Understanding your emotions: why is it difficult?

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Joe Dispenza


Understanding your emotions: why is it difficult?

Last update: June 27, 2018

It can happen that you feel confused in front of your emotions. If you can't interpret what you feel in certain situations, there is nothing wrong with you, not understanding your emotions is more common than you think and there is certainly no need to worry.

This, however, does not mean that nothing can be done about it. Understanding why we are sometimes blind to our emotions helps to see what is happening inside us and to act with greater awareness. To do this, there are various techniques that lead to a better understanding of ourselves.

To begin with, it is important to note that many people cannot understand their emotions because they do not know how to correctly interpret the signals sent by their body. We usually associate emotions with a feeling, but in reality all emotions start from a physical sensation. This means that, regardless of our degree of confusion, we can get in touch with an emotion by paying attention to what happens to our body.

"Your intellect may confuse you, but your emotions will never lie to you."
-Roger Ebert-

Because it is difficult to understand one's emotions

There are several reasons that explain why it is not easy to understand one's emotions or what is going on inside oneself. Sometimes this disconnection with our emotions can make us feel frustrated; the "emotional emptiness" can be unsettling when it becomes a way of feeling.

Let's see with a simple explanation how to better recognize emotions, how to manage them effectively and live them with greater awareness.

1- The emotion is in progress

In the first moments when an emotion arises, it is not always easy to identify it. The physical reaction (the first response of the body) can be confused or not perceived as a consequence of an emotional state.

Sometimes the reaction is so unexpected that we don't understand what's going on. Sometimes being aware that you are experiencing an emotion is almost more important than identifying the emotion itself.

2- Experience more than one emotion at a time in a flurry of feelings

If sometimes it happens that you don't know how to interpret a single emotion, imagine how complicated it is if two or more emotions blend together in a combination that is difficult to understand.

This competition between emotions can lead to discomfort and confusion. For example, it can happen that we feel sadness and anger together, two feelings so strong that we feel paralyzed or helpless.

3- There are no words to express what you feel

Sometimes we get a mixture of emotions that we can't name, because we don't understand or because there is no suitable definition for our language.

In this case it can help to split the feeling into the basic emotions that compose it.

4- It is the first time that you feel an emotion

It is normal to feel confused when we experience a feeling for the first time. It can even be frightening or lead to error and confusion.

Fortunately, this is resolved with experience: the more times a sensation has been experienced, the easier it will be to recognize it.

5- Detachment from one's emotions

Dissociation can occur for several reasons, but the most common is that feelings have often been repressed as a defense mechanism in the past. This makes it harder to understand one's emotions in the present moment.

In general, this mechanism is started in an attempt to avoid negative emotions, but ends up expanding to all the others, up to putting us in the condition of not feeling anything anymore.

What to do to reconnect with our inner world

The first thing to do to get in touch with your emotions is to be aware of their presence and let them emerge. And while it's not always possible, sometimes letting your emotions flow is as simple as breathing. They can help meditation or mindfulness practice.

Connecting with our emotions requires the ability to connect with ourselves. However, if the situation becomes complicated, don't be ashamed to ask for help. Sometimes, all we need to reconnect with our feelings is external support.

"The more we are open to our emotions, the more skilled we will be at reading other people's feelings."
-Daniel Goleman-

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