Emotions are tricky. Pre-bungee jump, are you nervous, excited, proud, scared, regretful, numb…? Psychologists use word-flashcards to train individuals to refine their emotional vocabulary. Naming the feelings we experience can be practised several times a day: pause and make a deliberate “I feel” statement. Specific emotion labelling is an excellent tool to identify discomfort, determine the source of the problem, and take action to fix it with an effective, lasting solution. This process has been scientifically shown to improve stress resistance, increase productivity, and play a crucial role in successful communication in work and personal relationships.
So honestly, you do not have to jump on board the get-in- touch-with-your-mushy-feelings rollercoaster, but we could all do with improving our emotional communication.
Esslin Terrighena is a psychologist with the passion for guiding people towards stepping out of their struggles and hopping onto the path to greater well-being, using a holistic mix of cognitive-behavioural, emotion-focused and meditative strategies. She also enjoys a healthy bit of cynicism, backpacking adventures, smoky whiskey and helping men and women rise above their miscommunications.
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