How to learn to understand your feelings

“I don’t understand myself”, “I don’t understand what’s going on in my soul”, and many similar expressions are often heard from others. Be alert: or it is a serious SOS signal, when a person is literally screaming for help. Or on the contrary, a person likes unpremeditated attention, he wants to create the appearance of a problem and saturated events.

How to learn to understand their feelings

Feelings are for the long haul

“If you want to understand life, stop trusting what they say and write. It is better to observe and feel” (a.p. Chekhov).

Feelings are mental sensations which reflect individual or collective attitude to reality, show the person’s evaluative position, which seems to mark each event or phenomenon on a scale from “good, wonderful, I am satisfied” to “bad, terrible, needs fixing. Feelings differ from emotions by the increasing level of duration and influence on motivation.

Emotions are at the base of our perception, they are the first reaction to what is going on and are virtually impossible to control. They are volatile, short-lived, may last for literally a few seconds in response to external or internal impulses. Feelings are a more prolonged, predictable state of a person, taking into account previous experience, which can be repeated when perceiving the same moments, can gradually intensify or disappear.

For example, after praise a person may experience short-term emotions in the form of joy, or he may get a longer feeling of pleasure from his successes. One and the same feeling may be accompanied by different, opposite emotions, for example, the feeling of patriotism may be combined with pride, joy, regret and disappointment.

Evolutionary emotions– the primary mechanism of reaction and “digestion” of information; they show a person’s general attitude towards what is going on, which is gradually analyzed, detailed, and generalized. A person draws conclusions and makes managerial decisions about where to move forward and what to do.

For example: It started raining heavily. One emotional reaction is just super, the plants will get drunk, so we’ll get a harvest. The other is a complete finish, our cave along with our offspring will be washed off the face of the earth. Depending on the general state, the psyche quickly chooses the optimal ways of thinking and behaving.

Interesting! It is feelings and emotions that “give away” a person if they are trying to deceive another. You can prove practically anything with words and deeds, but in response hear the dubious: “I feel that there is something wrong”. It is impossible to “fake” being in love or suffering, sympathy or disgust, it is feelings and emotions that “signal” communicative intentions, facilitate or complicate the process of communication, sometimes even completely block the meaning of what is said.

Emotions have little or no effect on motivation and attitudes, but it is feelings that move a person’s thoughts and actions. Confusion, confusion of feelings as a reaction to a flurry of events is a normal, normal phenomenon, which requires mobilization of all parts and processes of the psyche. It is not without reason that there is the expression “control your feelings”, your reactions, otherwise chaos and anarchy will begin.

After all, feelings do not only perform an evaluative function, but also an adaptive, controlling, stimulating function, helping to adapt to the changing conditions of the environment, to fit into the existing order of life. They show the level of immersion in the problem, matching requests and results.

This state of uncertainty arises in people every day, almost every minute, it causes discomfort and makes them move, watch the news, look for sources of food. What scares most of all before an exam?? – not the complexity of the subject, but ignorance of what the ticket will be, what the grade will be. It is the lack of information that leads to the emotional impulse or surge that stimulates all other mental systems.

If the “confused feelings” is a prolonged, protracted state, there is reason to think seriously. When a person for some reason constantly feels chaos and nervousness in connection with this, but makes no attempt to understand and cope with the pathological state, it means that he has internal “blocks” that block the channels of communication between emotive and cognitive-behavioral attitudes, between desires and motives, between goal-setting and action.

Causes of self-understanding

If a person is aware of his inability to “digest” feelings and emotions, he either slows down, stays in the same state and hides it in every way, or tries to identify the causes of dissatisfaction with himself. Psychologists and psychotherapists first of all deal with feelings, and then “adjust” the cognitive and volitional processes, the goal setting.

Usually they ask, “How do you feel now? And in relation to this situation? How have your feelings changed? What worries and concerns you? What are you trying to hide inside yourself??”. There is even a term for a condition when a person cannot express his feelings, emotions: alexithymia. This does not mean that feelings are absent; most likely, the person has not had time to recognize their meaning and coloring, or is trying to hide their attitude.

It is important to understand if a person does not experience certain feelings and emotions or if he/she has an “emotional collapse”, “emotional burnout” at all, which indicates some psychophysiological disorders and requires systemic therapy. Professor of psychology Robert Plutchik identified eight basic feelings and their corresponding functions:

  1. Surprise – an exploration,

  2. trust – cooperation,

  3. pleasure – reproduction,

  4. expectation – support,

  5. sadness – reflection,

  6. resentment – testing,

  7. fear is a defense,

  8. anger – annihilation.

If you run through the list briefly, you can almost always find the dominant, leading feelings at the moment, which determine the flow of consciousness and the direction of action. Most often a person can not make sense of what is happening and his own feelings for these reasons:

  1. objective prerequisites, Many influencing factors that lead to overload, unbearable commitments, the desire to get everything done, not without reason the word “successful” comes from this verb, the result is stress, “short-circuiting”;

  2. subjective experiences, negative experiences from certain situations, for example, a mistake at work is perceived as a stigma of failure, the person begins to ignore work moments, afraid to think about future actions and perspectives;

  3. contradictions between inner motives and attitudes and external demands, expectations, demands, when a person enjoys doing philosophy and reading books, but is required to fulfill a sales plan for vacuum cleaners.

How to deal with yourself

How to learn to understand your feelings

Of course, to begin to understand the depth and scope of the problem, if it is a momentary apathy and confusion about your own feelings, give yourself the opportunity to really distance yourself, to observe the clouds. You can’t always be helpful, efficient, responsible, much more important is freedom of choice – it’s when you can leave, but you stay voluntarily.

If you are experiencing a prolonged crisis that worries you and interferes with your daily existence, it is necessary to methodically, systematically engage in psychological training and exercises.

  1. Psychoanalysis, Transactional analysis, cognitive-behavioral therapy, Gestalt therapy, existential therapy and other types of psychodiagnostics and psychocorrection with a specialist.

  2. Self-analysisPerhaps, no less effective way to engage in revision of their own feelings and desires. Self-observation, self-discovery, and self-monitoring have proven to be effective when applied intelligently, thoughtfully. It’s one thing to think for a moment about the meaning of life and the extinction of the solar system in five billion years. years and quite another – regular, systematic self-development with a host of sources, diagnostic and therapeutic activities.

Self-reflection is not about delving into your own universe and not getting help from others. Undoubtedly, all the answers are contained within your personality, but the right questions and similar experiences greatly expand the horizons of self-knowledge and self-development. Another’s opinion, especially the opposite, will show your strengths and weaknesses, the possibility of self-fulfillment.

A sample list of “warming up” questions:

  1. How do I name or describe my condition, what’s happening to me now??

  2. Why did it happen, what are the reasons for it??

  3. What I would like to feel is how this can be accomplished?

  4. What feelings to “add” and what to minimize?

  5. What feeling has been haunting me for a long time and vice versa, what is missing?

  6. When did I feel the strongest feelings?

  7. Why did they occur, why didn’t they recur??

  8. Why I need “strong,” “strong” feelings?

  9. Why I can’t make sense of my feelings and sensations?

  10. What can you do right now to “reanimate” your condition?? What you can do in a week? In a month?

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