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Identify your feelings with clarity by being open and honest with yourself. Blocking our feelings, or lacking the ability to identify them, happens as a result of telling ourselves that we should or shouldn’t feel that way. We’re ashamed of our feelings so instead of sharing them we talk ourselves out of having them at all. Denying the existence of our feelings doesn’t allow us the opportunity to process them and let go.
Identifying and processing our feelings starts by admitting they exist. Once we’re aware of them, we can work on our processing method.
Many of us struggle with the need to explain why we have feelings and skip right past what the feeling is. We may have experienced challenges to our feelings in the past which led us to defensive behaviors or lack of vulnerability with our feelings. But feelings don’t have explanations, and they can be shared, validated, and processed regardless of why we have them.
Identify Your Feelings Without Explaining Them
How do we explain why we love our family, friends, or children? How do we explain why we like rainbows, rivers, and mountains? The reason for feelings can’t be explained. Feelings just exist. When we communicate our feelings, we’re asking people to care about us. Some people will care and some won’t. People who choose not to care about our feelings can make us feel emotionally unsafe. Being able to identify that we will have a wide range of feelings, as part of our human experience, is natural and healthy.
Happiness is a result of fulfillment that stems directly from getting what we need. We need people to care about our feelings. Communicating our needs starts by honestly identifying our feelings and telling people about them. Sustainable happiness results from surrounding ourselves with people who care about our feelings and needs and choose to work through our experiences with us.
A healthy community of people acknowledges the existence of feelings and respects the communication that needs to occur to regain stability.
Feelings are Based in Perspective
Feelings don’t always come from a healthy mindset and we should be open to emotional evolution, but not as a result of someone rejecting the existence of our feelings. We all deserve to be able to open up about what we’re feeling and connect with others who are willing to support us through our turmoil.
When we lack self-value, we tend to lean on others for direction. We look to society to tell us what to prioritize. We look to partners, friends, and parents for boundary enforcement. And we look at external factors for validation of our feelings and permission to move forward on our paths.
Valuing our self—prioritizing our happiness—means identifying what matters, at our core, independent of outside influences. It’s about listening to the inner voice and giving ourselves permission to operate off our intuition rather than information presented through outside forces.
Personal happiness starts by assigning value to our own inner voice, building trust and a healthier relationship with ourselves.
How to Identify Your Feelings with Clarity
Steps to identify your feelings with clarity:
- Practice mindfulness and awareness when you’re in a stable place
- Enlist tools to help you respond rather than react
- Be aware of judgments against yourself
- Increase your emotional vocabulary
- State your feelings out loud, put words to what you’re going through
- Be honest about your circumstances, admit where you feel weight
When we’re unable to identify our feelings clearly, we struggle to communicate them and find the right kind of support. We stop ourselves from being happy by bottling up feelings we should release.
Here are 5 Ways We Stop Ourselves from Being Happy
1. Having dreams or visions but lacking the motivation to achieve them.
If you dream about a different life than the one you’re living, there are undiscovered priorities within you. It’s natural to have fleeting dreams or visions, like accepting a prestigious award, confronting an old friend, or winning the lottery. But if you continually return to visions of yourself as a world-renowned photographer, or being single, or renovating your home, and you’re not taking daily steps to turn these visions into a reality, you’re not prioritizing your happiness.
Achieving personal happiness depends on the amount of self-discipline we exert.
Valuing yourself and acknowledging your self-worth takes commitment and discipline. Developing your motivation is not easy and it may be a long and slow process for some people, but if we choose not to develop our motivation we allow our priorities to go unrealized and communicate to ourselves that achievement of our inner-desires is not a worthy cause.
2. Staying in a draining relationship (romantic or non-romantic).
Happiness is not about settling into place. It is not a destination, it’s not static. You may achieve happiness in one aspect, and then circumstances change. Circle back to your core values and determine if your situation aligns with your goals.
Staying in contact with toxic family members, toxic friends, or in a romantic relationship with a toxic spouse means that your boundaries have not been established or enforced.
Personal fulfillment will come after personal happiness has been prioritized.
3. Predominant feelings of being disrespected, unheard, or invalidated.
If you’re feeling constantly disrespected by friends, family, or coworkers, revisit communicating your boundaries and priorities. Enforcing our own boundaries is about demonstrating to people what behavior is tolerated in our presence.
Your presence is a gift nobody is entitled to and the allowance of harmful behavior blurs boundaries.
4. Blaming external circumstances or avoiding personal accountability.
Accepting responsibility for things that don’t work out the way we planned or anticipated may feel counterintuitive but when we accept responsibility, we take control in a different way.
Acknowledging what part we have control over in reaching desired outcomes allows us to focus on pathways to happiness rather than the obstructions. There will always be external circumstances that impact our ability to accomplish our goals but we can choose to work around them whenever possible. Knowing when it’s possible to work around obstacles begins with constantly looking for ways to work around them.
We always have choices. Determining the factors we can control empowers us to seek a new arena in which to pursue success.
Valuing yourself is looking at a situation and realizing the circumstances are not ideal but there’s a solution is within your power.
5. Waiting for permission.
We don’t need parents or spouse or employer’s permission to make decisions about our happiness. This is not to say we don’t need their cooperation. But when we determine what we want, like seeking out a new career path or pursuing a photography course, we get to establish the parameters that will help us reach that goal.
Constant friction in your pursuits, by way of your relationships, is a signal to evaluate the community that surrounds you. We don’t need anyone’s permission to be happy, only their support.