Hey beautiful people,
Let's delve into the topic of emotional fluency today. No, it's not a new language to learn or a fancy dance move (although, that would be pretty cool). Emotional fluency is all about understanding and accepting our emotions, and learning to process them in a healthy way.
First things first, emotions are not you! They are simply natural responses to external or internal stimuli. Think of them like vibrations in your body. They come and go, and they don't define who you are as a person. They're just energy happening in your body. Think of it like a lightning storm - it's powerful and intense, but it doesn't define you.
Our thoughts, on the other hand, are separate from emotions.
Imagine them as a mental Instagram feed, constantly scrolling with ideas, beliefs, and judgments. Whether triggered by external stimuli or popping up out of nowhere, our minds are consistently generating sentences and stories based on our experiences, memories, and imagination.
But here's the thing: just because we think something doesn't automatically make it true or reflective of how we feel. Sometimes our thoughts can be clouded by our biases and assumptions, leading us to create negative stories about people or situations that aren't entirely accurate or fair.
Recognizing that emotions are separate from your identity is key. You are not your emotions, and your emotions are not you. Once you acknowledge and accept your emotions as temporary sensations, you can start to develop healthier ways to cope with and regulate them.
As Matt Haig, author of "Reasons to Stay Alive," wisely noted, "You are not your mind. You, a person, a thing, a being, are separate from your mind." In other words, emotions may be a part of us, but they do not completely define us as individuals.
To practice emotional fluency, try this helpful technique: grab a pen and paper, and split it into two parts - one for your thoughts and stories, and the other for describing the physical sensations that come with them.
Begin by jotting down all your thoughts and stories without filtering them. You don't need to share this with anyone, so be free to write freely.
After that, pick a sentence (thought) and start taking note of where you feel it in your body.
Describe that sensation in detail.
Do you sense a tightness in your chest, a knot in your stomach, or something different?
Is it a big or small feeling?
Is it moving or still?
Is it colorful or dull?
You can even use metaphors or similes to help describe it, like "it's like a heavy weight on my chest" or "it's like a knot that just won't untangle."
It's like describing a work of art to someone who's never seen it before.
Imagine this scenario: You have an upcoming media interview, and your mind is overwhelmed with thoughts that make you believe you are not qualified. Rather than allowing your thoughts to take control, you decide to take a moment to write everything down on paper, without filtering or censoring anything.
After pouring out all your thoughts, you pick out one sentence that has been particularly troubling: "I'm not qualified enough for this." You then take a deep breath and focus on how this thought is affecting your body. You notice a tightness in your chest and tension in your shoulders, almost like a heavy weight is pressing down on your chest and making it hard to breathe.
Through acknowledging and describing these physical sensations, you come to the realization that your thoughts are directly impacting your body. This newfound awareness empowers you to better manage your emotions and approach the interview with more confidence and calmness. Who knows? With this increased emotional fluency, you may even ace the interview and open up more opportunities for yourself.
Here's a useful thought to keep in mind:
"I am going to be an observer of my sensations and notice them without attaching any specific results, letting them flow."
Allow your emotions to hang out without pretending to like them or trying to push them away. Just let them be. By breaking down your emotional experience in this way, you'll develop a greater sense of emotional fluency.
Over time, this can help you regulate your emotions more effectively and develop better self-awareness and self-control. Give it a try!
Remember, emotional fluency takes practice and patience. Be kind to yourself as you learn to understand and process your emotions. And who knows, maybe someday you'll even have a conversation with your emotions in a new language or express them through a killer dance move. Keep learning and growing, my friends!
With LOVE & JOY,