Saturday, November 21, 2020

We need to teach our patients emotional literacy to process an emotion rather than blocking it or suppressing it

In counseling, many of the folks I see are not aware that “feelings” have both an input and an output function i.e. we use it for information as well as a catalyst to take value based actions.

When we don’t have the emotional literacy to process an uncomfortable feeling, we run the risk of blocking it out or suppressing it, and lose to benefit from it. Blocking and suppressing it can lead to a lot of emotional and relational issues as well.

So how do we process an emotion?

1 Name the emotion

2 Step back, "detach" or "defuse" from the emotion and ask, "Why do I have this emotion?"
"What is it trying to tell me?"
"What external factors are there that made me feel this way and can I change that?" and if not....
"What values and beliefs do I have that make me react this way and can I change that?"

3 Then try the "tame" the emotion with fact checking, reasoning and challenging it, or defuse from it, and take value based actions.

4  Value based actions through compassion, courage, helpfulness, productivity, and prosperity, tend to be quite emotive, and can be very useful and effective. 

This is not easy of course, but it can certainly be learnt and cultivated in everyday life.

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