Heavy hearted. That is the best way I can describe how I feel about a situation I am in. It is valuable to label the emotion and accept it. And yes it will pass.
It reminded me of how we associate different emotions with bodily sensations – as well as with different colours and even the weather. We might describe ourselves as light hearted or sick to the stomach; we might say we are feeling blue or green with envy; we might say we are feeling sunny or grey.
I love this image in an academic journal showing how people mapped 13 different emotions to the body, including using colour.
I don’t believe my feeling of being heavy hearted has physically impacted my heart. But there are times when our emotions do have a physical impact. When we are afraid, for example, our ‘fight or flight’ response causes an increase in adrenaline creating a host of physical reactions. Or when we are feeling pressured, we may develop a headache and hold tension also in other places.
Let’s embrace language that helps us describe how we are feeling. Let’s take a holistic approach to ourselves, acknowledging that how we are feeling will at times impact us physically. It is a beginning of self understanding. It is also a good basis for knowing when we need to ask for help from others.
So what’s your prevailing emotion today? And does it help you to understand it by associating it with a part of your body, with a colour or the weather?
This is Mindful Monday on 3 August 2020.