Exploring Feeling & Emotions
Updated: Jul 12, 2022
I often share these exploring feelings and emotions resources with clients -- I hope you find them helpful!
Rethinking The Reptilian Brain is a great article by Dr Sarah Mckay clarifying the important neurobiology of emotions and behaviour and how consciously developing a language of our emotions is helpful at any age.
Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience. If we want to find the way back to ourselves and one another, we need language and the grounded confidence to both tell our stories and to be stewards of the stories that we hear. In Atlas of the Heart, Brene Brown explores eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human and walk through a new framework for cultivating meaningful connection. This is for the mapmakers and travellers in all of us.
How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett draws on the latest scientific evidence to reveal that emotions aren't universally pre-programmed in our brains and bodies; rather they are psychological experiences that each of us constructs based on our unique personal history, physiology and environment. Listen to Lisa speak on Transforming Trauma Episode: The Brain and Body Budget.
Transforming Feelings Into Words: Multimamory Podcast Episode 348 a useful exploration and strategies for putting feelings into words from the brilliant Multiamory crew!
Understanding intergenerational emotional inheritance can be so important in healing. I just love this beautiful podcast with Galit Atlasthat makes understanding intergenerational trauma and emotional inheritance trauma so accessible to understand how working through and uncovering ungrieved losses and making connections between past and present can support healing. A wonderful introduction to her book Emotional Inheritance: A Therapist, Her Patients, and the Legacy of Trauma.
Anger: This Jungian Life Podcast Anger is a core human emotion - from birth newborns express instinctual cries of protest. Cultural norms around anger range from keeping a stiff upper lip to highly extraverted forms of expression. Anger, like other emotions, is a source of information: it tells us when we feel violated in some way, and is linked to self-preservation. If fiery feelings can be understood first as a call to containment and self-reflection rather than reaction, it can fuel strategic thinking, emotional maturation and productive action. See also The Wisdom of Anger article.
Carl Jung recognis ed "Shame is a soul-eating emotion." And Bell Hooks “Shame about being hurt often has its origin in childhood. And it is then that many of us first learn that it is a virtue to be silent about pain... As more peop le have found the courage to break through shame and speak about woundedness in their lives, we are now subjected to a mean-spirited cultural response, where all talk of woundedness is mocked. The belittling of anyone’s attempt to make a context within which they were wounded, were made a victim, is a form of shaming.” Understanding our experiences and how we have learnt to embody Shame is often a core exploration in therapy work. In Listening to Shame Brene Brown explores how Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behaviour and what can happen when people confront their shame head-on.
Care Experienced Valerie (vimalasara) Mason-John leads us on a beautiful practice: Five Basic Needs Of The Heart - For Emotional Trauma & Self Soothing
A Loving kindness Meditation with Sylvia Boorstein
A Feelings Wheel can help us put words to emotions and care for our well being. At times feelings may be murky, elusive, and confusing. Sometimes big and intense and other times quiet, buried away and hard to recognize. While words may fall short in fully capturing the essence of emotion, they serve to identify and then communicate our experience.
Feelings Thoughts Behaviours
Feelings / Emotions: What does it feel like in your body (feelings)? / Can you name the emotion - use a feelings wheel and Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown. Situation: What happened that led to these feelings and emotions?
Understand: What past experience / story does this remind you of?
Thoughts (NATs): What are your automatic thoughts about the situation?
Behaviours (ABC1): What behaviours does it present?
Then it is helpful to think about alternatives going to the other side and working up:
Behaviours (ABC2): Are there any alternative soothing/regulating behaviours or actions that might help?
Thoughts (BATs): Are there any alternative thoughts about the experience?
Feelings: How do you feel now?