get very tired. our nerves wear out and the slightest problem can destroy us.

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In addition, our emotions provide us with important information: our anger can alert us that a line has been crossed. our sadness can reveal what we really want (or don’t want). and if we ignore our emotions or dismiss them, we lose this vital insight. we miss out on powerful opportunities to connect with ourselves.

Ultimately, you don’t have to feel every feeling at an intensity of 100. Rather, you can spend 10 minutes writing down the sensations you feel, reflecting on the location of your pain, exploring what your emotion looks like. This may not be easy either, but it’s a less scary place to start.

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photo of annie sprattonunsplash.

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