Getting in Touch With Your Emotions

More often than you might think, people feel bad, and don't even know what they are feeling. They may be accident prone, they may seem cranky or insulting, they may pick fights, be easily led into trouble, or exhibit any number of maladaptive, self-defeating behaviors. They may suffer ulcers, heart problems, rashes, or other physiologic problems. But they may not be in touch with their emotions. This is not to say that anyone who exhibits the above behaviors or illnesses is not in touch with his or her emotions; but it is not unusual.

It is very helpful in resolving problems for one to become aware of his or her emotions that are connected to the problems. Therefore, I offer some ways for you to practice becoming aware of your emotions.

  1. Take a paper cup and really look at it from every angle. Write a note or mark it in some unique way. Ask a friend to write something to you on the cup. Study it again. After you are thoroughly familiar with it, crush it! Now, how do you feel emotionally? Name the feeling. Emotions have names; no sentences now; name it.
  2. Get a bag of lemons or limes or other fruit. Choose one at random from the bag. Study that fruit. Once you are sure you know it put it back in the bag. Mix up the fruit. Now close the bag. In a moment reach in and find your fruit. But, first, before you open that bag, how do you feel? Will you be able to find it? Will you know it? Name that feeling.
  3. Keep an events log.
  4. Keep a thoughts log.
  5. Practice rational emotive imagery. Make yourself feel "sad","glad", "embarrassed", "angry", and "worried." Take your time. Really get into each emotion. You don't have to do them all at the same time. Spend a little while at it. You'll be glad later for the patience.

Getting to know your feelings is important work. Do it well.

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