Our relationship with our feelings and emotions
Each of us is designed to feel and experience emotions. It is an unavoidable and hard-wired aspect of being human.
Central to our emotional well-being is the relationship we have with our feelings and emotions, past, present, and future.
Fear our feelings and emotions, and behaviours such as denial, suffocation, avoidance, suppression, and repression develop; this makes for an adversarial relationship with them.
Love our feelings and emotions – which makes for a cooperative relationship with them – and not only are denial, suffocation, avoidance, suppression, and repression less likely, but good physical and mental health and states such as acceptance, peace, ease and equanimity are more easily achieved.
However, if you consider that “loving” your feelings and emotions is too big an ask, or you are at odds with the very idea, I recommend that as a minimum you settle for being honest about them.
Whether we like it or not, our emotions let us know how someone or something is affecting us… and there aren’t many other feedback systems that are so reliable, instant, and capable of informing us in this way.
Adversarial, honest, or cooperative… you decide.
One of the main aims of my work is to help you move away from adversarial, and towards honest and cooperative.
So, what exactly is emotional well-being?
The jury remains out on an exact, all-encompassing definition, although among experts there’s an emerging consensus that several common factors co-exist, factors which collectively represent and illustrate what emotional well-being looks and feels like.
I consider being well emotionally to be a way of life and a way of living, as opposed to an end point or specific achievement. There are degrees to which we can consider ourselves emotionally well and there are countless ways in which we can foster it.
Healthy levels of emotional well-being are reflected in how happy we are, how at ease, relaxed, comfortable and in the flow we are with our life, together with the amount of confidence, fulfillment, harmony, certainty, and contentment we experience.
Whilst mental, physical, and emotional well-being are inter-connected and cannot (and should not) be separated, there is little doubt it is the realm of our emotional well-being that wields the greatest influence.
How can you improve and enhance your emotional well-being?
Whilst feelings of discomfort, dis-ease, disharmony, discontentment, disruption, and distress are difficult to avoid altogether, their strength will be mediocre and their existence fleeting if our overall state of emotional well-being is robust.
In 2023 I’ll be releasing my research and sharing my thoughts, as well as teaching the skills required to cultivate robust emotional well-being. This will include revealing the primary threats and excellences to be aware of that affect and effect our levels of emotional well-being. If you’d like to be notified when my research, thoughts and teaching events become available, make sure you have joined my Stay Connected service.
I look forward to helping you master these excellences and overcome these threats in any way I can, which can begin right now by reflecting on the following:
A Charter For Our Emotional Well-being
- Enjoying a cooperative relationship with our emotions, one in which we choose acknowledgement over denial, acceptance over resistance, integration over rejection, and expression over suppression.
- The ability and courage to express and communicate our needs, our boundaries, and our emotions clearly and eloquently, and with equanimity and without fear.
- Understanding our emotions and knowing how to honour, manage, embrace, regulate, resolve, and integrate them.
- Approving of ourselves and not seeking or relying on the validation, approval, acceptance, or favourable judgement of others.
- Feeling good about ourselves and conveying a healthy self-image, buoyant self-esteem, appropriate self-confidence, adequate self-respect, and robust self-worth.
- Being unaffected by the potentially harmful, unhelpful, and unsupportive words and actions of others.
- Defaulting to an unhurried, considered, and deliberate response to deal with whatever life hands or throws at us.
- Making a diligent commitment to understand and attend to any unhealed emotional wounds arising from ongoing or past traumas, conflicts, dramas, or stressors.
- Ensuring we are aware of, and attend in healthy ways to, the meeting of our unconscious needs.
To your emotional excellence and beyond…