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How To Be Vulnerable With Our Emotions

Written by: Kresh Pidial, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Being vulnerable with our emotions can be so hard to do. To be able to open up about our emotions, not only to others but also to ourselves, does not come naturally to everyone. We may not even be aware of what we are feeling; often it takes time to recognise what it is and to feel comfortable enough to acknowledge it.

Displeased female student bullied by her classmate standing alone in a hallway.

Why is it so important to identify our emotions? Being able to recognise the feeling, and understanding what it is, helps us to pinpoint it when it arises again. A lot of us have not been taught how to express emotions growing up, so then how do we know how to identify and then convey these as adults? We may have come from cultures or upbringings where expressing emotions were taboo.


We may have been taught to quell our emotions, push them down, dismiss them, and “get on with things”. Emotions have power though, they can be indicators of what is going well in our lives and what is not working for us. They can let us know what our personal boundaries are, what feels good and what doesn’t. Dismissing our emotions hinders deeper connections that can be formed. But then facing our emotions takes vulnerability, so how do we get there?


1. Identify the emotion

Acknowledge what you are feeling (e.g. sad, anxious, down, happy, excited). Having the ability to put a name to the feeling helps us to recognise it when it comes up again and helps us know ourselves better.


2. Determine when you felt it

Being able to identify when the emotion arises helps us to become aware of what to do next. Are these emotions negative and triggered by a person or circumstance? If so we can avert this person/circumstance whilst we work through the emotion. Often we are not aware of our triggers and continue to expose ourselves to these, heightening the emotion. On the other hand, if we are feeling positive emotions, it is helpful to know what propels these; who doesn’t want to ride on the feel-good train?


3. Face your emotion

If you are feeling depressed for example, talk to your emotion to find out why you feel the way you do. It may sound strange but try it. Ask yourself, “why am I feeling down?” Dig deep and have a conversation with yourself about what is causing the distress. Journalling can help ‒ write out your internal dialogue and release it all on a page with no judgement. Think of it as unloading onto a blank canvas and see what comes out, you may be surprised!


4. Allow yourself to be vulnerable

It can be scary to share what we feel. But opening up to another about what is going on with us not only liberates the feeling, but also helps us work through the emotion. You may feel a release and that is a good thing! Being able to express our emotions is healthy. The alternative is to keep it all trapped internally which ultimately can build up over the years and cause havoc healthwise (both psychologically and physically!).


Processing our emotions is so important for both our psychological and physical health, yet a lot of us have not learnt how to do this. Emotions can stay stuck in our bodies/minds for long periods of time, creating negative effects on our wellbeing. Moving through the steps above helps us to become more comfortable with our emotions, process them, and be vulnerable with them. Over time, processing your emotions will become second nature as you learn to identify and manage them.


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Kresh Pidial, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kresh Pidial is a registered Psychologist passionate about helping individuals live a more fulfilled life. She is the founder of Joie Life, a warm, down-to-earth practice dedicated to helping individuals live more authentically. Kresh works with people that are experiencing life changes, anxiety, stress, pressure at work, career transitions, low motivation, low self-esteem, relationship issues and depression. She has worked in several professions and industries, including investment banking and consulting, providing her with a unique understanding of issues experienced in the workplace. Kresh holds a Master of Psychology (Organisational) and Master of Commerce (Marketing).

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