Building a healthy relationship with yourself by building emotional awareness
We have been brought up in a society that labels emotions as good and bad. Some emotions are considered positive – like feeling happy, confident, cheerful , interested etc while some emotions are considered negative- like feeling angry , resentful , afraid , guilty , sad etc . However both the positive and negative emotions are absolutely normal.
All emotions tell us something about ourselves and our situation. But sometimes we find it hard to accept what we feel. We might judge ourselves for feeling a certain way, like if we feel jealous, for example. But instead of thinking we shouldn't feel that way, it's better to notice how we actually feel and we will discover layers about ourselves that will help us build a stronger bond with ourselves.
Avoiding negative emotions or pretending that we don’t feel a certain way or indulging in a Netflix series to overcome the emotion will not help as somewhere it is in our subconscious mind and till the time we do not spend some time understanding the reason for it , it will not go away inspite of the distractions. Emotional awareness does not mean dwelling on your emotions all day long or talking about it. It simply means recognizing, respecting and accepting our feelings as they happen. Building emotional awareness is a superb act of trying to love ourselves more than just taking a day off for spa .
Two simple steps for building emotional awareness :
Checking in with yourself through the day – Simply noticing our emotions as we move along the day and naming them can do tremendous benefit in helping us understand more about ourselves. Notice that each emotion passes and makes room for another
Rate how strong is the feeling – After we name the emotion, it is important to rate it on a scale of 1 ( being the mildest) and 10 being the most intense
Once we start naming and rating our emotions, we will be in better control of our day and would come to know aspects about ourselves that no one else could tell us. This act of awareness is extremely important to build a strong and healthy sense of self. It helps building better relationships with others as we can talk about our feelings more clearly, resolve conflicts better and move past difficult feelings more easily.
Having said that, it is important that we help children respect all emotions from a tender age itself. Read here on how to build emotional awareness in children from a young age itself.