News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™
Joy, Love, and Peace in 2016
October 2016 Emotions and Feelings
For the third year in a row, the Attitude Reconstruction newsletter has an open rate in the top 10% of all Constant Contact users.
Visit the website
and take the free survey to identify what's standing between you and more joy, love, and peace.
|Folks really enjoyed the topic and cartoons last month on the theme of "enough" and "not enough." It's a worthy practice to suspend our minds and just groove on what is currently presented...
And be willing to laugh about our "stuff."
Fall is right around the corner. It's incredibly hot here currently in Santa Barbara so it's hard to believe. But the days are definitely getting shorter. Before long we'll hit that dreaded day when we go off daylight savings and need to surrender to the shorter days and look forward to wearing our warmer clothes.
For those of you who are familiar with Attitude Reconstruction, you know how important it is to communicate constructively in order to promote connection and understanding. One of the biggest communication errors we make is how we talk about how we are feeling. So, I thought I'd lay out the distinction between emotions and feelings as well as the two kinds of feelings. With this knowledge in mind, you can have the optimal probability that what you say lands right on target to promote joy, love, and peace.
But, first a variety of interesting articles and fun videos:
Here's a fun article that lists
made in 1900, three of which came true.
And finally an inspiring article about a
who is teaching mindfulness at San Quentin that has a waiting list of 300 prisoners.
The Distinction Between Feelings and Emotions
People tend to throw around a lot of words to describe their emotions and feelings. We're confused or we feel frustrated. We're hurt or we're excited. Whatever the label, deciphering feelings from emotions can be a bit perplexing. If we start by learning the difference there are big rewards.
When we can pinpoint what's truly going on inside us, then we can take personal responsibility and free ourselves from what's holding us back from living a fulfilling life. We'll also be able to communicate more clearly and have more fulfilling personal relationships.
According to Attitude Reconstruction, we all have emotions. More specifically there are only six emotions:
sadness, anger, fear, joy, love, and peace. Each has a unique physical reaction. When we understand that the definition of emotion is ("E + motion"), energy in motion, things become simple. Emotions are purely physiological reactions.
Each emotion produces a different sensation in our bodies.
In addition, each emotion has a different physical expression. As seen in children, there is a natural way the body releases its emotions. Just think about how babies and toddlers express negative emotions. After the meltdown they return to being fully present and happy.
The pure express of emotions doesn't involve words. Sounds yes, words no. In order to process our emotions we need to honor and release the physical energy constructively, keeping our thoughts and words free of negative thinking. Done correctly, the emotional energy passes quickly.
Here is the physical expression of each of the six emotions:
* Sadness: crying
* Anger: hitting, stomping, pushing, yelling, kicking (without harming anything of value)
* Fear: shivering, trembling, quivering, shaking
* Joy: bubbling, smiling
* Love: embracing, smiling, crying
* Peace: quiet relaxed silence
If you check in on what emotional sensation you are experiencing in your body you can get to the heart of the matter and determine whether it is sadness, anger, or fear. If you constructively and physically release that emotion, you'll feel an enormous relief. In just a couple of minutes you will be present to handle what needs attention in an effective way. If you do this as a matter of habit, you will increase the amount of joy, love, and peace you feel.
Feelings are the labels we attach to our emotions. They are created when we add a mental interpretation to the emotional sensations we are feeling in our bodies. We can have hundreds of different feelings. Feelings are how we describe and interpret our wordless physiological reactions.
Here's an example: say you've been under the weather but dread going to the doctor. Your stomach is in knots, and your hands are freezing. You start projecting into the future. "What if it's something serious; even cancer? I won't be able to work. What will happen to the children?" You might label what you're feeling anxiety, nervousness, or stress. But what you're actually experiencing on a physical level is the emotion of fear. And, it's just pure energy
. And if we express the physical sensation, we are sure to find ourselves feeling more peace and able to handle the present.
Sadness, anger, and fear are the emotions underlying every negative feeling. For example if I feel judgmental, it means I really feel the emotion of anger. I am not accepting the way other people or situations are. Again, if
we pound or stomp around for just a couple of minutes, we'll find ourselves less judgmental and more able to see the positive.
How to Communicate about Feelings and Emotions
Talking about what
you feel, your emotions and feelings, is part of effective communication and that brings understanding. It's simplest if you stick to the emotions you're experiencing right now. "
I feel angry. I feel sad. I free afraid."
Saying, "I feel as if you..." or "I feel that you..." or "I feel like you..." might seem like expressing feelings or emotions but the words that follow are about the other person. This style of communication is not going to illicit an open response. In fact, it makes the recipients defensive and they will be unable to hear what you are saying. For instance, rather than exclaiming, "I feel like you don't like me," say, "I felt hurt and sad when you called me a slob." This gives information about you and how you feel.
There Are Two Kinds of Feeling Words -- One is Fine.
The Other is Trouble.
When we use "feeling" words we must be careful. The legitimate feeling words describe the way you feel. There are situations where we say we feel something, but are really putting the blame for our emotions on someone or something else.
Be careful about using words that imply that something has been done to you. Words like: rejected, neglected, judged, and abandoned actually put the blame on the other person. When you say, "I feel ignored," you're really proclaiming, "You're ignoring me," or "I feel ignored by you." This communication immediately puts the listener on the defensive. Pushing against the defense works in a football game, but not so much in talking. To convey what's true for you it's better to say, "I feel sad because I wanted to be part of the planning of the party." This is a clean communication that coveys what you feel.
Bogus feeling words are sometimes called "ed" words because the vast majority of them end in "ed." For instance, if you say, "I feel rejected" you are really saying, "You rejected me." (The message conveyed is that you are the reason why I feel so crummy. It's your fault). Or if you say, "I feel manipulated" you're actually saying, "You are manipulating me." (A sure way to produce distance and/or an argument.)
Check out the two columns below to get a better idea of the difference between the two. Then start a campaign to eliminate the disguised feeling words. Why? Because in order to communicate clearly you need to focus on describing what's real for you! This list is based on the work of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication model.
Just read down the lists and you can feel the difference!
taken for granted
Be careful of "feeling" words. Pause and check to see if what you are saying is descriptive about how you are feeling or whether it is really blaming others for your emotions. The latter will not further conversations or make you feel more understood
. It only fuels your emotional upset, and doesn't allow you to get over it and deal with life in a positive and effective way.
Talking about your emotions and feelings is worth sharing and brings closeness and understanding. It's so much simpler if you stick with naming one of the six emotions.
I have always considered myself a person who almost never gets angry. Even when taking your quiz on the Attitude Reconstruction website, I scored almost 0 in anger. Ever since I started emoting I find that anger comes up more and more (and stronger the more I express it). Is there a reason why this could be coming up now? Have I been angry all this time but just turned it into sadness or fear?
As to a reason, is there something you don't accept in your life with people or situations? That could be the reason. Anger is part of being human so it's great that you're finally experiencing it. I'd suggest you further check out my website because there is an instructive video that addresses anger and demonstrate how to express the energy constructively.
However, regardless of why you're experiencing anger, it's a good thing to find a healthy physical way to express that hot anger energy when it arises. After you do, it's important that you rewire your thinking and find a truth to combat your funky thoughts. The best all around truth is "people and things are the way they are, not the way I want them to be." You can personalize this profound statement and name the person or situation. Repeat your statement over and over, especially when the counter thoughts arise and after you release the anger energy.
And keep on crying when you feel sadness, and shiver and tremble when you feel anxious, i.e. fear.
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