Yes, I am going there… that place we don’t like to go, because we aren’t sure what we might find, particularly us Brits… Emotions!
Society tells us from a very young age; which emotions are acceptable, appropriate and therefore good emotions… and equally which are not acceptable or appropriate and therefore bad emotions or make us look weak.
What this means is that to fit in with society and these social norms, no matter how we are really feeling inside, we modify our behaviour, and we demonstrate to others that we operate within the good emotions zone! Happy, positive, successful, life is good and so on…
For many of us this is true, some or most of the time.
Another alternative is we are scared to have any emotions and live in a world not being too happy or too sad… just OK! Just in case being too happy means it will be followed by being really sad, or in case others judge us for our emotions and we want to fly under the radar, and for some people it feels comfortable and they enjoy living in that space.
I want you to think about how you feel when you have emotions you feel you have to suppress, to deny how you really feel and to project a different exterior? From my own experience and from working with my amazing clients, I know that this is tiring and can become stressful and can even make us unwell.
We are now starting to hear more and more about mental health, this is a great thing, people are raising awareness in many different ways, we are learning that many people experience periods of time when they struggle with mental health and have suppressed it, pretending all is well, hiding those all-important emotions. This is fantastic and gives others permission to do the same, because I don’t believe for anyone, that life is all plain sailing and filled with only what we are led to believe are ‘good emotions’ or ‘no emotions’.
I believe there is another option, an option where it is perfectly OK and reasonable to experience all emotions, to be happy, sad, excited, angry, peaceful, anxious, courageous and fearful. Emotions are there to tell us something, to let us know something is happening, I believe they are our internal guide. Some emotions are there to keep us safe, others to fill our hearts with joy, and so much more.
This to me is where we really come alive, when we allow ourselves to experience a range of emotions, without attributing to them the notion of being good or bad, right or wrong. They just are what they are, a wide range of emotions all valid and all being experienced for a reason.
How can we know real happiness if we have never felt sad? How can we feel brave and courageous and grow as a person if we have never felt nervous or anxious? How do we keep ourselves safe and know something isn’t right, if we don’t experience fear? Equally how do we know something is good for us and to bring more of that into our lives if we don’t experience happiness and joy?
Life isn’t meant to be lived as what I term it ‘flat line’, I believe it is meant to be lived fully and colourfully, which involves ups and downs, it shows real courage, not weakness as society has led us to believe for so long. For me, really living means experiencing all emotions, overcoming some, processing others, taking risks and daring to truly be myself.
I am not suggesting we all walk around freely expressing every emotion, there is, as with everything a time and a place. Find a trusted friend, colleague, family member, taking up a new hobby or sport, or maybe explore working with a trained professional, this could be a coach like me or whatever works for you, because we are all different. What is important is that you have a way to help you express and process your emotions, this brings with it an enormous freedom and strength and is not a sign of weakness, but brave and courageous!
If you feel like you would like some help, do please get in touch for an informal, no obligation chat, or maybe even book yourself an introductory session, 30 minutes of your time could just change your life!
Until next time,