Do you talk about feelings? Some of us do, some of us don’t. Whether we do it or not, like it or not, it’s good to talk about our feelings, yet many of us are still conditioned into the good old “British” ways of not talking about how we feel.
Or are we?
How often have you heard these common phrases or even used them yourself?
That’s a weight off my mind/shoulder”
It’s a pain in the neck”
I’m weighed down by guilt”
There’s a lot of research that highlights that we do indeed hold feelings in our bodies. This research states that we do have physical experiences as a result of thoughts or feelings. How many times have you been in stressful or high pressure situations and find you have tight shoulders, back ache or headache from the tension? It’s a common problem. Even if you don’t think you are talking about feelings, there are a whole load of comments and phrases we use that actually identifies that we have feelings and how they are making us feel!
How is this relevant to you?
When we meet someone for the first time or are getting to know them we might say they are a “bit cold” or that we “warmed” to them. So we get some sort of physical response to that situation too. What about being “frozen with terror” or “trembling with fear”. Did you ever stop to think about having a physical response to the feelings in any situation where these phrases were relevant to you?
It’s not all doom and gloom though. We also get bodily feelings and sensations for the good stuff that goes on in our lives too. Have you ever felt like jumping for joy, or had a surge or pride or tingling with excitement? I do hope so!
What can we do about these feelings?
When we live in a world where stresses and strains become common-place in our daily lives, we are bound to have times when we store tension or stress and end up with that weight on our minds. Recognising when these stresses and strains are there and having someone to talk to about them can be a good thing. It means you have a hope of catching the situation before you get the point it being a pain in the neck – or however it is that it affects you. Having tools, techniques or other things in your life that help you release these bodily sensations is a great thing. You can recognise when things are getting too much and find a way to let it go.
There’s a few psychologists who really support paying attention to what our bodies are doing and how they feel. They do great work with severely traumatised people by working with what’s going on in the body. If it’s life changing for people with severe trauma, then it’s going to be pretty good for us in our everyday lives.
More and more studies are advocating that the most effective way to change the way we think is to ensure we also pay attention to our bodily feelings and experiences. It’s certainly important in the work I do.
Let’s talk about feelings
Now that you have a better insight into the language of emotions you can begin to hear if you are using these sorts of phrases to talk about your feelings. By paying attention to the way you talk and also the way your body feels you can catch those feelings and any associated thoughts and responses to help you change your behaviour, change your responses and help you feel better in your everyday life.
I’d really love you to let me know of any phrases you use! Let me know in the comments below or drop me a email.