Experience Your Full Range of Emotions

Photo credit: Paval Hadzinski

“Emotion is the chief source of all becoming conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.” – Carl Jung

How are you feeling today?  Happy? Sad? Glad? Mad?  Can you actually name the many swirling feelings that are often going on at the same time? Women are seen as the emotional ones, the backbone of families and organizations. Yet the paradox is that when they fully express those same emotions that make them sensitive, feminine and loving, they are seen as the weaker sex or even incompetent. Women, as well as men, are taught to believe that if they cry then they are not strong, and worse, are seen as feeble, needy, dependent or even fragile. Further, people are often encouraged to suppress their feelings, to toughen up and to ignore their own needs for the sake of appearing stable and consistent.  Is that really an authentic way to live?

In my opinion, emotions are not right or wrong; they are simply guides to inform people about what they need to do in order to take care of themselves.  When emotions are ignored, it actually causes them to intensify and can create a vicious cycle of unproductive thoughts and unclear actions. Ignoring emotional needs can trigger sadness, anxiety, depression, tiredness, isolation, worthlessness and even physical illness. But by truly experiencing emotions fully and deeply, one can become alive, self-confident, integrated and empowered. Using emotions to be a trusted inner guide will bring happiness, joy and true fulfillment.

A strong, powerful woman can own her emotions, she can name how she is feeling and understands the next best action to take. She is emotionally intelligent and what is often not realized is that she is experiencing many emotions at the same time. Her savvy understanding of this complexity allows her to tease out what is really going on and she knows that by staying with whatever feeling is there, it will pass and she can gain wisdom from that experience.

Encountering a variety of feelings allows her to be more sensitive to others, to speed up and keep moving in the direction that feels good or to slow down and take time off when rest or rejuvenation is needed. Having empathy for others, taking inspired action for needed change, stepping into creative solutions or setting boundaries are all part of an emotionally intelligent way of being with emotions.  Having an understanding of a deep complex internal state informs people on how to be happy with whatever is handed to them, then enables them to be proactive to make desirable and necessary changes.

So, are you letting your emotions have a proper place in your life? Are you learning how your emotions impact you, or are you merely suppressing them and keeping your happy face on, even if that is not how you really feel? Become an emotionally smart woman and insist on experiencing a full, rich, expressive life.

Enhance Your Life by your Honoring Emotions:

 Listed below are the more prevalent emotions I have unearthed both personally and professionally. With what emotions are you familiar?

  • Amazed
  • Angry
  • Annoyed
  • Anxious
  • Ashamed
  • Bored
  • Cautious
  • Concerned
  • Confident
  • Confused
  • Depressed
  • Disappointed
  • Disgusted
  • Ecstatic
  • Embarrassed
  • Enraged
  • Excited
  • Exhausted
  • Frustrated
  • Guilty
  • Happy
  • Hopeful
  • Hopeless
  • Hurt
  • Impatient
  • Inspired
  • Irritated
  • Jealous
  • Joyful
  • Lonely
  • Loved
  • Optimistic
  • Overwhelmed
  • Proud
  • Relieved
  • Sad
  • Shocked
  • Shy
  • Surprised
  • Thankful

Name, claim and experience as many emotions as possible. Give thought to what learning is available to you and then discover how to be comfortable with whatever arises. Although emotions are fleeting and they do pass, the experience of feeling a wide range of emotions will teach you to be at ease with yourself. The more you allow the feelings to flow through you in the present moment, the more plentiful and more relaxed your life can be.

Coaching Questions to Evoke a Full Range of Emotions:

Using the list of emotions above, answer the following questions.

  1. With which emotions are you comfortable?
  2. Take a moment to be with any difficult emotions and consider how circumventing them is a way to avoid pain.  What are you doing to escape the pain? (Like shopping, eating, relationships, work, exercise)
  3. If you are not in charge of your emotions, then who or what is running your life?
  4. Which feelings would you engage in if you were living your life powerfully? And, what could you then accomplish?
Meet Jennifer: Life Coach, Inspirational Speaker and Author Jennifer M. Blair is founder of Excavive™ Coaching and Consulting, based in Louisville, Kentucky. Her work focuses on empowering people to pursue their passions, increase their self-confidence, communicate powerfully and build the kind of lives they want to live. If you love these Blog posts, many have been adapted from her first book, The True You: Tools to Excavate, Explore and Evolve, published in 2011.