Emotions are precious messengers that may convey vital lessons about our lives.
There are no “positive” and “negative” or “good” and “bad” emotions. In fact, so-called “negative” emotions often carry more valuable information about our inner being than the “positive” ones.
Anger, rage, resentment, fear, anxiety, sadness, despair... All these feelings, in fact, have great transformative potential in the development of each of us. For this reason, the only possible classification of emotions would be (1) “pleasant,” (2) “neutral,” and (3) “unpleasant.” Actually, this grouping may help us in finding the proper ways of dealing with them.
Nevertheless, the only authentic way of dealing with emotions is to directly face them and reintegrate them into our whole being.
The only authentic way of dealing with emotions is to directly face them and reintegrate them into the wholeness of our being.
Dealing with Emotions
Since every emotion is, in fact, a thought with a strong energy charge, it is always expressed in our body through physical sensations.
Emotional energy is constantly reflected in the body, causing different reactions in its specific parts. It is almost always expressed as a tension of a group of muscles, sometimes accompanied by other phenomena—heat or cold, pain, sweating, heart palpitations, rapid breathing, shivering, etc.
Sometimes we are not even aware that there is a strong emotion in us that, if not reintegrated, can cause various difficulties and, eventually, illness. Focusing on the physical sensations that result from such emotions will help us more easily recognize their appearance in everyday life.
In this sense, it is very important for us to develop a continuous awareness of the presence of emotions through the recognition of their manifestations in our body.
Related to this, we have two ways of developing the awareness of the presence of emotions, that is, emotional awareness:
We have two ways of developing the awareness of the presence of emotions, that is, emotional awareness: (1) continuous awareness of physical sensations, and (2) periodic body scans.
Continuous Awareness of Physical Sensations
This awareness is, in fact, a form of mindfulness, which we may also call the conscious Presence. This type of mindfulness should include observing both external and internal contents.
When we talk about mindfulness, with the development of this skill we are gradually increasing our awareness of external stimuli—the varied images conveyed to us by the sense of sight; the sounds conveyed by our hearing; and all other content that our other senses convey.
Also, by practicing Presence, we become increasingly aware of everything that is happening in our inner world—both in the psyche and the body. Thoughts, mental images, emotions, and all kinds of physical sensations are tremendously important objects of our observation. I should also add that in mindfulness, while consciously observing various external and/or internal events, it is vital to maintain awareness of our sense of I, or self.
Another way to develop overall emotional awareness is to periodically scan the body.
Body Scans in Search of Unpleasant Emotions
Unpleasant emotions strongly affect our physical form. Each of them has its own characteristic body imprint. Some emotions cause tightness of the neck muscles, others cause stomach stiffness, some trigger tension in the chest, while certain emotions are mainly expressed on the face or in the limbs. There are also those that are expressed through the spasms across the whole body. In addition, many emotions are manifested in the body through pain, nausea, itching, and various other unpleasant bodily feelings.
Each of emotions has its own characteristic body imprint.
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