Feelings, Nothing More

by Catherine DeAngelis

“Feelings, nothing more than feelings
Trying to forget my feelings of love
Teardrops rolling down on my face
Trying to forget my feelings of love…”

morris-albert-03

Many baby boomers may recall the 1975 record hit song by, born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, singer Morris Albert’s “Feelings.”

If you find yourself asking the same group of this generation or any of their off springs what happens when they hear this song playing – they might respond: “oh my gosh that dreadful, yucky emotional stuff – take it off please!

But then, no gender excluded, “the hopefuls, the romantics,” as we like to call them, those “feeling-type people,” too sensitive and emotional call this song a classic. These are the “ones’ who easily and honestly admit, they have no words to describe their own feelings as they listen to the melody, moved to sentiment, who  get a warm sensation in their body, to remind them of love passed, or a love that is waiting to sweep them off their feet some day.

Sappy perhaps or could it be that the feelings are personal emotions aroused like sadness, disappointment and life disillusionment?

Other words to describe feeling are emotion, passion, or sentiment. A feeling is personal and can be complex on how it is relayed through a human response and it surfaces, for some, unknowingly or knowingly, depending on the degree of self-awareness and acceptance in how to feel or not to feel. An excerpt from the on-line dictionary shows how diverse feeling can be:

  • overflow of powerful feelings
  • presence of excitement or agitation
  • passion that is intense, compelling emotion
  • sentiment like a thought or opinion arising from or influenced by emotion (to express yourself, easily, openly)
  • delicate, sensitive, or higher or more refined feelings

Expressing Our Feelings

ChildExpressingFeelingsEasilyOpenly

For some it is natural to share thoughts and feelings with people easily.

If we go back to our childhood, we may remember how easy it was to express our feelings freely, openly, most times without guilt or shame. It happens that when we grow up we control these feelings at a point where we find we mask feelings and wonder why our communication style blurs or terribly misunderstood in our relationships.

We can be more open with others and ourselves. The reward of open feelings is less tension and a healthy and relaxed state, emotionally and physically.

We can adapt to either feel our emotions or we don’t.  If we shut down feelings like sadness, disappointment and disillusionment, we close-off chances to welcome positive feelings such as joy, surprise, wonderment.

It is easy enough to numb our emotions, but somewhere in our body, we may face consequences by doing so. Suppressing feelings make us become overly stressed and debilitated, doing more harm than good. This disrupts relationships and tears down communication rather than build-up healthy, effective expression of feelings.

When we name our feelings and connect with emotions, the closer we become to others and especially to ourselves. Eventually we gain an ability to embrace stronger and more communicative relationships overall, at home, at work and socially.

How to Practice How You Feel?

A practice to get into as we connect our feelings and emotions to the experience in our bodies — we may become aware of our emotions by monitoring how we feel, talking about our feelings, and expressing ourselves physically.

Connect with where in your body you feel sensations, pain or any temperature change.  If you can easily describe what you are feeling inside your body you may find out varied feelings result in interesting sensations.  Some refer to these interesting sensations as blocked feelings, the ones that never come to the surface, instead leave us perhaps feeling fatigued, or sick.

What is key is to express what you really feel instead of e.g. putting on a happy grin, when disappointed, enraged or feeling weepy instead of cheerful.  Identifying with  feelings takes time; we are prone throughout our life to turn them off.   There are no bad or good ways to feel.  But we can learn to check-in, talk about it, or express it physically.

Imagine the drawing of the body below in your mind’s eye your own.  Throughout the next several weeks, keep track and try stopping every now and ask yourself “how do I feel?” Experience every body sensation from head to toe? If we had a migraine, it may be the result of an over demanding schedule or fear or anxiety over a pending presentation at work or upcoming gathering of friends or family.  If we can find a word to best explain what we are feeling, “I feel overwhelmed” or “I am afraid of failing,” talk about it, or express freely to someone who is trustworthy and listens without judgment. It is pretty likely we will feel lighter and better able to cope as we release those stifling emotions.

How Do I feel Today?
WhereandHowinMyBodydoIfeel?

Five basic questions to ask everyday!

  1. Do I need to understand my emotions?
  2. Who is the influence on how I feel?
  3. What are my needs?
  4. Am I experiencing any physiological changes?
  5. What 3 things do I need to express feelings freely?
    – self-awareness to know what is going on (e.g feeling joyful)
    – express out loud how I am feeling (e.g. I feel hurt )
    – release what I am feeling physically (e.g. walk, cry, talk to someone I trust)

The advantages to acknowledging and expressing feelings can motivate, guide, and give purpose and direction in life. We feel alive, stronger with a better sense of knowing self and others better. We find a lightness of being, “I know me, and this is how I feel today.”  This evolves to our being fully alive, highly functioning, emotionally brilliant, able to self-manage and be an openly human, human being.

 

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Moods, Emotions and Feelings

by Catherine DeAngelis

Before we can begin to know what emotions or feelings we are experiencing in our daily lives, we need to be aware of our moods so that we may manage and shift them to affect positive outcomes within ourselves, our relationships, at home, work or at play.

Mood can be defined as frame of mind, disposition, bad or good temper and humor, sulk, having the doldrums. In an “atmosphere” mood creates a feeling, vibes, ambience, an aura in the air that may set a tone.

It is often difficult for us to identify our moods.  If you didn’t know this already, we have a variety of moods to choose from which we experience in a day and may change many times during it. A mood cannot be simply described as “bad” or “good” – it helps to be more specific. It may sound simple, but knowing the specific mood we are experiencing will better allow us to work on changing or easing it and as a result allow us to name the emotions and feelings.

Moods are identified as one descriptive word: anxious, mad, happy, hurt, disappointed, loving, proud, guilty, ashamed and afraid. For instance, if we were in a frightened mood – a high level of emotion/feeling may be I feel dreadful, panicky, terrified, horrified, petrified, and desperate. A moderate level of emotion/feeling may be I feel alarmed, jittery, strained, shaky, threatened. A low level of emotion/feeling may be I feel uneasy, tense, timid, anxious, nervous or puzzled.

How to identify Moods

Body – focus on any changes to your body, is there a heaviness throughout it that may show disappointment, depression, while tight shoulders may show fear and tension or vice versa, relaxed shoulders may show we are in a pleasant mood.

Identify emotions/feelings – it’s important that we not judge our mood, as many of us may not want to admit to certain feelings as a result of our mood (e.g. anxious, bored). Moods are just that moods. It is okay to be honest about the mood and name it by the feeling or emotion and simply deal with it truthfully.

Be clear – Avoid using vague terms to describe your mood and be exact in your description, for example a sad mood, say, I feel bummed out, down, disappointed.

Moods are different from thoughts – Try to know the difference between moods and thoughts – this takes practice. Psychology Today explains our mind is cluttered with thousands of thoughts, most of which are repetitive and circular. Thoughts may range from wondering what “other people feel about me” to ruminating on “what life is all about.”

Identify and rate our Moods – On a scale of 0 to 100 we can think about rating the intensity of our moods – the higher the rating – the higher the intensity. We can think about the situation, describe where we were, who we were with and what we were doing? By being specific we can find our mood(s) in one word.

Mood Disorders 

Canadian Mental Health Association reports that Mood disorders affect about 10% of the population. Everyone experiences “highs” and “lows” in life, but people with mood disorders experience them with greater intensity and for longer periods of time than most people.  One common mood disorder is Depression. A person with depression feels “very low.” Symptoms may include: feelings of hopelessness, changes in eating patterns, disturbed sleep, constant tiredness, an inability to have fun, and thoughts of death or suicide.

It helps to know ourselves well if we can identify our moods. As a result we have a better understanding of our emotions and feelings to allow us to enjoy a healthier mental state and create greater relationships all around.

Blog written by Catherine DeAngelis Copyright © 2013 Catangelis Communications – Unauthorized use and duplication of this material without written permission from site owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to owner or to any other copyright materials used by owner is also quoted with appropriate direction to original content.
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Emotional Wellness

Emotionally aware people are known to experience greater success in their careers, and a greater sense of well-being in their personal lives. Studies show, success doesn’t lead to emotional health and happiness, but rather the other way around. The emotionally healthy experience positive moods, feel more confident, more optimistic, more energetic, and more sociable. These factors lead to greater success in many aspects of life. Source (APA): American Psychological Association.


Age and Emotional Health

YOUTH – According to The Public Health Agency of Canada, Emotional Health Among Canadian Youth, is a critical part of young people’s  well-being. Research has shown that many youth who experience mental health problems continue to have these problems in adulthood and may suffer personal costs, including limited employment opportunities, reduced access to housing and strained family relationships. If poor emotional health develops into mental illness, personal costs can include poverty, homelessness and social exclusion, which may ultimately be life-threatening. Therefore, it is essential to recognize and respond to early indications of emotional health difficulties. See Factsheet

ADULTS – As we continue with more studies around mind, body and health, we are learning more about the connection between good mental health and good physical health. Psychological studies show that your mind and your body are strongly linked. As your mental health declines, your physical health can wear down, and if your physical health declines, it can make you feel mentally “down.” A positive outlook can help keep you healthy. Studies show 80% of Americans during the past few years have become more aware of how their mental health and emotions can affect their physical health (APA 2005) .

SENIORS – According to The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer’s Report on The State of Public Health in Canada 2010 positive mental health can help seniors cope with many difficult issues and life events, such as chronic illness or the loss of partners and friends. For seniors suffering from poor mental health or mental illness, the negative impacts are far-reaching. Mental health issues can affect physical health, emotional and social well-being, and quality of life.

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Copyright© 2013 Catangelis Communications – Unauthorized use and duplication of this material without written permission from site owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full credit is given to owner or to any other copyright materials used by owner is also quoted with appropriate direction to original content.