Practice Being Aware of Your Emotions

No doubt, we are each experiencing a range of emotions as we go through disruption and change after a heated and polarizing election. No matter whether you are experiencing anxiety or joy, it is valuable to make it a practice of noting your emotions and not making them wrong.

Our emotions serve a valuable purpose, they are energy in motion, e-motions that spur us to taking action or refraining.  When we are excited about a project, we are mobilized to jump in and begin.  When we feel hesitant or afraid, we are more likely to put off taking action.

When we appreciate the value of our emotions, we can be more of an observer and take note. A benefit of naming our emotions is that we activate the pre-frontal cortex part of our brain and we become more at choice about what kind of action we want to take rather than unconsciously reacting

Also, when you acknowledge (without judgment) your emotions, they more readily move through you naturally. A feeling of anger or worry can naturally dissipate with attention.  Of course, if we continue to ruminate on an issue and magnify our emotion, we continue to experience the feeling.  Some emotions require us to simply be with them without hoping they shift or leave. The more you become aware of your own emotions the more readily you will be able to notice and give empathy to others. As humans, we are continually experiencing a range of emotions.

Make it a practice of naming your emotions. Just notice and name.

Find Your Oasis Amidst Disruption

We are in the midst of change in our country, world and in our lives. We have learned that change is a constant and we have successfully adapted to many changes with technology, political shifts, family changes and aging. Even so, change is not easy.

Changing is particularly hard when we feel uncertain and ungrounded. It is easy to imagine the worst and to feel afraid. A part of us wants to hold onto what we have and resists change. When we are stressed we experience contraction and we literally don’t have access to the part of our brain that experiences possibilities. Continue reading

Self-Awareness is Paramount

Self AwarenessExamine your assumptions, emotions, and background before choosing what to share with others. Internally, we process what we observe, making sense of it, and then select an action or response. Sometimes, this process happens very quickly. We may feel we don’t have a lot of choice about our actions, particularly when we have a strong emotional reaction.

The ability to observe ourselves and become self-aware is one of the key characteristics that makes us human. We have the capacity simultaneously to make assumptions about an observation, experience emotions, and also become aware of what is going on. It is as if we are in a theatre, shining a light on the actors and noticing their thoughts and feelings. When we notice our excitement, some part of us is feeling excited and another part is noticing this emotion. Becoming aware is a critical tool for managing and supporting ourselves to engage in valuable conversations. When we are aware, we are more free to make a choice about how we will respond and what we will share with others. Continue reading