Extra Virgin :: What are you actually feeling?

I recently read Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero and found it so eye-opening and helpful. This month on Extra Virgin, I’d like to explore aspects of emotional health (and unhealth) by sharing excerpts from the book ::

There are hundreds of emotions, each with their variations, blends, and hundreds of particular nuances. Researches have classified them into eight main families:

  • anger (fury, hostility, irritability, annoyance)
  • sadness (grief, self-pity, despair, dejection, loneliness)
  • fear (anxiety, edginess, nervousness, fright, terror, apprehension)
  • enjoyment (joy, relief, contentment, delight, thrill, euphoria, ecstasy)
  • love (acceptance, trust, devotion, adoration)
  • surprise (shock, amazement, wonder)
  • disgust (contempt, scorn, aversion, distaste, revulsion)
  • shame (guilt, remorse, humiliation, embarrassment, chagrin)

Experts have found that most people are not able to properly identify what they’re feeling. Because of this, it’s as if they carry all their emotions around in a bucket and when they feel something, they stick their hand in the bucket and pull out the first emotion they touch. Usually, this emotion is anger (or sadness or fear…one of the “big three”). But there are actually so many different emotions, and having the ability to accurately identify what you’re feeling—instead of just going into an angry default mode—can help you understand yourself and the situation better.

So, what are you feeling right now? Really? Are you surprised at the many different nuances of each emotion? Do you have trouble identifying what you’re feeling? Is there one emotion you pull out of the bucket more than others? How might identifying the actual emotion you’re feeling help you?

(Photo of foxgloves via Vervain Flowers)

Posted by Aanna on Monday, April 11th, 2016

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