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Tune in and join me as I chat about how to understand and manage your emotions.
I'm an emotional health mentor, edu-preneur and coach who loves teaching you how to understand, manage and embrace your emotions.
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This is Time to Feel, Episode number 8.
Hey everyone, I’m Holly Soulie. Welcome to another episode of Time to Feel. Today we’re going to talk about some of the common emotions you might feel, and how you can identify them.
When I first started paying attention to my emotions, I would get really frustrated with myself because I knew that I felt SOMETHING, but I wasn’t sure what it was or what to do about it.
So, the more I tuned into my feelings, the easier it became to know which emotion was happening. And the more you know what emotion you’re feeling, the better equipped you are to address it.
This is the first part of becoming emotionally intelligent – to actually be aware of what you’re feeling.
Before we start, I want to give a disclaimer for a couple of emotions we’re going to talk about – namely depression and anxiety.
Depression and anxiety are in their own category because they’re mental health disorders and that’s something you need to address with a medical professional. I don’t want you to think that I’m dismissing them and saying depression or anxiety is all in your head because it isn’t.
But, even if you have these conditions like I myself do, there are still a lot of tools and skills you can learn to manage them and feel empowered with. So, we’re going to look at them from the angle of what can I do about them when I feel them?
Alright, let’s jump in and talk about some specific emotions you can start being aware of.
The first emotion we’re going to talk about is depression. And one of the things that depression can mask is anger that you don’t think you’re justified in having.
For example, the first time my dad went to prison, I had a lot of anger toward him that I shoved away over the years. I never realized how angry I was at him for it all because I loved him so much and didn’t know it was possible to love someone yet be so angry with them at the same time.
However, a few years after that when I had a mental health collapse and became severely depressed, I started seeing what could be driving this depression. And sure enough, there was a lot of anger under the surface that I didn’t know what to do with.
But once I addressed it, and started working through it, it helped my depression a lot.
Even to this day, when I feel more depressed, I’ll sit down and see what emotions I might be hiding from myself and why.
So, if depression is something you struggle with, ask yourself if there might be any feelings you may have pushed under the surface.
The next emotion we’re going to talk about is anxiety.
You’ve probably heard that anxiety means that you’re living in the fear of the future. But anxiety is also a signal that you need to stop and pay attention to your needs.
A lot of times, I get anxious because I’m doing way too many things at once. In this case, it’s important to stop and see how you can take things one step at a time.
On the other hand, it can also show you that you have some fears that need to be addressed.
For instance, the other day I was feeling anxious about the upcoming weekend. Since I had so much to do, I wasn’t sure I could do it all.
So, I took time to think about why I was so anxious. Then I removed a few things from my to-do list and made a more realistic, digestible list for myself. That helped calm my mind enough so I could find some peace.
Next up is jealousy. Generally, jealousy shows you that you want what someone else has, but you don’t feel like you deserve it or that it’s not attainable to you. But a part of you really wants it.
Here’s a story to demonstrate this. Before I was married, I knew this couple who took really good care of each other. And I was SO jealous of the wife and actually had a couple of dreams about it.
Well, at the time I didn’t believe that I was worthy of having a partner take good care of me. So, I worked on why I didn’t think I could have that.
Also, I acknowledged that having that was something I REALLY wanted.
My jealousy showed me the things I needed to work on. Now, I’m happily married to someone who takes very good care of me, and I’m so grateful for it.
This isn’t to say that you’ll get everything you want if you work on your jealousy, but it’s an important emotion that can connect you to deeper parts of yourself that are waiting to be discovered.
Next, we’re going to talk about resentment.
Resentment means that you haven’t respected your boundaries and either you’ve given too much of yourself, or you’ve let someone else take advantage of you.
For example, a few weeks ago I said I would babysit for someone. When she told me how long she’d be gone, in the back of my mind it seemed too long for me. But I ignored that voice and said yes anyway. I crossed my own boundaries.
Well, at the end of the day with the kids, I was full of resentment, which is really not a nice emotion to feel. But that’s on me. I shouldn’t have committed to something I didn’t want to do.
So, now I know that next time I should only commit to a shorter window of babysitting, or not do it at all if that means resenting someone I care about.
Now, let’s talk about bitterness.
When you’re bitter, that means you’re withholding forgiveness. It shows you where your anger has hardened and you’re holding onto old hurts. When you feel bitter, consider the reason you’re withholding that forgiveness.
There was a time in recent years that I held a lot of bitterness toward my dad. I didn’t want to forgive him for the past, or the way our relationship had deteriorated.
But my bitterness was my way of keeping a connection with him, even though it was via a negative emotion.
On the other hand, my bitterness also protected me from him. As long as I was bitter, he couldn’t hurt me again.
But once I forgave him, I was able to redirect all that energy I was using on being bitter toward better things.
Also, I’m so grateful I worked through that emotion as soon as I recognized it, because he’s since passed away, and that’s not something I have to carry around anymore.
So, if you’ve got some bitterness going on, see what it might be telling you.
Now, we’re going to talk about a big one – anger.
Anger is SUCH an important emotion. It shows you what your boundaries are. It also shows you where you want change, either for yourself or in the world.
For example, I had a boss I was SO angry toward. But it was because I was staying in a job long after it was good for me. So, my anger was telling me that this job wasn’t serving me anymore.
If you’re feeling anger, see what change it might be telling you to make.
Next, let’s talk shame.
Shame means that you’re internalizing who other people think you should be. It also shows you that you need to reconnect with yourself and your own beliefs.
One example of when I felt shame was after leaving the Mormon church. Since they believe in dressing modestly, I felt ashamed about wearing clothes Mormons wouldn’t wear. Such as tank tops or anything that shows your shoulders.
But once I realized that my shame didn’t belong to me, I was able to wear what I wanted without feeling shame.
If you’re experiencing shame, see where you might be judging yourself through other people’s eyes.
Next is guilt.
Guilt shows you where you’re still trying to reach other people’s expectations, but that those expectations aren’t in harmony with what you actually want.
For instance, I recently felt guilty when I said no to a friend. That’s because I was taught that women should always “be kind,” say yes and be agreeable.
But when guilt comes up, ask yourself if the guilt is coming from a place of caring what other people think, or if it’s coming from a place of remorse. You can feel remorse for doing something without feeling guilty for it.
Now, let’s talk about sadness.
Sadness shows you what you truly love and value. It also shows you the depth of your feeling and love for others.
For example, I have someone in my life that I’m not in contact with anymore, even though I love them. Well, I heard that that person isn’t doing well at all. And even though I don’t talk to them anymore, I was still devastated to hear about their problems. My sadness showed me that this is because I really love this person.
The last emotion we’re going to talk about is disappointment.
When you feel disappointed, that means you tried for something! So, you actually still care and didn’t give into apathy or fear.
Back when I was looking for my first job in Montreal, I experienced a lot of disappointment. Actually, I applied for about 200 jobs before I finally got one. But the fact that I was disappointed each time I didn’t get a job showed me that I cared, that I was alive! And that’s important to me.
I always use disappointment as a little reason to celebrate. On the one hand, being disappointed sucks and no one wants to feel that. But on the other hand, it’s room for celebration because it means you actually reached for something, and that’s commendable.
Ok folks, that’s all for today. In conclusion, all of your emotions are signals that are trying to tell you something. When you stop and take the time to be with your feelings, you can uncover truths about yourself and your life that can help bring you to greater peace.
If you want more information about how to understand your emotions, check out my eBook and workbook, called How to Identify and Process Your Emotions. Podcast listeners can get 30% off the regular price for the month of March, with code PODCAST30. Visit hollysoulie.com/shop to claim your discount now.