At the end of last week’s blog, I mentioned that emotions begin as physiological events and not as emotional contracts and I promised to share more. I am not saying that we don’t experience emotions as mental constructs, but that the physiological change in the body comes first. Our then minds realize, ‘oh I am really angry, or, I am depressed’.
To clarify this a bit more, let’s talk about language. The mind’s language is of course, words! As noted in the above examples. However, our body has its own language and speaks to us, but we often do not hear or even try to listen. The body’s language is Sensation. Perhaps you have heard these phrases:feeling things in our guts; that pit in the middle of my stomach; or, the tightness in my chest, etc. Less often, we may be aware of a lightness in our hearts, a warm expansiveness in our chests, etc. This is the language of the body. It buzzes, constricts, contracts, chills, warms, opens, expands, just to name a few of the body’s words.
The reasons we are often unaware of, or completely ignore our body’s messages, is we have forgotten this language. We deem those messages irrelevant to our busy grown up lives. Somewhere between elementary school and high school, most humans cease listening to their bodies and begin to live in their heads. Our culture and our role models (adults) usually reinforce the message that our mind is the master and carrier of the most important information. Often it is our poets; musicians, film directors, artists, creative types, etc., who are the holdouts staying connected to both languages, which is one reason we adore them so.
If a person lives in her mind a majority of the time, she will have trouble really experiencing her emotions because she is not truly inhabiting her body. Until the sensations get soooo big, she can’t ignore them anymore. This is one reason why people who spend lots of time in their heads obsessing and worrying, experience high levels of body anxiety. The body is a lot bigger than the mind, especially when it comes to the “negative” emotions. (Not because they are bad, but because they FEEL so bad.) Anger, fear, sadness, when you have tried to tamp them down and ignore them for too long, eventually they will surge out and blow up. When they do, it’s usually a mess. We rant at someone, or go into a deep depression, or have anxiety and panic attacks, to give a few examples.
Next week I will publish Part two of this blog, sharing more about embodied, present, living and how to more easily deal with our emotional storms. Stay tuned!
my lovely Aussie friends displaying two powerful emotions -joy and anger
1.) What emotions are you comfortable experiencing and which emotions are outlawed from your life? Do you resonate with the information that when we stuff and bury emotions for too long, they burst up and make a mess?
2.) Are you comfortable in your body? Can you listen to its language of sensation? What sensations are you currently most aware of?
4 thoughts on “Love & Anxiety #15: “To feel or not to feel….”
Wow. I has never thought about it like that. I so live in my head. Somedays I realize that I have begun to feel like a robot. That is no way to live. Other days I don’t realize what is going on I just sink into that depression with no ides why. Maybe I am living my life on auto pilot. Filling the spaces with lots if knowledge but missing out on the experiences. My body is craving more and when I don’t give it what it needs it gets “bummed”. So with all this said I will strive to LIVE my life more.
Hi Desjmom: thanks for the honest comment. Most of us Americans live just the way you describe and wonder why we are not joyful and why we struggle with addictions. I wish you the very best in your striving to really live your life more. If you haven’t read my 14 former blogs, each one in this series is about this very subject and I try to give practical tips in each one. I hope they help. I hope you give your body the respect and attention it craves! Happy Loving!
I will have to go back and read those. Your words really struck a nerve with me and I feel like I need to explore this more. How can I teach my kids about how to grow into healthy adults if I am not showing a good example. Thank you for your kind words.
I will be waiting patiently for part 2. Thank you for sharing