#Askingforafriend: Emotions aren’t the problem (Part 2)

By Nicholas Rudgear
GCU Office of Student Care
#Askingforafriend

Last week in Part 1, I laid out the groundwork for why emotions tend to get a bad reputation. Frequently, we are confused and frustrated with our emotions because we are not asking the right questions.

In this follow-up, I provide an overview of ways that we can receive the information our emotions are communicating, reduce distress and make more effective choices in response to our emotional experiences.

My hope is that you will begin see your emotions less as a problem to be solved and more as something valuable to be experienced.

The next time you find that you are struggling with your emotional experience, consider the following:

  • What emotion(s) am I feeling? Be specific with naming them.
  • Where do I feel it in my body? Examples: Am I sweating? Do I have heaviness in chest, knot in stomach, butterflies, racing heart, etc.?
  • How intense is this experience? Rate the emotion(s) on intensity, with 10 being most intense. For example, if angry but at a “2,” maybe I’m feeling annoyed. But a “10” would be enraged.
  • What prompted these emotions I’m now having? When did that happen?
  • Have I felt this way before? When?
  • What thoughts am I having connected to these emotions? Are my thoughts true/accurate?
  • What actions/behaviors am I considering in response to these emotions? Examples: Do I want to cry? Lash out verbally? Withdraw? Laugh?
  • What information is being communicated to me through my emotions? Examples: If guilty, what did I do wrong? If afraid, what danger am I perceiving?
  • Based on the information being communicated to me, what do I need or want to do next? Example: If guilty, whom do I need to apologize to? How can I do that?
  • Once I know what to do next, what are my options? What is the best/healthiest option?

Once you decide your plan of action, try it out and see how it goes. If it doesn’t go well, think about what you can do differently in the future that would create a better outcome.

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Bible Verse

Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? (Isaiah 2:22)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/