A grown-up is better at understanding feelings compared to children or adolescents. Why is that? Because as we grow up, all of us get better at knowing and understanding what we feel and why we feel that. Knowing and understanding our feelings helps us to know what we want to do in a certain situation and also, it helps us to make choices. Most importantly, getting to know our feelings helps us to know ourselves and understand ourselves better.
How can you discover and identify what you feel?
How can you make sense of what you feel?
How can you determine how your feelings dictate your behaviour?
Getting to know your feelings is a skill that anyone can practice. Here are some tips to try and practice to discover your feelings.
Start by keeping a feelings journal
Take a few minutes each day to ask yourself:
- What kind of feelings do I get?
- Am I aware of having feelings?
- What are the feelings I’m aware of having?
- When did I become aware of these feelings?
- Why am I not aware of these feelings I have?
We recommend that having a notebook to write about what you feel, how you feel it and why you feel will greatly help with insight and awareness. We believe that writing about what we feel is a way to express them. However, don’t rush through it. Take it slow. Be sure to take your time and describe each feeling thoroughly. It’s important to know what impacts your decisions and what enhances your life. This activity may take you to different places you have not travelled to before and surprise you with details that have not been there before.
Notice your feelings
To start off, try to examine your behaviour and daily life. Look for the patterns that form in your life. Try to notice and identify how you feel as something happens to you. After that, say the name of the feeling you have to yourself. For instance, after you do a good deed, you might say to yourself “I feel really proud of myself” or when you do bad at a presentation you might say “I feel disappointed”. Explore your feelings and always listen to what they are saying to you. This can help you to understand your feelings better.
Notice whether you are judging what you feel
“I feel bad for being anxious and depressed. Why am I like this?”
What we believe is that it is not the feelings themselves causing someone to suffer. In fact, it’s someone’s judgement of those feelings and their desire to rid themselves of them. It’s a very common thing for someone to judge what they feel. In fact, judgements are thoughts about our feelings and emotions. In order to prevent yourself from judging your feelings, we suggest you practice mindfulness exercises. This will help you to stream and realize that your feelings don’t define you unless you give them that power. Eventually, you will start telling yourself that you are the one in control of your experiences and feelings.