I saw this article posted on LinkedIn today asking the question, “Should Emotions be taught in school?” While it’s from 2017, it is still a good conversation starter about how we feel, process, and express emotions in a healthy and productive way – or not.
I’ve chatted a lot about emotions in the past few weeks with clients and colleagues. So many of us, across genders, cultures, races, religions, socio-economic status, and geographical locations are taught to stuff our emotions. To hide them down deep so we don’t make others uncomfortable, so we don’t “lose control” of ourselves, to give a “good” impression to others, and to be taken seriously.
In my humble opinion, families and schools should teach children how to feel and express emotions. And it is our responsibility as adults to learn this if we have never been taught before.
When emotions get in your way
Here’s the thing…stuffed, suppressed, and denied emotions create energetic blockages in the body. Yes, I’m getting a little “woo” talking about energy, but energy is also scientifically proven. You, me, and the device that you are reading this on right now are all made of energy.
Stuffed emotions lead to energy blockages that lead to unhealthy behaviors in your life that repeat until you deal with them.
Self-sabotaging your health or career? There’s a blockage there.
Always dating people that lie and cheat on you or reject you? There’s a blockage there.
Always looking for external validation, love, and guidance? There’s a blockage there.
Always sick and/or have medical issues that medical doctors don’t have an answer for? Yup…you guessed it, there’s a blockage there.
The first step to change is awareness
I invite you to get curious and explore your beliefs about emotions in this awareness exercise. Pull out a piece of paper or a journal and a writing utensil. Let’s set a few ground rules before you start.
Rule 1 – no censorship. If you want to get the most out of this exercise, you have to feel into the deepest depths to get to the root of the situation.
Rule 2 – be honest. Lying is only going to hurt you. This isn’t about saying the “right” thing.
Rule 3 – no judgment. Release any judgments about the who, what, where, and why. You are doing this exercise to understand yourself better, not to blame and not to play the victim.
Ok – let’s start bringing some awareness into our conscious by physically answering the below are the questions and taking the time to reflect on them.
- What did your parents or guardians teach you about having and expressing emotions?
- How do you express your feelings?
- Where did you learn to express your feelings that way?
- What feelings are you NOT comfortable expressing? Why?
- Where do you feel safe expressing your emotions? Why?
- Where do you NOT feel safe expressing your emotions? Why?
When reflecting on this, what surprised you? What did you already know was there under the surface? And most importantly, what do you want to do now that you understand your beliefs about emotions better? You can change your beliefs, change your behaviors, or choose to keep things the same. The choice is always yours.
In the next post, I’ll give you some steps for exploring, feeling, and moving through your emotions in real time.
Stay curious, friends!
Photo Credit: Free photo 9265371 © Pop Catalin Sebastian – Dreamstime.com