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Do you often feel like exploding?

Do you often wonder why something seemingly manageable or tolerable on a good day, can lead you to explode on a bad day? Are you then left feeling guilty of how you reacted?

I would like to begin with this wonderful exercise of thinking of yourself as a bottle.

inside that bottle is where we hold our emotions and feelings (feelings are experienced consciously, while emotions manifest either consciously or subconsciously) The outside world is what is carrying the bottle, so its movements may rattle, shake and roll the bottle. This is generally experienced via changes we experience in life such as but not limited to: loss, judgement, expectations, relationships, work, health and many other life experiences. Imagine that when you are feeling in an optimal emotional state you are like a bottle full of water, when challenges come your way shaking and rattling that bottle nothing major happens when you open the bottle as the water is just as calm as it was before it was shaken up. However, imagine that when you are experiencing challenging emotional times, you are more like a bottle of soda. When you experience any shacking, rattling or movement and then open the bottle of soda it's going to explode everywhere leaving having to clean up the spillage.

So what can we do to make sure your bottle contains water and not soda?

Firstly, it is important to pay attention to how we use the terms “feeling” and “emotion” as synonyms, but they are not interchangeable. Although they may have similar elements, there is an essential difference between feelings and emotions as highlighted at the beginning of this blog.

What is the difference between Feelings & Emotions?

I would like to begin with Emotions, particularly the basic emotions we experience which have automatic responses, such as: the sadness we experience when we lose a loved one. Emotions are linked to our brain and allow us to adapt to our environment. When we are faced with a particular situation, our emotions activate our thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs about what is happening. This influences how we perceive and translate the situation, which determines how we will respond, act or react.

Let's focus for a moment on how emotions may be felt in our body:

We have briefly highlighted how emotions determine our response, so I would like to dive further in how it is felt in our body. Imagine being afraid of spiders, and you encounter one in your house, how is your body responding?

Is your heartbeat accelerating?

Are your muscles tensing up?

Do you find your body temperature changing?

Are you suddenly sweating?

The next essential step is to focus on your thinking:

This allows us to bring awareness to our unconscious thinking and how it influences our own experience. Basically, we are filtering it to bring it to our conscious thinking. So if I have experienced a fearful encounter with a spider in the past, the very encounter of a spider will trigger my emotion of fear.

How does it impact my behavior?

Seeing a spider might trigger body movement, change in my facial expression and push me to run away. So the above example shows that our life experience impacts our behaviors to certain emotions which can be influenced by, but not limited to, our behavior, our cultural background and any past trauma.

You are probably wondering, hmm, this still doesn't really answer the difference? Do not fear we will now briefly look at feelings.

Your feelings are your subjective perceptions of emotions, how we interpret our emotion and give it a name, basically what label or box we assign that emotion. This is why depending on our personality, beliefs, and experiences we will interpret our emotions differently which produce different feelings. So to summarize this we could say that emotions are unconscious however, feelings are the conscious form of emotions which is the more rational component. Emotions tend to be immediate, Feelings are the product of a conscious analysis of the situation, it's uniqueness allows us to process information on the basis of our personal needs and ever-changing interactions with the environment, and consequently to act autonomously.

Basically, there is no emotion without feeling and vice versa.

So how does therapy help?

Talking therapy or Counselling #counselling helps understand the difference between feelings and emotions and helps you learn and practice how to best moderate intense emotions. #intenseemotion #overwhelmed #angry .

Have you often felt that you cannot control your feelings or emotions?

Therapy helps identify what we feel, it helps us give it a name, once we have identified it, we can analyse it and challenge it to change the behavior. The key is to learn to stop and analyse how we react to events and to measure our emotional response to it.

This helps us develop our emotional intelligence #emotionalintelligence #EI.

Emotional intelligence or EI is the understanding, learning to develop your ability to understand and manage your own emotions.

People with a high degree of emotional intelligence know what they are feeling and what their emotions mean.

How would you feel if you had the ability to perceive, evaluate, express and moderate your emotions to each individual situation?

The ability to express and moderate your emotions is essential to allow you to understand, interpret and respond to the emotions of others. Imagine a world in which you could not understand when your child, friend, partner, family member was feeling sad or angry. Emotional intelligence is not often explored in everyday life or developed in education, this can often leave us feeling as if there is something innately wrong with us when we are struggling to understand and express our emotions.

Working on your emotional intelligence is essential to face changes in life and helps to bring about resilience and further your success in life. Emotional intelligence is essential to build upon great interpersonal communication, which can achieve better success rate in life rather than IQ alone. Therapy, can help strengthen your social and emotional intelligence. Understanding emotions can be the key to better relationships, improved well-being, and stronger communication skills.

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