Do You Really Know What You Feel?
“It’s not until you start to peel back the layers, to unravel the why’s that you can really heal and restore emotional balance.”
We spend so much time feeling. So much time looking for solutions, ways to feel better, so that we can avoid the feeling that brought us there in the first place but do you really know what’s bothering you? You can go for years dismissing yourself as the emotional one, the one who cries. You experience the highs, the lows, the everything in between, anything but balance. Overcome with these intense emotional outbreaks of sadness or anger we come to accept them for that without ever questioning what we actually feel and what might be causing it. And this it seems is the case for many of us. We wander around aimlessly, out of touch with ourselves and when our mental processes fail us (which they will) we haven’t a clue where to start because we’re so out of tune with who we are that it all feels like too much to overcome. But what is it that causes this disjoint? There are a number of reasons for this some of which I’ve outlined below.
This can be a result of long term repression of painful memories. Perhaps as a child you weren’t encouraged to show negative emotions. Tears were for babies, anger for brats, fear for the weak and don’t get me started on jealousy. As a result you learn to pack them away neatly so that you never have to deal with them. As they arise you pack them away, an automatic process built up over the years but unless released these feelings are stored in your unconscious mind and will remain there until they get released. See our relationship with our own feelings can be likened to that with others. When you spend years avoiding someone you wake up one day and realise you know nothing about them. You don’t know who they are, what they like or what it feels like to be around them. The same is true of our own feelings. When we push them away for years before we ever have a chance to explore them, to know what it really feels like to feel fear or shame, we lose touch with them. And without that knowing it can be difficult to know who you are, or where you want to get to which in itself can open up a whole host of problems.
Many people go for years, experiencing outburst of emotion. On the surface feeling overwhelmed, tired and helpless - but beneath hiding an ocean pain. It’s not until you start to peel back the layers, to unravel the why’s that you can really heal and restore emotional balance.
How can this impact you day to day?
As humans our whole world is driven by emotions. Not understanding yours automatically puts you in the back seat when it comes to showing up for yourself
Not identifying your feelings means that you’re probably going to react irrationally at times. Is that hurt? Is it anger? Cue.. reaction
It can manifest as isolation. When you shut off your feelings you shut of you. As a result you may have a diminished sense of self which can lead to all sorts of problems connecting with people
Low mood, anxiety, depression. When you shut off the bad feelings you also shut off the good so we experience life in a muted state. With a filter of sorts. While the process doesn’t happen overnight and is scary as hell, connecting with your emotional world can change your perception of the world for the better.
Photo Credit @ Joseph Gruenthal
About The Author
Siobhan is a Trainee Psychotherapist, Mental Health Advocate and Editor of crakd. She’s also embroiled in an intense love affair with eclectic interiors and colourful food.
Follow Siobhan on Instagram @siobhan_scan