What about EMOTIONS? (Part 2)

therapy couch 2
OOPS – that’s not a feeling. It’s a thought!

PREVIOUS : What about Es? (#1)


HEALTHY emotions (Es) usually are brief / short-term, & will dissipate rather quickly. They’re an immediate response to a thought or some situation at the moment. They give us important information about what’s going on, & get us ready or motivated to act, when appropriate or necessary.
Es come from :
external events, like being cut off in traffic or your boss being annoying, so you may feel angry, irritated, frustrated…. OR
internal ‘events’, such as memories of —
— a bad job, a lost loved one, so you may feel sad, lonely, angry, scared OR
— a fun party, great success, a great trip, so you may feel happy, relieved, proud, nostalgic…..

LONG-TERM** emotions are those unhappy ones we keep on experiencing for a long time, causing great stress on the body, so we never get to relax. Once triggered, our E seem to go on forever! because we’re usually not experiencing current ones, but rather taping into the unprocessed deep well of accumulated childhood pain.
In the present, when an old button is pushed, we chew & chew on a feeling (anger, abandonment, disappointment….), obsessing on the painful experience, & then add more pain by judging ourself for what we’re feeling.

** Unexplored childhood Es prevent us from being in touch with or honoring honest gut responses in the present, which then distract us from taking needed actions, or drive us to take the wrong kinds.

These old Es won’t dissipate easily or quickly because they’re attached to self-abusing beliefs that our WIC is loyal to – the Toxic Family Rules & Roles. The only ‘benefit’ they provide is to let us know how we felt in childhood.
Accumulated Es hang on until we can verbalize & finally experience them safely.

EXP: You got really angry at a rotten driver on the highway, yelling & giving them the bird… but then gave yourself a hard time for being angry – because you learned as a kid that anger is BAD. You keep judging yourself, maybe also feeling guilt, shame, anxiety & S-H
WHY? Not making a distinction between the emotion of anger vs. behaviors that expresses it.

Truth: All emotions are legitimate, but not all actions are appropriate!
Even if you can’t prevent the bad-voice tape from clicking on, do NOT let it run – stop it right away AND strongly disagree with what it’s saying. If you do that each time, its power will eventually diminish!

MOST Es: In a psychological healthy state, emotions usually come & go rather quickly. We can have several, even conflicting Es, at the same time – about a specific person or situation.
They’re brief because they’re situation-specific, & we’re not holding on to a negative mental interpretation of what’s being felt (not judging or being afraid of Es)   (More…..)

Interesting : A pioneering study into how some emotions can be felt much longer than others, suggest that – being ashamed or disgusted last about (30 min), bored (about 2 hrs), guilt (3.5 hrs), but sadness outlasts them all (up to 120 hours!) The next longest was anger, about 60 hrs.!

⚙️ SOME Es: There are some healthy long-term ‘states’ like love, loyalty, faith…. that can last years or a life-time, even with ups & downs, depending on the individual &/or the relationship

Regularly ask What am I feeling emotionally right now?  Name any that you can. If you’re not sure, keep a list of Es on your phone. Write about recent events & talk about them to a friend or in a meeting. Not being alone with them helps.

feelingsQ: Have you noticed that at the end of a day – or week – you feel heavy, tired, depressed – BUT you think ‘Nothing really big / bad happened’ ?
A: List every event, no matter how trivial or ‘innocuous’. Some may actually have been quite stressful
• Next to each one – list Es you noticed, OR imagine which Es you may have felt about it – if you had been ‘in touch’ (sad, mad, lonely… or happy, relieved, peaceful….)

• You’ll find there are many different Es associated with people & situations that come in & out of your life. If you don’t regularly discharge all that emotional energy, usually uncomfortable ones, they accumulate in the body & then you end up feeling weighed down!
💗 We can also overlook pleasant Es if we’re not used to or allowed to feel them.

NEXT: What about Es? #3

One thought on “What about EMOTIONS? (Part 2)

  1. Helpful post despite the “homework”! 🙂 Labeling emo’s and “connecting” to them is still a work in progress. I find I don’t acknowledge many day to day emo’s….they only get my attention when they are intense or stack up. However, the day to day one’s swirling about have been expressed by me physically – for a long time. I learned that w/some help. I really look forward to your next post.



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