Skilled thoughtful communication is the foundation for satisfying relationships. We teach effective, assertive communication skills along with conflict resolution and negotiation to individuals, couples and families.
IDENTIFYING YOUR FEELINGS
Our feelings generate within us the power and motivation to accomplish our life goals. They can also act to hinder and sabotage us if we are unaware of what they really are. Getting in touch with feelings requires both identifying the feeling and then labeling what that feeling is. Doing so is an important part of growth and development in one’s life. This requires us to be sensitive to and mindful of both our body sense and the thoughts that emerge as a consequence of these feelings. Dr. Paul Standal believes that our experiences, both positive and negative, generate signals in the body that then create or reinforce a particular thought process, attribution or condition of worthiness.
Many of our most profound, primary feelings are deeply held in a kind of altered state of consciousness, accessible through our ability to connect with these deeper levels of consciousness.
Many of our feelings, like anger, are secondary feelings that have originated from our thoughts and attributions. It is imperative that we practice tuning in to our body senses in order to accurately identify our feelings in order to fully express them.
A good place to start is to begin to use a feeling journal process. Doing this will be very helpful in helping you sensitize yourself to the daily barrage of feelings that pass through you and affect your life from minute to minute. Also, a good way to start to identify your feelings is with simple, three word sentences, such as “I feel sad, hurt, excited, motivated, offended, appreciated, disrespected, etc.” Just by naming a feeling, we begin to actually feel the feeling. It is as by naming it that we give the brain permission to access the emotional part of the brain.
Feeling words not only express a feeling, but they also can express the intensity of the feeling. By expressing relative intensity, they can communicate the degree to which our needs are being met and our values and beliefs are being upheld. Being able to express the shading of our major emotions in our emotional palette makes it much easier to communicate our feelings to others and allow them to be an avenue for our growth and development.
There are several patterns that we take on as a consequence of early experiences that keep us out of touch with our own feelings. They are:
This pattern is also known as alexathemia, the absence of feeling, emotionally laden vocabulary, and experience.
This is a withdrawal pattern in which you resort to a low profile or invisibility to hold in emotions in order to avoid being dragged into the conflicts and troubles going on around you in life.
This is a survival pattern of becoming numb or disconnected from the emotions that accompany an event which is or was unpleasant, threatening, abusive, violent, uncomfortable, or challenging to you. This pattern enables you to terminate an association with the event so as to survive the event and get on with your life.
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