The happiness and optimism movement has encouraged us to believe we can feel happy nearly of all the time. Some people even think that negative emotions are to be avoided or there is something “wrong “ with us if we are not happy all the time.
How happy are you? Do you believe you can be happy all the time?
Take a reality check – another one of my themes for 2014.
If you are real with yourself how happy are you for the most of the day?
If you are like me, or most people I know, during the day my feelings range between neutral, satisfied, contented and happy, with swings of other possible emotions such as frustration, sadness or anger depending on what happens during the day.
I may feel frustrated as I can not get an application to work on the computer. For me, frustration is a trigger that I need to find another way. I look for other ways to solve my problem and then I am content and happy again.
A friend rang this morning with news her Mother was coming out of hospital. I smiled immediately and was very happy for her and her Mum.
I may coach a client who shares confusion and sadness over being treated badly by their spouse. I may feel anger, sadness and frustration surfacing at some-one being disrespectful and uncaring. I may then move to being happy when the client feels what is helpful in her body, finds a false belief and replaces it with the truth about being powerful at creating loving boundaries for themselves.
So, you see there is a whole range of emotions that occur throughout the day, not just happiness, although overall I am happy being frustrated, angry or sad as I know each emotion has a purpose and a message.
I am happy overall. I don’t get stuck. I have learnt to be resilient, be in my body, feel all feelings, find the message from the emotion that has surfaced and connect to my wiser self and guidance.
I have written a starter guide below to help understand what messages may be coming from your emotions.
This is a guide. It is not prescriptive. Check for what the meaning of your emotions are for YOU in your current situation. We are all different, but there are some common meanings of our emotions across cultures.
Is often related to needing to see new actions, as our old ways no longer work for us. Check that you may have exhausted all current possibilities. Imagine new pathways, new options, new choices. Be creative and imagine totally new ways to understand your situation.
Anxiety, Nervousness, or Fear
Is often related to safety, security, or confidence issues. Check what you need to do to feel safe and secure about a choice. You are responsible for your safety. If you want to choose a new pathway, and you feel anxiety, check in with yourself to see if there are ways to create safety. If there are no ways to create safety, your fear or anxiety may be warning you that it is not a right choice for you.
Joy, Bliss, Expansiveness
Is often related to a right path for us. This usually means the choice, thought, or action is right for you. Check in with yourself. Does this feel true for you? Is your body opening up to what will give you great joy? Will you take it? Are you ready to enjoy the joy, bliss, and expansiveness of this choice?
Is often related to respect and boundary issues. Where have you let someone walk all over you? Where have you let someone take away your power? What do you need to do to restore your self-respect?
Does this mean you are angry and blaming someone for a choice you have made in the past? If you begin to make choices for yourself, how does that feel in your body? Allow the anger, which is energy, to be released in a safe way. Running, beating a cushion, yelling in the shower, are safe ways to release anger. Taking action for yourself to create respect will release the anger.
Is often related to blaming someone or yourself for something that happened in the past. This is also related to living with regret and living in the past rather than knowing you have influence over the present and your future.
Who are you blaming for your current situation? How can you take responsibility for creating your life now? Rather than blame others, see where you can take action to restore your personal power and respect your ability to make choices for yourself. See how you can focus taking action now to create a better future rather than being resentful about something that happened in the past. Learn to accept your regret and take new actions to be happy with your next choices.
Is often related to loss. What needs to be honored, cared for, loved? How can you allow yourself to feel sadness at lost opportunities or at the loss of something? What can you do to love and care for yourself to allow the sadness to flow through you? Feel the sadness and let it be released.
This is an introduction to understanding the messages from your emotions and your feelings. There is much to learn.
ACTION for the Week
Take a reality check
If you are real with yourself how happy are you for the most of the day? Where do you get stuck and find it difficult to bounce back to neutral or content?