5 Indications That Your Relationship with Your Emotions Is Unhealthy

5 Indications That Your Relationship with Your Emotions Is Unhealthy

Updated on October 26, 2022 11:51 AM by Laura Mendes

Well, I've assisted clients in working through a variety of challenging emotions.

But despite the wide range of pain, these people experience—from anxiety attacks and depression to rage problems and low self-esteem—they all appear to have one thing in common: an unhealthy relationship with their emotions.

Most of us don't spend much time as children learning about our emotions or how they function. Therefore, we learn early on that emotion is negative if it makes us feel bad. The problem is that that isn't true at all.

Your feelings are not the issue. Your relationship with emotions is the source of your misery.

You need to establish a more positive relationship with your emotions if you want to feel better emotionally. The greatest place to begin is by becoming aware of the telltale indicators of a dysfunctional relationship with emotions.

You believe that emotions can be "good" or "bad." Believing that feelings are either good or evil is the fundamental fallacy at the core of all emotional pain. Fortunately, this is untrue.

Emotions are neither good nor evil, just as different traffic signal colours are neither good nor bad.

Red lights may not be your favourite thing, but it doesn't make them terrible, hazardous, or something that needs to be corrected. Similar to how you might not enjoy experiencing sadness, fear, guilt, or any other tough emotion, this does not imply that such feelings are undesirable, incorrect, deficient, etc.

Also read:7 signs you have an unhealthy relationship with your emotions

Embrace 5 Indications To Mind That Your Relationship with Your Emotions Is Unhealthy :

Emotions cannot be classified as good or bad

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Morally neutral occurrences include emotions. Good or terrible has nothing to do with it, just as the climate, the colour of your skin, or whether you prefer coffee ice cream over mint chocolate chip.

Not all negative feelings are negative just because they feel negative.

Is it painful when you touch a hot burner and pain radiates up your finger? Not! Simply put, pain signals urge your muscles to contract before you burn your skin significantly.

Similar to how even if tough emotions like grief, fear, anger, depression, terror, guilt, frustration, anxiety, humiliation, or panic may feel bad, that in no way implies that they are morally wrong or unhelpful.

Stop categorising your emotions as good or negative and start accepting them for what they are if you want to develop a better relationship with them.

Also read:Best Dating Sites in 2022 for Serious Relationships

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You rationalise your feelings

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Imagine you just got home from a particularly difficult day at work; perhaps you flubbed a presentation in front of your entire workplace.

Your spouse greets you as you enter your home and says:

How was work, honey? Oh god, you look dreadful. Are you feeling fine?

Which of these two possibilities would you be more inclined to select as a response:

Simply put, I'm quite stressed out.

I'm embarrassed and ashamed.

If you're like 99% of the adults I know, you'll likely choose a much more similar solution to Option 1 than Option 2.

This is intriguing because it is obvious that Option 2 is more correct. The root of what's wrong and how you feel is embarrassment and shame, even though you may feel anxious.

However, consider this:

It's quite challenging to express our emotions in simple, non-technical terms.

Conversely, it feels less unpleasant when we use more abstract or ambiguous words to express our feelings (a process known as intellectualising emotions).

However, suppressing your emotional state because it hurts isn't a wise long-term action.

Yes, right now, it does seem a little less awful. But keep in mind throughout time:

Using evasive or overly cerebral words to mask how you truly feel is a subtle avoidance tactic that trains your brain to fear your own emotions.

And if you're afraid of your emotions, how healthy can your connection with them be?

The next time you're experiencing an uncomfortable emotion, think of this instead:

How would I sum up my feelings now if I were five?

Have the guts to express your emotions in plain, straightforward words.

He was mature in wisdom and kind, innocent, and innocent.

Also read: signs of unhealthy relationship

You attempt to "correct" the feelings of other people

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I assume you're a good person.

If you can, you like to assist others. It goes without saying that if someone is hurting or in pain, you want to do all in your ability to help them feel less agony.

You do, of course! Because most of us are generally pleasant, helpful individuals, we have compassion for those in need and want to lend a hand.

However, consider this:

Despite our greatest efforts, we don't always know the best ways to assist others, particularly regarding emotional distress.

See, most people have this odd propensity to attempt to resolve issues that do not exist, such as emotions.

I'll give you one from my own experience:

My 3-year-old daughter recently wrecked her bike, grazing her knee. She ran over to me, crying, and I immediately felt sorry for her.

Like most parents, I detest witnessing my children in distress or suffering. That's why it was — and always is — difficult to control my immediate urge to say, "Oh, that's okay, honey." Not that horrible. You'll soon feel better.

I was so anxious to say something to reassure her and cheer her up.

But I could restrain myself and say something different: Oh my goodness, Bia! Being so scared to tumble off your bike must have been terrifying.

You might be asking yourself:

Well, that's foolish. She is aware that falling off her bike was frightening, for starters. For another, you're only highlighting her suffering, which will probably make her upset even longer, right?

It might appear that that...

However, consider this:

Emotions are not harmful, despite how painful they may be.

Therefore, emotions, even the extremely terrible ones, are not problems, despite how much they may appear to be.

And if emotions aren't issues, treating them as such is, at best stupid.

My kid might have been distracted from her fright and temporarily made feel better if I had reassured her not to worry and that everything will be well. However, the long-term effects would have been substantially less favourable.

Specifically, by reassuring her that things aren't that bad... you don't need to cry, etc. I would suggest that she shouldn't be allowed to feel terrified. That fear and other unpleasant feelings should be avoided and dealt with as quickly as feasible.

What kind of psychologist would I be if I instil fear of emotions in my children?

All of this leads me to one basic point:

You train yourself to think of emotions as difficulties when you treat them like problems.

And the more you perceive your emotions as the source of your issues, the more frightened you will become of them.

Look managing challenging emotions is challenging enough. But if you're also scared of them, it's practically impossible.

Try validating other people's difficulties rather than attempting to solve them. Inform them of your concern and your availability.

Most importantly, however, reassure them that their feelings—no matter how frightening or strong—are valid and acceptable.

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You flee from your feelings

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Your instinct is to act in a way that will help you feel better as soon as possible while you're feeling bad:

Pull your hand back from a hot stove.

Discover a rattlesnake. Back off

If your arm will break, then visit a doctor, take some Tylenol

And that pain-avoidance tactic works effectively in the circumstances like these.

But putting off suffering doesn't always result in better results. It frequently makes matters worse:

Feel worn out? Watch Netflix rather than exercising, Craving ice cream, and Throwing away your diet and losing it.

Hankering after that brand-new iPhone, Forget about saving and buy it.

Avoiding unpleasant feelings never results in lasting improvement:

You get more anxious when you divert your attention from your anxiety.

Your melancholy will only persist if you numb out your emotions.

Venting all of your rages makes things worse.

The explanation is quite simple:

Your brain learns that something is dangerous when you flee from it.

Reminding your brain that something is dangerous—in this case, a hot stove or a rattlesnake—is a good idea and should help you avoid it in the future.

But here's the thing: An ice cream yearning is not harmful. Although it doesn't feel nice, your survival won't be in jeopardy.

In a similar vein, feeling nervous is not harmful. Although it may be uncomfortable, anxiety won't harm you.

However, you add another level of anxiety when you develop the practice of immediately ignoring your concern by diverting your attention, numbing it out, or trying to repair it by worrying about it. You're now experiencing anxiety about anxiety!

Running away from unpleasant emotions could temporarily make you feel better, but doing so will always come at the expense of your long-term emotional health.

Before you run, stop and think.

You believe your feelings

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I prefer to leave with this one since it always makes folks scratch their heads.

Your day's past six minutes have been spent by me attempting to persuade you that emotions are neither harmful nor dangerous. And you ought to spend more time accepting them than avoiding them.

However, the notion that emotions are some unique inner wisdom that you must continually tune into and cling to with religious-like devotion is conspicuously absent from anything I've written.

I would never say something like that because, if you've been paying attention to life, it should be very obvious that emotions can lead you in the wrong direction just as easily as they can lead you in the right direction.

For instance:

After a long, stressful day at work, you drop onto the couch when you come home. I said I was going to go to the gym today after work, but a nagging notion pops into your head as you reach for the remote to switch on the TV.

You engage in some internal deliberation before deciding that you'll get up early tomorrow and work out before work. The delay is only nine to ten hours.

As a result, you experience some alleviation from the stress of breaking your pledge to exercise in favour of watching television.

How wise is that feeling right now? It encourages you to stay in bed, make a glass of chardonnay, and binge-watch Netflix. Should you pay attention to that instinct?

Obviously Not!

Even if you may not feel like exercising, chances are that it would benefit you physically, emotionally, and possibly spiritually unless your job requires 8 hours per day of strenuous manual labour.

Of course, feelings have their uses. But that doesn't mean they are always helpful or instructive—just because they are occasionally.

And just because they can direct you in a positive direction doesn't mean they couldn't steer you in a negative direction.

People with healthy emotional relationships pay attention to their feelings but rarely put their faith in them. They may not always act on their emotions, even if they know them.

Develop a healthy scepticism toward your feelings. When in doubt, ensure your feelings and principles are in line before taking action.

In the end, you'll feel better about doing it.

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