When we understand our feelings, we are more balanced and better through life. Why this and how it’s done, you will find out here.
Even if some may not look like that at some times – all people have feelings ! And not just occasionally, but constantly.
Emotions are virtually our natural, very personal navigation system. They show us, among other things,
- what is important to us (eg grief, yearning, jealousy)
- what we need and want (happiness, joy, admiration, envy)
- what hurts us, (sadness, pain)
- what we should avoid (fear, disgust)
- where our limits lie (anger, fear, sadness)
Means: The better we understand our feelings, the easier we find our way .
Understanding feelings: What emotions are there?
For a long time, psychologists have distinguished only six basic emotions , namely:
Meanwhile, most agree that this model of the complexity of our emotional world is not nearly fair and that you should actually differentiate significantly more emotions.
For example, in a 2017 Berkeley University study , scientists identified as many as 27 different basic emotions , including sensations such as interest, romance, admiration, and relief.
However, this may not necessarily be the complete and for all time final list of human emotions – at least, this question is still diligently researched and sometimes discussed very emotionally.
Understanding feelings: How does our Psycho-Navi work?
Everything that we experience consciously releases, or at least influences , emotions in us , in the following way:
- We perceive something – for example, I perceive that my friend does not answer my message
- We evaluate our perception and arrange it – great! I’m not important enough to my friend again
- Because of our rating, we feel something – I’m pissed off!
- Our feelings affect our actions and decisions – I confront my friend and ask him what has kept him from answering me
Essentially, emotions are a kind of psychosomatic response to our perception. Both physically and in our mood, they make themselves felt and draw our attention to things that are relevant to us. They also help us learn and develop, because we keep better memories of emotionally charged experiences than others.
How can we control our feelings?
What stands out in the 4-step plan described above: We can influence our own feelings – and even to a not insignificant extent! The sticking point lies in step 2.
Because my friend does not answer me, so I could also rate very differently . For example, I might think, “Oh dear, the poor guy has so much to do that he can not even send me a ‘😘’.” Then I would rather feel pity than anger and treat it with care and gentleness rather than confrontation.
Although our classification of experiences always depends heavily on our knowledge and experience, if we are smart with our emotions and want to understand our feelings, we should focus on the second point – and not, as many handle, only at a point 4 manipulate our behavior …
Why is feelings sometimes so difficult to understand?
Ideally, we automatically learn how to understand our feelings and follow our individual psycho-navi. But the ideal case – there’s no known. In reality
- “an Indian knows no pain,”
- tears are embarrassing,
- Anger must be mastered
- Joy elicits envy and resentment.
And that’s why we often suppress our feelings.
Moreover, after experiences that give rise to particularly strong emotions, we seldom take the time to adequately process them. (Keyword: Oh, your father died just in case of surprise?) Then relax well on your two days special leave and be punctual and well prepared for the meeting on Wednesday!)
These and other reasons cause us sometimes to sink into the emotional chaos, are emotionally overwhelmed and would prefer to feel nothing at all . Or that we even develop disorders such as relational anxiety and morbid jealousy (how to combat jealousy, you will learn here).
Feelings understand with only two questions
If we are in such a situation where we are emotionally overwhelmed, we should take a moment and ask ourselves two questions:
- What do I feel? To name and describe the emotions as concrete and detailed as possible – write down helps!
- What triggered my feelings? Identify the experience that provided the impetus for the feelings and review and question your own subjective assessment of it!
At the same time, it can help to distance one from the situation that has plunged us into the chaos of feeling. Because from a distance or a changed perspective, we always see things differently, which in turn influences our rating and therefore also our feelings.
Otherwise, it makes sense in emotionally overworking course to talk to others about it – whether with friends, family or professionals – because this also gives us a different perspective on our situation.
But regardless of whether we hate or love them and how we treat them in detail: we should never ignore our feelings! Otherwise we will sooner or later be sure to get off our way.