Emotions like the weather
Although most people in the country would disagree, in Southern California we have had extreme weather conditions for us: rain and mudslides. You could almost say that we are so used to mild conditions that we are afraid of what others would call “real” weather wimps. Being afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed about your feelings is like being afraid of the weather, because emotions (tears, panic attacks, outbursts of rage, withdrawal, depression, elation, lust, romantic excitement, euphoria) are the weather conditions inside. oneself.
Certainly, there are weather conditions that are fearsome, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, exploding volcanoes, and fierce fires, and we should control them if we can and protect ourselves from them. But, like the weather, most emotional weather conditions are pretty mild.
My clients have found it very helpful to use weather metaphors to understand how natural and normal everybody feelings are. Here are my thoughts on the basics of emotional climate. It’s a concept I’m working on, so please share your thoughts and reactions.
Your smile lights up your face like the sun lights up our day. Smiles can also come behind clouds or after emotional storms. The smile indicates that everything is fine, the pressure is level and the coast is clear to go out, open up and have fun.
Like rain, tears can be stormy or just a light spray, and feel angry, cold, gloomy, and sad, or even come through sunlight. Rain often follows a change in weather pressure, and tears can be the result of internal tension being released. People often cry with relief because they have been heard or because they can see a solution where there seemed to be a problem. People who experience trauma or loss usually cry a little. after the first shock of finding out, since the terrible pressure of the news is absorbed and the grievance is established.
The rain first carries the dust suspended in the air with it and then cleans everything as it continues. Emotional rain can also be painful first and then begin to bring release and clarity. A “good cry” is one that actually lets go of pent-up feelings and continues until relief is felt.
When you allow the tears to flow until your natural smile returns, you will feel hopeful again, hope is the rainbow of our inner climate. Like a rainbow, hope does not exist until there has been disappointment, and disappointment has been accepted enough to let the sun shine once more. That smile, which comes through sadness, brings with it a renewed sense of hope.
Sometimes the reluctance to express unhappiness or discomfort creates pressure that is eventually quickly released, like a storm. Violent storms shake things up, as does strong anger. Anger that is allowed to get out of control is as destructive as a hurricane, but anger expressed in healthy ways can “clear the air” just like a storm. The aftermath of a healthythe not too violent storm allows us to appreciate the pleasures of calm.
Cloud and Fog
Emotionally, things are not always very clear. It’s normal to feel confused and insecure, or depressed and dark from time to time. If you can remember that it is just your emotional weather and explore it to find out the cause, the fog will lift, the clouds will part, it may rain or storm a bit, but the sun will eventually come out again. Normal depression that is not allowed to run its natural course, that is not opened to let in fresh air, can turn into emotional smog or internal pollution.
Emotional smog, like weather smog, is just normal cloudy/foggy conditions with artificial garbage thrown in. We call it clinical depression. Everyone is depressed from time to time, but those who attack themselves when depressed, or who have others around them who pollute their inner atmosphere with criticism or shame, become smog-bound and unable to cleanse their inner atmosphere. . Letting in the fresh air of interest and the warmth of emotional support allows the fog to lift and the sun to come out again.
If you try to pay the same amount of daily attention to your internal conditions that you probably do to the weather report, and begin to consider your feelings as naturally as the weather, you’ll feel much more comfortable emotionally. Like the weather, your feelings are easier to accept and live with when you manage them, respond to them, and don’t try to resist or deny them. If you understand your feelings like the weather, you can have many beautiful indoor days.
your sense of emotion
We are taught that human attributes include five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. Only in science fiction do we read about a sixth sense, which is usually represented as a psychic sense. However, if you think about it, your emotions are your true “sixth sense.” Just like your other five senses, your emotions record data about the outside world. With your sight, your eyes take in data about the relative colors, shapes, and sizes of things in the world around us. Touch tells us how things feel, how warm, cold, soft, hard, sharp, or smooth they are.
Your emotions tell you what the feelings of others are. We can feel, almost psychically, how someone feels from a distance, without being told. By comparing what our other senses tell us about others (smiles, frowns, tension, “thorny vibrations,” relaxed breathing, and an unspeakable type of data we call empathy) with what we know about our own internal feelings, we draw conclusions about what other people feel. Without being told, we know when someone is angry, when someone has strong positive or negative feelings toward us, and when we are loved.
With mindful practice, people can improve their use of the senses, such as wine tasting, reading braille, refining their sense of color as an artist, or learning to distinguish different fabrics by texture. Some people, like psychotherapists and actors, practice and refine emotions until they can feel very small changes. As a psychotherapist, I “read” my clients’ emotions and give them feedback to help them work through emotional turmoil. “You say you’re fine, but you seem angry,” you might say to someone who’s out of touch with their feelings.
Sight is an external sense: we only see what is outside of us. Touch, however, is both internal and external. We can feel food going down our throat, we can sometimes feel our own heartbeat, and we can feel muscle cramps and movement from inside the body. Emotions are a sense that is both internal and external. For our emotions, it is as if our bodies have no limits and our skin is transparent. We feel our feelings inside and yet they reach out and touch people and also tell us what they feel. It is a type of psychic sense, especially for people who develop it.
Just as your eyesight helps you navigate paths, avoid obstacles, and choose the best route, your emotions are the sense that helps you navigate relationship paths. By knowing your feelings and your sensitivity to the feelings of others, you can be much more effective in all of your relationships, maximizing your love, your intimacy, your emotional well-being, and your happiness.
practicing the emotion
You can refine and sensitize yourself to your feelings by “tracking” what you feel on a daily basis: just stop a few times a day and ask yourself, “What am I feeling right now?” Once you’re comfortable with that, you can spend some time looking at people and guessing what they might be feeling. You won’t know if you got it right unless you ask, but just practicing paying attention will sharpen your skills.