We’ve All Had Those Moments When Our Bodies Go Haywire

Mastering the Art of Observing Your Emotions without Becoming Overwhelmed by Them

Image by Leah Flores

Observing and managing emotions without overwhelm

You know those times when your body decides to have a mind of its own? It’s like a rebellious teenager, adjusting to hormones, time zones, and climates, causing all sorts of physiological changes. And what do we do? We create a whole new story based on these feelings! It’s like a sad movie and bloating during your period suddenly make you believe you’ll die alone, leaving you feeling lonely and resentful. Trust me, been there, done that! But here’s the thing: our narratives are powerful, but they’re not always a reflection of reality.

The Skill of Observation and the Art of Narrative

To navigate the wild world of emotions, we need two superpowers: observation and narrative analysis. These skills come in handy not just in our relationships with others but also with our fabulous selves! Instead of labeling emotions as “good” or “bad,” let’s start seeing them as messengers from our inner world, revealing the essence of our encounters with the world. Forget “Should I be feeling this way?” and start asking the juicy questions like:

  • What beliefs about emotions am I clinging to?
  • What is this emotion trying to tell me about myself?
  • How is this feeling affecting my interactions with others?
  • Have I transformed because of this emotion? Tell me more!
  • What value is this emotion speaking to?
  • Hold up, what narrative am I clinging to? And why?
  • Am I feeling multiple emotions? Bring it on!

Our emotions hold the keys to unlocking the secret chambers of our experiences and our magnificent selves. By fully embracing them, we become enlightened, not imprisoned, by their wisdom. Now, I’m not saying you have to sit and feel every single thing all the time—that’s just madness! But being aware of your emotions, connecting with yourself through them, that’s where the magic happens.

The Balancing Act: Acknowledging Without Being Consumed

Okay, let’s be real. Observing our emotions can sometimes feel like swimming in a sea of overwhelming feelings. But fear not, my friend! I’ve got a trick up my sleeve that I teach my clients. When you experience an exceptionally strong emotion, try to identify one or two other emotions that join the party. Yeah, the more, the merrier!

Now, I know it sounds counterintuitive. Why on earth would you want to feel more when you’re already overwhelmed? Well, here’s the secret sauce: identifying multiple emotions can dilute the power of the consuming emotion. It paints a more realistic picture of what you’re feeling. So, you might be overwhelmed, but hey, you could also be sad, disappointed, and angry. And let’s not forget the hunger pangs—yeah, that’s a feeling too, right?

By uncovering this colorful bouquet of emotions, you can better address your needs. It’s like having a roadmap to understanding yourself on a deeper level. And you may even discover contradictory emotions, like a blend of sadness and relief. It’s okay, embrace them both! We’re complex beings capable of holding a whirlwind of contradictory emotions. It’s time to unleash the emotional chaos and see all sides of ourselves!

Feelings: The Subjective Reality Check

Here’s a truth bomb: feelings represent our subjective reality, not always the cold, hard facts. Just because you feel rejected doesn’t mean someone is actually rejecting you. And feeling insecure doesn’t mean you lack the skills to conquer the world. Our emotions are influenced by various factors—triggers, wounds, hormones, fatigue—you name it.

This doesn’t mean we should dismiss our feelings, but it does mean they have limitations. They may not always present the whole, or even an accurate, picture. Think of it as a personal interpretation of the grand masterpiece. So, let’s honor our feelings, laugh at their whimsical ways, but remember they’re just one piece of the intricate puzzle that is life.

Excerpted from It’s On Me: Accept Hard Truths, Discover Your Self, and Change Your Life by Sara Kuburic, with permission from the publisher.