Dealing with daily emotions: A Simple Quick Exercise

People around us can teach us a lot about ourselves. Unfortunately, sometimes in our emotional state, we miss these valuable lessons.

1. Label the Emotion

Next time you become emotional over a situation or something someone says or does, take a closer look at that emotion. What is it? label it: is it anger? sadness? happiness? pride? shame? what is it that you are feeling? sometimes we get overtaken by emotion we forget to even label them.  Labeling helps you manage the emotion.  Instead of being overtaken by it.

I know this is easier said than done but it is worth trying believe me.  As soon as you remember to label the emotion go ahead and label it.  Try your best to do it while it is still there.  Once you try this you will know why.  You will feel in control again.  If you need help determining what emotion exactly you are having, here is a link to a list of all human emotions, more or less.  Download it, and look at it once in a while as emotions arise.

2. Describe How the Emotion Feels

And then you can go the next step which is describing how the emotion “feels.”  Sit back and observe how the emotion feels. How does it manifest in your body: Do you feel it in the neck? stomach? heart? hands and feet? what is the feeling like? which muscles are affected.  How about your breathing? posture? There is a lot to take note of, and that teaches you a lot about your self.

3. Determine What Triggered the Emotion

Then comes a lot of insights about why that emotion arose, and how is it triggered, etc.  This understanding will lead to acceptance and clarity.  It is beautiful.

PS. If you try this simple exercise and you like it, please share your comments below on your experience: how was it? did it help you feel in control? was the emotion one emotion or a mix of many? Please do tell.


Comments (2)

  1. Hi Ammar,

    Do I need to accept the emotion or work to respond better next times? Do I need to set my own expectations ( if negative emotions related to job stress ) ?

    1. Hi Mohammad,
      Both. First, Accept the emotion. How you feel is valid and it is there for a reason. Accept it. Now trying to react better next time is good too. But remember dont try to fight how you feel. Dont try to deny your feelings the right to be. If you are angry, accept that you are angry. Feel it. Respect it. Let it be. Observe it. See how it feels in your body.
      On the second part of your question on expectations, can you explain more what you mean?

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