Recently, the topic of emotions came across my Facebook feed. It gave me a moment to think about the different emotions that we experience in our lives. So often our emotions are labeled one way or another. Good emotions, positive emotions, bad emotions, negative emotions. People seem to congratulate you when you are exhibiting positive(good) emotions and think poorly of you when you are showing negative(bad) emotions. This seems to indicate that some emotions are better than others. My question is are emotions really good or bad?
My theory is that emotions are just emotions. They are all feelings, states of mind or mental reactions to external or internal stimuli. Emotions are neither good or bad. They might be uncomfortable at times but they are still emotions that we all feel at one time or another.
So, why do we think it’s better when someone is laughing versus when someone is crying? They are both emotions. They might be on different ends of the spectrum but neither is wrong or bad. I think we prefer the laughter because it is easier to accept. The crying is harder to acknowledge because it might remind us of our own sadness that we are hiding or denying.
In my yoga therapy work, I see people express pretty much every emotion there is. Sometimes those emotions can go from one extreme to the other in the blink of the eye. That doesn’t make any of them wrong or bad. They are all expressions of your current state of being. In a session, what I do is provide a safe place for people to explore all of the emotions that they feel. When people connect to what they notice in their body, they begin to make connections to their own lives. That’s where those feelings come into play.
If you’ve spent your entire life avoiding an emotion because you’ve been taught that it’s bad or not a feeling that you should show or share, then you haven’t been able to experience all of the emotions that a human being naturally feels. Maybe you’ve been suppressing anger because you’ve been told that anger won’t do you any good. Well, if this is the case you might have anger in your body that is just waiting to come out. When it’s not released, it will show up in your body in some way or another. Maybe it’s a tight neck or sore shoulder. It doesn’t really matter how it shows up. What really matters is that you listen to your body and acknowledge the emotions that are hidden within it.
I help women heal from anxiety and past trauma by providing them with a safe place to explore their emotions. You get to be happy, sad, angry, excited, scared, relieved and all of the others that you might feel in any given session. In yoga therapy, you begin to listen to the wisdom that your body is trying to share with you.
What is it like to really explore your emotions? To accept that they are all part of who you are? To not lock some away and only show what others might want to see? To really explore all of you, including all of your emotions is empowering. Instead of running from some emotions, try accepting that you are feeling a certain way in any given moment of the day. It may be uncomfortable for a time, but you might also learn something new about yourself. You might find that your emotions are really not bad at all. Your emotions are only sharing how you feel. Frequently once acknowledged, they change to something else. That discomfit may be your mind trying to deny that you are angry. Acknowledge the anger and see what happens.
I don’t believe that emotions are good or bad. I do believe that all of our emotions make up who we are. To deny some of our emotions the chance of expression is to deny parts or ourselves. Why would we really want to do that? Sit with the discomfort for just a minute. Befriend your body and all of your emotions. You’ll be empowered to be a better version of yourself. You might learn something that you’ve been avoiding. You might just become friends with all of the emotions.
If you’d like to explore that body ache that just won’t go away and discover the hidden emotions inside of you, then schedule a yoga therapy session. You’ll be empowered to lead a happier, more fulfilling life when you start this journey of self-discovery.