There is some controversy over the number of human emotions we exhibit but they are generally held to be happiness, sadness, anger, fear and disgust.
And while it’s important to stay positive and not to feed our ‘negative’ emotions we need to acknowledge that they are part of our primal biology and have evolved for a reason, chiefly to keep us safe from harm, to protect us or to motivate us to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
What happens when we deny our emotions?
Let’s take happiness. If we focus only on the happiness emotion, always saying we are fine and well to portray an image of ourselves as strong and coping, then suppression of the other emotions starts to leach out of us like water through the cracks of a dam.
I for one have feared the other emotions including fear of fear itself, and this has a very self-fulfilling quality.
And in these times of emotional need out comes the old friend Distraction.
Distraction is a great tool to get us through for a period but left unattended our ‘negative’ emotions can begin to fester and will eventually affect our health, physical and/or psychological and perhaps manifest in ways which don’t initially make a whole lot of sense.
Allowing ourselves breathing space, quiet time and periods of stillness gives us the chance to recognise that we are harbouring other emotions and to identify their true nature, for example we may be feeling angry, irritable and volatile but at it’s heart is regret, sorrow, grief. Ultimately Sadness. And it is only then we can begin to heal, if we give ourselves the permission, time and space to do so.
And this is what it means to be human; to display the full gamut of human emotion. Because to deny our full range of human emotions leads to dis-at-ease.
To be happy and positive all of the time would be a wonderful thing but not realistic and can end in exhaustion as we forsake our other human feelings. They have rights too!
But to keep gratitude in our hearts always is a great start to help ensure we are the best version of our human selves.
How will you ensure you show kindness to your self and plan your breathing space?