The only bad emotion is the unexpressed one
Emotions can sometimes get a bad name for themselves – anger, excitement, sadness can all be labelled “bad”
But there really aren’t any “bad” emotions, they all have a role to play in our lives – can you imagine a life without excitement? No? What about sadness? I bet you think you could do without sadness … Some emotions are not comfortable ones to spend time with, so we push them away, distract ourselves with activities or people or mask them with alcohol or self-created drama. But sadness, on a very basic level, is simply an expression of loss, which means us we cared about something or someone enough to miss them when they were gone.
The problem comes when the emotions get too BIG.
When an emotion becomes too big it tends to explode out of us in an uncontrolled manner; picture a child having a temper tantrum in the supermarket – flat on the ground, hitting out at whatever gets in their way and screaming at top volume. It looks and sounds like anger to an adult, but it is likely something quite different, something hiding behind anger… frustration, tiredness, hunger, lack of control. It is the same for adults, although sometimes with more sophisticated emotions hiding behind it, almost always something unexpressed…. resentment, fear, hurt, sadness.
What we resist, persists
The uncomfortable emotions, the ones we don’t like feeling, are the ones we try to deflect, bury or mask. But when we don’t allow ourselves to feel an emotion and express it, those emotions tend to find other ways to get our attention. Sadness can come out as anger, stress as irritation…. We cannot block our emotions forever, any more than we can stop the ebb and flow of the tide.
How can I help?
All emotions have a positive intention and all behaviour serves a purpose so our work together will involve exploring the purpose of your emotions and finding out what they need in order to feel listened to. If you have had a lifetime of not paying attention to your emotions and not having the tools to communicate how you are feeling, then some of them may have got too big and out of control. We can remedy this by figuring out what those emotions are trying to tell you in a safe and comfortable place with me as your guide. All my approaches work just as well with children – only the language changes; emotions become superpowers and, once an emotion becomes tangible, something magical happens – children learn they can control the size of them! Once they have that control they can build teams of superpowers to help with any situation life can throw at them and they feel confident in their coping strategies.