Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

All About Feelings

March 24, 2017

While much has been said about the differences between men and women with respect to awareness of feelings, the truth is, it’s easy for everyone to lose touch with their feelings once in a while. Yet, feelings provide powerful clues as to what we’re thinking and how we’re reacting physically.

EXPERIENCING FEELINGS

There are three main ways we encounter an emotion. First, we experience the feeling. Second, our body reacts to it. Last, we express the feeling through our behavior. Therefore, if you were angry, you’d interpret the emotion as anger. Perhaps, your body would tense up and your heart would begin to pace, and then you might lose your temper and begin to shout.

THE IMPORTANCE OF FEELINGS

Exploring your feelings can benefit both your body and behavior. For example, if you find that you often feel afraid you may also discover that you regularly experience association anxiety and physical symptoms of stress. Perhaps your heart is continually racing and your sleep is affected, these responses can have a long-term impact on your health. If you start to examine the root of your fear, you might find that your thoughts aren’t factual. Recognizing this faulty or irrational thought pattern is the first step in modifying it and ultimately feeling less anxious and afraid.

TIPS FOR MANAGING EMOTIONAL REACTIONS

Controlling your reactions to emotion takes time and practice. The following ideas will help you learn how to regulate your reactivity.

Track your feelings – Keep a log of your feelings throughout the day. This experience will give you greater insight into how you see the world and react to it.

Scale emotions – Emotions exist on a broad spectrum, so rating them on a scale of one to ten might help you look for patterns and situations that trigger certain emotions.

Reduce stress – When you experience negative emotions, tracking the methods you use to lower your stress provides invaluable insight and guidance on when and where to use these methods to reduce stress.

Are You Getting Enough Rest?

December 5, 2014

Sleep deprivation is a common condition that afflicts 47 million American adults, or almost a quarter of the adult population. Symptoms can interfere with memory, energy levels, mental abilities, and emotional mood. The condition drastically affects the body’s ability to metabolize glucose, leading to symptoms that mimic early-stage diabetes.

Exhaustion, fatigue and lack of physical energy are common sleep deprivation symptoms. Exhaustion and fatigue affect our emotional moods, causing pessimism, sadness, stress and anger. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has suggested that social problems such as road rage may be caused in part, by a national epidemic of sleepiness.

The Sleep in America poll, conducted by the NSF, indicates that the average American adult now only sleeps 6.9 hours a night, leading to fatigue, exhaustion and other symptoms. Shift workers suffer more than other people: may shift workers average only five hours a night.

So how much sleep do you need? Different people require different amounts of rest. While the majority of adults should spend between eight to nine hours asleep, a small number of people function perfectly well with much less. The time a person spends asleep also changes with age. Here’s a list of how much sleep by age people should get a night:

Age       Hours of Sleep Needed
Zero to 24 Months 13-17 Hours
Two Year Olds 9-13 Hours
Ten Year Olds 10-11 Hours
16-65 Years 6-9 Hours
Over 65 Years 6-8 Hours

Understanding the Grief Process

January 28, 2014

The grief process due to loss can be difficult to go through, but it helps if you know what to expect.

During grief, it is common to have many conflicting feelings. Sadness, anxiety, loneliness, sorrow, anger and guilt often accompany serious losses. Having so many strong feelings can be very stressful.

Identifying your feelings and failing to work through the five stages of grief is harder on the body and mind than it is to actually go through them. Often times people suggest to “look on the bright side,” or other ways of cutting off difficult feelings. The grieving person may feel they have to hide or deny these emotions. Instead, this makes it take longer for the healing to take place.

Some stages of grief are easier to handle and quicker to resolve, while some may seem to go on for an eternity. Often, something you thought was resolved may reappear.

The following are the key components of the grief process:

  1. Shock. You may experience disbelief, denial or feel numb. It may seem as if the world has fallen apart.
  2. Flood of emotions. Crying, screaming and other emotional releases are normal. Crying is a natural healer and stress reducer and should not be held back.
  3. Physical symptoms. You may experience insomnia or sleep more than usual; or you may experience discomfort, fatigue, and loss of appetite or other changes.
  4. Anger. It’s not uncommon to be angry with the loved one for leaving. The best way to work through this is to share these feelings with someone. If you express your anger, it will eventually subside.
  5. Guilt. Even if there is no factual reason for it, you may feel guilty. You may go through “if only” feelings. Openly sharing these feelings with others is very helpful in forgiving yourself.
  6. Depression. You may feel that you will never recover – never be happy again. If you allow yourself to grieve, however, you will eventually regain your happiness. (If you have suicidal feelings, please contact an emergency help line, a family member, or a friend immediately.)
  7. Idealization and realization. At first you may feel that the past was perfect and the future will never be quite as good. As you work through your grief, however, you’ll find that the past was good and bad, and that the future may not be so bleak.
  8. Detachment. As you begin to see the past as the past, you can develop new routines in your life.
  9. Continuing your life. Over time, if the normal stages of grieving have not been inhibited, you will adjust to the loss and go on with life. You do not forget the loss (and are still periodically saddened by it), but you will no longer be consumed by the grief or let it dictate your life.