As I'm mid-week in the process of setting the stage for transformation over this year, today is another day of reflection. This time, it's on my emotional wellness.
This corresponds to the ring finger on my hand model of wellness. While emotions often get a bad rap for being touchy-feely, ooey-gooey territory, they are actually chemical communication signals of cells that are turned into sensations that can be experienced by the entire body. They’re just messages that are understood by your mind as emotions. So, don’t shoot the messenger.
Some emotions that you are most familiar with are probably fear, joy, anger, and courage. You might have experienced the feeling of being really angry at a family member, or you might have felt really excited to get a good test result from your doctor. So, if you initially guessed that emotions are feelings, you’re correct. Sensations of pleasure and pain, as well as hunger and thirst, count as emotions, too. In essence, they are chemical bits of information that network with your brain to create beliefs, expectations, and feelings. That’s quite a broad definition.
But, let’s step back a minute.
Usually a message is sent, because it has a purpose.
So, emotions must have some reason for their expression, right?
Your emotions are trying to tell you something. They are actually indicating whether or not you are on the way to reaching your goals. Think for a moment about the fantastic gadget, the global positioning device (GPS). My husband and I take ours with us when we travel around the country. Since our GPS is our frequent companion, we named her Sally. Thanks to her intelligence, we know when we are getting close to our final destination, or when we are traveling in the wrong direction.
Most of the time, she gets things right. However, there are those times when she tells us to “make a U-turn,” and it’s utterly impossible to do so across four lanes of Chicago traffic. In those instances, I get frustrated and enjoy the fact that I can tell Sally to “shut up.”
Unlike Sally, your emotions are always correct. They tell you exactly where you are in relation to reaching your goals. When you are moving closer to your destination, you feel good. When you are moving in the opposite direction, you don’t. It’s as simple as that.
My goal, over the course of this year, is to trust those internal emotions and the messages they send.
Here are some of the other questions I asked myself, that can add clarity about your emotional health:
1) Am I excited about each day? Well, right now I often wake up stressed about work. After I do some yoga, meditate, and write, I can more aptly view the day as a blank slate.
2) Do I feel hopeful about my dreams for the future? Currently, I am experiencing a bit of uncertainty. My goal; feel confident to head in the direction of my dreams, no matter how long it takes to get there.
3) Do I feel good over the course of each day? Mostly, and when I don't, I take actions to find balance again (like taking a walk, removing myself from the office, or listening to my favorite tunes)
4) How often do I express patience with others? Right now, I notice this is something I can also improve. I'm so ready to get things moving along, that I can tend to feel hurried throughout my day, I'd like to experience an abundance of time, and when I do, I think that will help with all of my interactions with others.
5) Do I enjoy my career/occupation? I am greatly enjoying the learning from my position, and I've learned so many things I'd like to change within it. I am a creative person, and if this career path continues to allow for growth creatively, then this could be something done long-term.
6) Am I able to let go of control when it's out of my hands? I always try to do my best in all situations, and when I do this, it's much easier to let go when action on my part is no longer needed or wanted or possible.
7) Do I laugh often? I used to... ready to get my giggles back again!
8) Can I easily shift a negative emotion to a positive one? This can most easily be done when given some time by myself. I would describe myself as a positive person who does understand the power of the mind, and the value of feeling good.
9) Am I confident in my beliefs? Absolutely! I have strong values that guide the decisions I make daily. In the same breath, I can confidently say that I know that beliefs do change, and I like to be open to hearing the opinions of others. Without this ability to listen, I don't think I could continue to grow.
Here's a bit of truth about me right now, and where I am headed in this process. What answers did you find for yourself today?