Have you ever thought about how ill-equipped we are to handle our emotions? I know, that is a terribly negative opening statement, but really think about it…how many people do you know that are really okay with all their emotions and the expression thereof? I suspect not many; at least that has been my experience. But then again, how often were you instructed with the skills and attitudes that would result in healthy emotional processing and expression? Not much, if any, is what I have heard from many hundreds of people. So here we are, these emotional-beings with no clear instructions of what to do with these feelings. Typically we default to what our families, peers and the media modeled to us. Those of you who were surrounded by totally healthy environments (step forward, please, I would like to hear what that was like for you) probably have little or no difficulty with your emotionality. But for those of you who had emotionally distant, unavailable and/or abusive environments, your emotional navigation system might be a bit (or a lot) askew, and therefore you might be ready for a little “emotional tweaking”.

The first step is to understand what it is exactly that you are feeling. I have a large poster in my office that has 30 different facial expressions with the corresponding emotion printed beneath it. I call it my “emotional cheat-sheet” and I use it to help clients identify their feelings (You can get one if you http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000VI28G/qid=1094729576/... ). You might be surprised to know that most people do not know what they are really feeling. But if you were not exposed to an emotionally open environment, then it would make sense that you might not be able to identify your feelings. Start with these five: sad, glad, mad, scared, and ashamed, and go from there.

The second step is to give yourself permission to have your feelings. This is where you may get challenged by some old beliefs about emotions and their “okay-ness”. You may have been taught, directly or indirectly, and made your own “story” about feelings not being okay to have. If so, I just want say right now, it’s all a bunch of bull-sweat…really!!! Your emotions are much like the weather; they come and they go, often for no known or logical reason. To say that an emotion is not okay to have would be like saying that a certain cloud should not be in the sky. You may not know what to do with this feeling or it may trigger some discomfort, but none-the-less, it is there, it is yours and you have the right to ride it through and to express it…just like the clouds (By the way, it raining as I am writing this….hmmmm, a little divine synchronicity??!!).

It is when you resist emotions that you actually make them stay longer and intensify. Your “emotional bank” is a very high interest earning account in that your suppressed emotions will grow and grow when they are not processed and expressed. Not the kind of account you would want in your portfolio, right??!!

Furthermore, there is a great deal of research that has been done about the physical effects of emotional suppression. The results are startling in that many stomachaches, backaches and headaches are the direct cause, or at least extremely exacerbated from emotional suppression. So feel and deal with your feelings….it’s good for you!!

The third step is to release your feelings. Talking with close friends or your intimate partner is one of the simplest and most powerful methods of emotional release. Journaling, exercise, therapy and other group work can also be very healthy methods of emotional release. And the really good news is that when you feel, you will heal. Suppressed emotions often have a toxic effect on the mind, body and soul, and in releasing them you will be set free….really!!

So there you have it: Three simple (and challenging) steps to emotional wellness. I invite you to feel your feelings, deal with your feelings, and heal with your feelings. In doing so you will give yourself more self-expression, more freedom, more peace and more confidence…really!!


Author's Bio: 

I provide mental health counseling, marriage counseling and relationship counseling to help professionals and their families eliminate stress, maximize success and create extraordinary relationships at home, at work and in the community. As a mental health counselor, marriage counselor and relationship counselor my number one goal is to help people as painlessly a possible complete the therapeutic process. I’ve been offering counseling, coaching, and educational programs since 1987. My programs are focused on empowering people to have more successful lives, businesses and relationships. You’ll always find FREE Life and Relationship Success Special Reports at http://kendonaldson.com/ . I’m also the author of Marry YourSelf First! Say "I DO" to a Life of Passion, Power, Purpose and Prosperity http://www.marryyourselffirstbook.com/