SESSION TWO: Feelings can hide, strengthen quietly, then jump out of hiding to become your boss. You need to know when a feeling first visits to stay its boss.
First visit to the 101 course? Go here to start at the beginning.
WHY FEELING AWARENESS MATTERS As has been said, “Keep your friends close; your enemies closer.” Knowledge is power. The more you know about feelings, the more you control. That knowledge starts with understanding The Life Cycle of a Feeling.
You will also be helped by this tact: Neurobiologists say the Life Cycle of a Feeling lasts less than a minute;
“Not true” you are probably saying to yourself, “I can be angry for hours or sad for days.”
Feels true, but feelings only seem to go on and on. Why? Because something keeps triggering the feeling again and again. Without a re-triggering event all feeling die quick deaths.
Think of the prick that comes when blood is drawn from your finger. Prick hurts, but the pain is gone in a few seconds.
Emotional pricks should vanish as quickly. Someone gives you the finger because you are driving slower than s/he likes? Do you fall victim to road rage or shrug your shoulders and be happy the impatient driver is ahead of you?
Being able to shrug your shoulders starts knowing as soon as possible when troublesome feelings first come calling, naming them accurately, so you can stop triggering them.
FEELING AWARENESS EXERCISE: Think about your day for a few minutes. Make a list of the feelings that have visited you since you first opened your eyes. Jotting down the name of each feeling best; writing focuses thoughts and improves recall. Moreover, it makes it easier to count the different feelings and basically what this exercise is looking for is the number of feelings, nothing more. However you decide to go spend four or five minutes making a list.
How many feelings did you come up with? Hopeful, at least seven or eight of the mighty ten. The mighty ten are the most common feelings across the world. Those ten? Better (as in “I feel better” or “I am feeling better now”), bad, good, guilty, sorry, sick, well, comfortable, great, happy.
Others think confusion, interest, sadness, anger, shame, despair and fear should be on that list. One theorist says there are almost as many feelings as there are people.
However, here is a kicker: two groups of experts, Freudians and Behaviorists, think all feelings boil down to pleasure or pain. Those two groups disagree about almost everything else, but both insist pleasure are pain are at the bottom of all other feelings. More about that later.
For now, spend a few moments adding any feelings to your list that the above has brought to mind.
What does it all mean? First, the more feelings, the more skilled you are at naming feelings and the stronger your feeling awareness. The fewer feelings the more you need to become more attuned to your feelings.
Some note only positive feelings and that is a bit worrisome. Even the Dalai Lama, despite being trained all his life in the art of serenity, knows anger, upset, and sadness . The main concern here, is that you are stuffing feelings and in time they will not stay stuffed, but join together and burst forth to make trouble.
Another worry is getting stuck most of the time in a negative feeling. Getting stuck in one feeling means that feeling is bossing you.
What to do? Keep on taking this course and even if you found lots and lots of feelings, learn and practice the Sad to Mad to Glad Feeling Awareness Exercise detailed below. Why? Star athletes know it is not enough to learn a skill, it must be continually practiced to stay effective.
Next up. A bit about how to properly practice an Emotional Fitness exercise. Then another exercise to improve your feeling awareness.
As always thank you for all you do including liking, commenting, or sharing.
LINKS OF INTEREST
POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT
One-Way Street Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?
I pick the future, it is always more full of hope, more in my power to control. At the same time, I would want to carry forward all the lessons of the past.
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