Why is it important to name our feelings?

So, there are so many things to say about naming your feelings. I am reminded all day in my office, why we need more "emotional literacy". I work mainly with Emergency Response Personnel and many of them are men. I tell them, "you have two strikes, one, you are a male in America, the other, you are a first responder". As a male, from the moment you were born, most likely, you were taught NOT to notice, name, and express your emotions. Of course, this is a sexist generalization. Many men, did learn, many women did not. And then, in your job, you were taught that you needed to "suck it up Buttercup, Get over it, Just do your job".

So what? Well, now you are 40 years old, you can't cry, or maybe you can't stop crying and you have no idea what is going on. You want to express your feelings to your significant other, children, coworkers...but you can't even identify, much less express the way you are feeling. So what do you do.

The most important thing to do is to start noticing what is happening in your body. Where are you feeling tension? Does your stomach hurt? Do you get headaches? Do you have acid reflux? What is your body (preferably below the neck) telling you?

Then, learning to name these emotions. You are not just frustrated, you are dissatisfied, that gives you more information. You aren't only sad, you are disappointed. You aren't simply scared you are afraid of something specific. Getting specific about our feelings, gives us more information about how to attend to ourselves, how to behave in a way that gets us what we need.

This is a process of noticing, identifying, then expressing our feelings, brings us closer to ourselves, and others. Its the doorway to connection.

Listen to this podcast and learn even more about feelings and evolution.

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