What Good Are Emotions?

You might have been feeling like your thoughts are running a mile a minute. Maybe you’ve even had an overwhelming sense that you can’t calm down. This overwhelming sense might make you feel like you really can’t help but just push your feelings aside and keep muscling through. Next thing you know, you find yourself numb, going through the motions, or like you’re just a bundle of raw nerves, frought with anxiety!

This might be just the time when you reach for that extra serving of your favorite “comfort food” or notice that you’ve not only eaten more of that bag of potato chips than you planned to – but that you’ve eaten the whole bag!

If this sounds like something you’ve encountered, you might have found yourself getting nervous at the thought of navigating emotions. You might have even wondered what that even means or what it would look like.  In fact, not only have many of the participants in my Mindfulness Matters group shared this cycle as one of the biggest obstacles they’ve had to shaking difficult feelings and building what they want in their lives, but it will be an important aspect of the upcoming Food and Your Mood Workshop.

Here’s the thing…

Emotions get a bad rap. They often leave us feeling overwhelmed, out of control, or even at their mercy. Yet, they really serve to protect and HELP us. We just need to learn to uncover their messages so that we can benefit from them. That way, we can not only tune in to our emotions to help us make decisions, but we can feel back in control and settled into ourselves.

So, let’s explore the question of what purpose emotions serve:

  • Emotions provide us with a signal that something is happening (e.g., “I feel nervous standing alone in this dark alley”).
  • Whether you realize it or not, your emotions— expressed by words, face, or body language— influence how other people respond to you.
  • Emotions save time in getting us to act in important situations. Our nervous system activates us (e.g., we instantly jump out of the way of an oncoming car). We don’t have to think everything through.
  • Strong emotions can help us overcome obstacles— in our mind and in the environment.

I encourage you to pick out an emotion this week that leaves you a bit frazzled – but just a bit because we want to first practice! Once you’ve identified an emotion, see if you can draw upon these four objectives and identify the way that this emotion might be trying to benefit you!

What did you notice about your feelings going through this activity? Leave a comment and share with me!

Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTubepages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self in the life you want to celebrate!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

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