Confused by feelings.

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Confused by feelings.
« on: July 15, 2020, 08:32:21 PM »
So this feeling malarkey... it's difficult. I can't get my head around it.
I'm learning about feelings. They confuse me SO much.

Today I felt something. I phoned my M. While I was dialling her number and the phone was ringing I suddenly became aware of my heart pounding and that I was shaking. I have no idea what emotion went with it.

I am wondering if people generally just blot out the emotion side of feelings or the physical side too.

I have never noticed that reaction before, I'm wondering if it was there before and I didn't notice or if it's new and things are bubbling up as I'm accessing more of my past and confronting it.

I'd appreciate hearing any thoughts, ideas, similar experiences, comments, etc you have.



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Re: Confused by feelings.
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2020, 08:52:37 PM »
Yes!  I’ve been thinking about this a lot because of my own experience and also because I work with people that have trouble with it too.  I think it is somewhat cultural too - our society tends to value our mind experiences more than our bodily ones especially related to emotions (in my experience). 

A word that has helped me a great deal is interoception.  It is a sense (like sight) that helps us understand our inner experience.  It helps us identify bodily needs like hunger, thirst as well as emotions. 

I have poor interoception that I think now is changing.  I grew up learning to ignore my body signals for certain emotions because of how my parents reacted to me expressing emotions.  As I got older this meant I couldn’t really recognize any feelings in my body, even “good” ones. 

Last year I started actually listening to what my body was telling me and it opened up a lot.  I have a lot of unprocessed emotions to navigate.  And yet if asked how I feel, it is hard for me to name them.  I have started referring to emotion word wheels or lists of words but notice that I tend to use the same words over and over and I don’t find any value in labeling them.  Also it has been kind of intense because I now notice different sensations in my body that can be overwhelming at times. 

What seems to help is to think more “Is what I am experiencing big or small?  What do I need or can I do in response to feel regulated?”  I think we tend to feel “bad” with certain types of emotions and “good” with others but I think the emotions are telling us we need something or to do something.  What I’m trying to say is I’m not sure it is as helpful for me to judge this is a “bad” feeling or a “good” feeling just that my body and then my mind need something so that I can be a place where I can function.  So if I am feeling “bad,” do I need to cry, go for a walk, journal, talk to someone?  If I feel “good” do I need to journal, express gratitude, give a compliment? 

This stuff is so difficult for me though.