Emotions: Why We Should Feel and Acknowledge Them

Most of us think emotions are an inconvenience. The world’s kinda taught us that, hasn’t it? If we’re anything other than happy, cheery, and positive, the emotions are not meant to be displayed. Hell, they’re not meant to be felt if they’re negative. I see too many instances of people trying to force away their negative emotions.

And that’s not a good thing. While I’m still someone who strives to be optimistic, I also know emotions—both the good and the bad—are a necessary part of life. We’re meant to feel things on the entire spectrum. And when we attempt to force away our negative emotions, we just make things worse for ourselves.

As someone who’s both studied psychology and delved deep into her own trauma and spiritual conflicts, I’ve gotten good at digging into emotional states. It’s not easy. But it is incredibly beneficial. Because when we don’t deal with those emotions, they do start to consume us, whether we realize it or not.

Before I get too far into this entry, I want to stress: I’m writing about things that mean something to me. These are things I’ve noticed based on my own experiences, talking to people, reading and studying, and reflecting on all those things. It’s also a combination of study and spiritual practices on my end—most of which is done in my spare time.

Can I tell you what the biggest secret is in terms of dealing with your emotions? It might seem obvious, but it’s what none of us what to do.

The secret is:

Feel and Acknowledge Your Emotions

That’s it. The best way to work through our emotions is to actually feel them.

Seems simple. Seems obvious. But it’s more difficult than it seems.

Again, we’re part of a society and world that discourages us from feeling. When we’re constantly encouraged to ignore and suppress our negative emotions, feeling and acknowledging them is something most don’t consider. In fact, most would consider to really feel and acknowledge your emotions to be the opposite of beneficial.

When feeling sad, the productive way to overcome it is to do or think happy things. We counteract the bad with its opposing good feeling. But, depending upon what has made us sad, this might only put a bandaid over a shark bite.

Beyond that, a lot of people don’t know how to address their emotions productively. Yes, you need to feel them and acknowledge what you’re feeling, but you also need to know how to work through them effectively.

Your emotions are here to teach you something great if you give them the space to do their job.

Why Do We Need to Do This?

Before I suggest some ways to feel and acknowledge your emotions (or at least, ways I’ve done in the past), we should talk about WHY we should do this. Why is dealing with our emotions better than ignoring them or pushing them aside?

They’re Part of Us

Well, firstly, our emotions are here for a reason. We didn’t evolve beyond them. So, clearly, they have a purpose. They are part of our human experience. And just the same way we learn to walk and use our physical body to its best potential, we should be doing the same with our emotions.

If we don’t take care of our bodies, we end up hurting. So many people are sitting at desks, and their backs and shoulders are feeling it. When we don’t carry our physical bodies in the correct way, they don’t work efficiently. It’s the same with our emotions. Learning to deal with them in a healthy way means we get greater benefit from them. And they don’t hurt us as much because we know how to handle them.

Freedom

Another reason why it’s great to learn how to deal with your emotions is that it sets you free. Once you’ve realized you can work through your emotional turmoil, the emotions don’t have as much power over you.

Ever have a problem that you’re struggling to work through? You think and you dig and you try everything you can to solve it, but it just keeps staring you back in the face? Then—finally—a breakthrough and you get that nagging issue solved.

Remember how you feel after that? The relief, the amazement. And probably the biggest feeling: the freedom! You’re no longer trapped by it. And now that you’re freed, what else can you accomplish?

You may find that, as you learn to deal with your emotions, this feeling of freedom comes as well. Because you’re no longer trapped by turmoil that brews when you’re just trying to ignore your feelings or suppress them. When you realize that the emotions you’re feeling don’t have to control you or cause you overwhelming stress, you end up feeling really powerful. We realize that if we can do it once, we can do it again. And we can probably accomplish a lot more too.

To Live Better

We are not living life if we’re only allowing ourselves to experience the good. You cannot have good without bad. There is balance in life, and none of us can escape this balance. So, it is better to learn to move through the bad, the negative, and the struggles instead of ignoring them.

If we’re feeling particularly emotional, we might lash out at others who don’t deserve it. Then we might later come back and blame the feelings we had. This isn’t great for us or for our relationships; we shouldn’t be having these explosive lashings regularly.

The same is true for suppressing. The emotions don’t really go away; they’re stored up until you reach a breaking point. Learning to deal with our emotions is powerful because it heals us and can do the same for our relationships.

To feel grief means we must have felt love. And aren’t we doing a disservice to our loved one by not grieving?

Final Thoughts

Our emotions are powerful. They are just as important as our physical body and they are an important part of our living experience. And they have the ability to teach us a lot about ourselves and grow from them.

But they can only do this if we let ourselves feel and acknowledge our emotions. While society might tell us it’s better to just push through and ignore our emotions, doing this doesn’t allow us to understand them. And if we can’t understand them, then we struggle to learn what they can teach us.

In another entry, I’ll post about some ways I’ve I’ve done this, which I hope will be helpful. I do feel that we can all be active in improving ourselves and our lives, but it begins with awareness. I hope this has helped and I’ll see you all in the next entry.

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