Expressing emotions doesn’t come naturally for all of us.
Learning to recognize your emotion, label it and get curious about it can help build a healthier self-esteem and relationships with others. Unfortunately, ignoring emotions, pretending they don’t exist, and operating in silence can cause long-term emotional distress.
Try practicing labeling, a simple technique to help you become more familiar with your vast array of emotions experienced daily. Next time you notice an intense emotion, of any variety (e.g distressing or pleasant) try to pause what you are doing, ask yourself “How am I feeling right now?” and take it one step further than the first emotion you identify. For example, if you notice feelings of anger coming up for you, could it be labeled as frustration or inadequacy instead?
A more accurate depiction of what your are experiencing will help strengthen your relationship with yourself.
Alycia Burant, MA, LPC, NCC is founder, owner and therapist at Healthy Minds Therapy in bustling Alexandria, VA. Her practice has three locations in Northern Virginia providing expert support and services for people in times of need. When she is not working, she enjoys relaxing with her family, wine tasting, cooking and traveling.