Emotions - The Messages They Have for Us

An Intro to Emotions
Part 2: Emotions—The Messages They Have for Us

So, now we know that emotions are energy in motion, and that all emotions have a purpose. But sometimes, we don’t like the way emotions feel—especially those emotions that come from energy that feels like it’s moving downward and contracting. When we don’t like the way emotions feel, it can be hard to accept them and let them do what they’re supposed to do. But one way we can accept our emotions and allow them to keep moving through us is by listening to them. 

The main purpose of emotion is to communicate—not just with others, but with ourselves. Every emotion has a message. When we listen to that message, we can learn about ourselves and keep our emotions moving through us in healthy and positive ways. 

So, what messages might your emotions be trying to get through? What is the energy in your body telling you? The only person who can truly answer that is you, as you draw on your experiences and tune in to your emotions. But there are also some common messages that emotions often want to share with us. Here are some examples: 

Anger tells you what you’re passionate about, what you believe needs to change, and where your boundaries are. You can turn anger into an opportunity to be heard and make a difference.

Bitterness shows where you’re holding judgments on yourself or others. When you listen to that message, you can identify where you need to heal.

Resentment is a sign that you’re living in the past. It’s an invitation to allow the present to be what it is, not what you wish it were. 

Sadness is a sign of how deeply you care. Acknowledging sadness can help you heal and motivate you to change things for the better.

Disappointment shows that you really tried for something and you didn’t give in to apathy. Listening to the message of disappointment can give you hope, knowing that you still care. 

Guilt tells you that you’re living life according to other people’s expectations instead of your own. Guilt teaches you what’s important to other people—and then it’s up to you to decide if those same things are important to you.

Shame can point out that you’re internalizing other people’s beliefs about who you are or who you should be. Like guilt, shame can be a catalyst to help you reconnect with yourself. 

Stress is a message that you’re going too fast or doing too much. It encourages you to slow down and take care of yourself.

Anxiety shows that you’re stuck in the past and living in fear of the future. Anxiety invites you to be present and focus on the now. 

Insecurity tells you that there’s something lacking in your life. It invites you to seek out love, nurture your relationships, and speak positively to yourself. 

Discomfort calls your attention to what’s happening right now. When you feel discomfort, you’re being given the opportunity to change and do things differently.

See? When you learn to listen to what your emotions are trying to say, you can really believe the truth that there’s no such thing as a bad emotion. All emotions serve a purpose—which is to tell you something important!

The next time you feel a strong emotion, stop and identify it. What is that emotion? Once you know what it is, tune in and listen to what the energy in your body is saying. What messages does that emotion have for you?

Emotional intelligence is a journey and it takes practice. We’d love to hear about how your journey is going so we can support and learn from each other. So feel free to leave a comment and share your experiences with us! What are you learning? What messages have you found in your emotions?

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