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7 Poems That'll Express the Feelings You've Struggled to Deal with ...
Published June 21, by rekha Learn How to Identify and Express your Feelings It has been known that feelings are important aspect of our lives but the trouble is many of us have been brought up to ignore and override feelings. Childhood messages have a great role in contributing to this state of mind. We feel guilty if we express our feelings of anger, shame, guilt and annoyance. We are afraid that we will hurt the feelings of others due to being people pleaser. The result of this kind of suppression is often anxiety, phobias, depression and restlessness. People adopt a negative and pessimistic outlook of life. Feelings are often complex and it is hard to identify them. Sometimes, even if we identify them, it becomes hard to express them. It is important to identify feelings and then be able to express them appropriately to avoid the dangers of becoming prone to anxiety and phobias. Before we learn to identify feelings it is important to understand some facts about feelings. Feelings involve a total body reaction. They are mediated by a part of brain called limbic system and the involuntary, autonomic nervous system. During moments of emotional stress, you experience bodily reactions such as increased heart rate, respiration, perspiration, trembling and even shaking. These symptoms also occur when you experience panic attacks. Feelings are influenced by our thoughts and perceptions. The way you perceive an event or interpret a situation gives rise to corresponding feelings. Feelings are also affected by stress. Automatic thoughts determine our state of mind. If you perceive a person as totally unreasonable, and selfish, you might feel anger towards this person. If you are jealous or envious of the other person, it will give rise to feelings of jealousy and envy and you will be inclined to react accordingly towards this person when you interact. Feelings can be simple and complex. Complex feelings may be a combination of more basic emotions and also shaped by thoughts and images. Simple feelings could be anger, grief, sadness, fear, love, excitement, or joy. Complex feelings last longer and are also linked to our thought process. Simple feelings tend to be short lived, more reactive, and tied to involuntary physical reactions mediated by the autonomic nervous system. Fear and panic can be basic emotions while free floating anxiety is an example of a more complex feeling. Feelings give you energy. If you are in touch with your feelings and can express them, you will feel more energetic. However, when you are unaware of your feelings, you may feel lethargic, numb, tired, or depressed. Suppressed feelings lead to anxiety. It is possible to feel several feelings at the same time. For example it is possible to feel anger and fear at the same time in response to a threat in the environment. It is possible to feel anger, love, and guilt all at the same time. If you spend time with a depressed person, you may start to feel sad and even cry. You can be inspired by living and interacting with positive people. When you withhold your feelings of anger and sadness, they can overpower you and make you depressed therefore it is very important to be in touch with your feelings. Feelings are never right or wrong. The perception and judgment can be wrong or right, valid or invalid but feelings are simply there. Once you learn how to express them, you will feel better. It is not good to evaluate others or yourself on the basis of feelings because we are all entitled to have feelings. All human beings experience emotions like anger, envy, jealousy, sadness, frustration, and irritation. We tend to suppress our feelings. Suppression can be conscious or subtle. As children we are sometimes taught to suppress our feelings and then it becomes a habit. The result is that as adults you tend to be out of touch of your feelings. You begin to ignore and withhold them. You may experience a global feeling of unhappiness but you are not able to pinpoint what is making you unhappy. Therefore it is very important to learn to identify your feelings. Identification of Feelings Withheld feelings get manifested through several types of bodily and psychological symptoms. For example, free floating anxiety could be caused by uncertainty or due to anticipation of a negative outcome. Worrier type people are always insecure and worry about bad things happening to them. Feelings carry a charge of energy but often times we try to hold in that energy and do not express our feelings. Consequently we feel tension and vague anxiety. Likewise we can hold in enthusiasm and excitement and this can also make you anxious. Sometimes when we hang on to our feelings of sadness for a long time without venting it, we get depressed. When we vent our feelings by crying and talking about it, we feel relieved. It has been found that if we hold on to anger too long without expressing it, it can cause depression. We also feel psychosomatic symptoms when we suppress our feelings for a long time. Symptoms such as headaches, ulcers, blood pressure, asthma, cardiac problems could be due to withheld feelings too. When you learn to identify your feelings, you can reduce the symptoms of psychosomatic illnesses. Additionally, it has been found that when we withhold our feelings, it can also lead to tension in our muscle groups, neck, back, shoulder, and jaws. Anger can be held in by tightening many different muscle groups from the eyes to pelvis. In this way we see that tight muscle groups in any region of the body could be caused by bottled up and withheld feelings and it is important to identify your feelings so that you are not holding these feelings by tightening your muscle groups. Fear can be held in by tightening up of muscle group in the stomach and diaphragm area. Anger can be suppressed by tightening the back of your neck and shoulders. In order to relieve the tension in these muscle groups, it is important to use the progressive muscle relaxation technique. This technique has been elaborated in the blog written by the author about Panic disorder. There are sixteen muscle groups in our body and all you have to do is tense each muscle group for seconds then relax it for seconds. When you systematically do this procedure, it generates the relaxation response and also creates alpha wave activity in the brain. How to Tune In To your Body: As mentioned earlier, we tend to hold on to our feelings in different body parts. Following are the steps that you need to take in order to do this: Physically relax your body for five to ten minutes doing progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, to slow down your mind. This is your inner place of feelings. Wait and listen to whatever you can sense in your place of feelings. Do not analyze or judge but become just an observer. If you begin to evaluate then you may not be able to get a sense of your real feeling. Once you have obtained a general sense of what you are feeling, and then ask the following questions: What is the shape of this feeling? If I have to give a color to this feeling, what would it be? In this way, we see that it is important to give a concrete form to feelings then it becomes easier to identify them. Once you have identified your feeling, it is important to express them appropriately in good communication. It is very therapeutic to share your feelings with a trustworthy person, like a friend, counselor, or a support person. They should be the person who are willing to listen to your feelings without evaluating you and who encourage you to let you express feelings and not just share them. By getting an outlet to your feelings, you might feel relieved and lighter. Depressed person, who does not have a family member to talk to, gets linked with a friend and they do activities together and establish friendly relationship by developing trust and this helps the person to open up eventually and share what is bothering them. Sometimes it is helpful to make a feeling journal and vent your feelings in a written manner. It is good to periodically review this journal and see if there is a pattern emerging. This is a very healthy outlet of your feelings. Creative art work, writing poems, and songs also allow you to be able to express your feelings in a healthy manner. These are healthy outlets to feelings and that is why children suffering from depression receive play therapy which gives them an outlet to express their feelings through symbolic play. Story writing, storytelling are also very healthy and useful therapeutic tools which facilitate expression of feelings in an indirect and subtle manner. When you are withholding your sadness, it can cause a heavy load on your body and mind. It is relevant to ask questions such as: Do I ever cry? Do I cry alone or do I allow others to see me crying? Sometimes, we feel sad but we have trouble shedding tears. It is advisable to listen to some evocative music, watch an emotional movie or read literature to surface the feelings of sadness and be able to shed tears. It is important to vent your sadness and not hold it in because the result will be more sadness and anger towards who has hurt you.
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