I've been doing a lot of unlearning lately, and a lot of it has to do with the way that I perceive my emotions. Being a Cancer (see: emotional, moody, needy), I am predisposed to being super emotional and sometimes that means a predisposition of being a super emotional wreck. I don't just feel, the depths of my emotional capacity are as boundless as oceans, and as tumultous as them too. I happened upon a list shared by wellness guru Nikisha Brunson some time ago about 18 Signs of Mentally Strong People and then some time later, she suggested reading revolving around emotional intelligence.
Let's just say that I saw a lot of things that I could stand to work on, and thus benefit from. It was then that it struck a chord with me that I wanted to build strength in those two areas, and not only that, but strengthening your emotional intelligence plays into your mental strength. Shortly after, I started reading Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.
During my reading of the different strategies they describe as extensions of self-control and self-management methods, an aspect that really stood out for me was the understanding that when it comes to emotions, there is no such thing as "good" and "bad".
While an emotion can be regarded as positive or negative, they should all be regarded and acknowledged the same way. You should always seek to understand them. The basic premise of the book is to help those who feel ruled by their emotions learn and understand that they are, in fact, the ruler of their emotions.
You rule your emotions. Your emotions do not rule you.
There's a tendency to disregard negative emotions as they come because they are "bad", so they should be cast away in efforts to maintain your "good" feelings. But that's not reality and that's not being real with yourself. Yes, you should always try to maintain your positivity and keep negativity away from your state of mind. But that doesn't mean to ignore. Nothing that you feel is bad, so why not feel what needs to be felt, even if not forever?
I've always tried to lead my life this way, although sometimes I allowed myself to linger on down moments a little too long for my liking. It's been comforting though to realize the power in refusing to assign "bad" labels to feelings of anger, frustration, rejection, inadequacy, sadness, insecurity, etc. They are all feelings and they are all valid because they are mine. Acknowledging your feelings that way and journaling them all further assists in the process of discovering the "why" behind the "what" and authenticating their validity in your existence.
It's been a real help in navigating in my sea of emotions and finding beauty in them again. As a woman who has often felt like "too much", it's been reaffirming to see the true essence of all that comes with that and the beauty in self-actualization.
What have you been doing for your emotional health lately? Let me know in the comments below.
Photo via Jeans and Roses