Relationships can be difficult to negotiate at the best of times. As time moves on they become more complicated and challenging, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in ways that are not so good. How often do you stop to think about the emotions and feelings that you are struggling with in your relationship. How often do the emotions and feelings you experience go unnoticed, or become an unconscious part of your relationship. Sometimes in the heat of an argument, or in a passionate response our emotions and feelings go unnoticed. Very often its impossible to interpret what you are actually feeling, or the emotions that you are experiencing.
Emotion and Feeling is there a difference
Is there a difference between emotions and feelings you ask. Well, without going into too much detail the difference could be described as being, “feeling” is something we experience in our bodies. The actual sensation of how our bodies react to an internal stimulus or an external stimulus. We can be stimulated just by thinking about some event that makes us happy. Maybe by getting good news, a positive result on a medical test, or the birth of a child. As a result we can feel tears of joy, a sense of contentment, or a sense of relief from the thought itself. Intense feelings in our bodies can have a physical response such as tears, or the release of tension we unconsciously hold in the muscles of our stomach or shoulders. These “feelings” can give us an insight into our emotional state as well as provide our bodies with the physical response it needs. Feelings are part of our bodies primitive brain and nervous system and can be triggered long before we can construct an “appropriate” coordinated response. Our body will often respond before we can coordinate its response and so sometimes leave us with a sense of being out of control, vulnerable or fearful.
Emotion is a way to describe that combination of experiences we call our feelings, our thoughts, our memory, and our social conditioning. When we take the time to fully observe this combination of experiences we use the information to put a name on them in the form of an emotion, usually just one name, like love, anger, fear, or maybe even a name like jealousy. One name is an easy way to express a complex set of experiences. Sometimes its easier to reduce it all down to one emotion as its less confusing or easier when we want to respond quickly. So feelings and emotions can be two separate things. While feelings can be an expression of what is happening in our body, it helps to be able to describe the sensation in your body and where in your body you are experiencing these particular sensations. This feeling can leave us with an emotion of vulnerability or awkwardness about it. Particularly if the experience is unpleasant and associated with the emotion we call anxiety. On the other hand, if we name that emotion as love, then we have no problem connecting and expressing how we experience our bodies feelings of love.
Using our emotion and feelings to work things out
One of the biggest problems we face in relationship is trying to connect with our real feelings and identify our true emotions, to help us figure out what it is we want and what it is we need to do. One of the reasons we get stuck in life on the big decisions, is that we are unable to interpret our emotions. More often this happens along with the fact that we are unconscious of the true extent of the feelings we experience in our bodies. If we had access to our real feelings and true emotions then making a decision might not be easier, but it could bring us closer to a decision that brings more contentment to our lives. It could also bring greater contentment to the realtionship’s with have with the people we truly love.