When we put feelings into words, we actually change the brain’s response to the emotions themselves.
Last week, we talked about the window of tolerance. Today it’s all about the importance of labeling your feelings, so that you can better understand them, and you can feel more skillful whenever you encounter them.
Naming or labeling feelings is so important; when we put feelings into words, we actually change the brain’s response to the emotions themselves. It turns out that naming or labeling feelings can have multiple effects, including calming or slowing you down, centering you, decreasing the experience of being flooded with feeling, decreasing impulsivity, and increasing a sense of control. What’s kind of cool is that these same benefits are observed whether you do it through speaking or writing.
If you have avoided feelings for a long time, you may initially start by noticing that you feel either “good” or “bad,” with less ability to distinguish specific feeling states; over time you may move to more general descriptions such as “hurt” or “upset.” As you become more skillful at identifying and describing your feelings, you can change your experience entirely. The result will leave you feeling more empowered, emotionally stronger, more confident, and more at peace.
Across all of my work and also in my personal life, I know that when a feeling is expressed or reflected back more accurately, a greater sense of calm follows. In this case, then, it means going beyond just saying you are hurt or upset, as these descriptions may be too general and vague and fail to fully capture what you are really feeling (e.g., sad or embarrassed). In order to develop your own language for difficult emotions, start by using the eight difficult feelings as a reference point.
Next week, I’ll talk about ‘Why Accurately Labeling Feelings Leads To Self Love’.
This weeks questions:
WAre you intentional in being specific about labeling your feelings?
Do you feel more calm, centered or empowered after labeling your feelings?
How does labeling your feelings help you enhance your emotional well-being?
I’d love for you to respond on my facebook group if you feel comfortable!!
Join my group on Facebook LOVE MY LIFE and let me know. I’ll post the question and jump on myself to chat and answer questions.
To A Life You Love,
Dr. Joan Rosenberg