I began to think recently about what emotions I spread and what emotions I pick up from the people I interact with.
When my son was little and even now, I refer to him as Oscar (for Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street) when he is in a foul mood. He dislikes this because in my opinion, it is a sign that I recognize and acknowledge his emotion. What if our friends did this to us - identified our emotions? Would we then be more aware? The first step to being aware of what emotions we are spreading is to be aware of our current emotions and to avoid denial of emotions. I am becoming increasingly aware of how my emotions impact the people around me. This awareness also helps me understand how others' emotions are impacting me.
So what are emotions? Jack Mayer describes emotions as the bridge between thoughts, feelings, and actions. Think about what is going on in your life right now. Notice the emotions you are exhibiting. There is probably a connection between the two. Do you feel fear, anxiety, depression, sadness, loneliness, shame, guilt, or frustration? Do you feel love, compassion, joy, contentment, happiness, or acceptance?
If you are struggling to identify your emotions, it is possible that you are busy suppressing them. The tell tale signs of disconnected people may be someone who ignores others feelings, someone who pretends things don't happen, someone who abuses substances such as prescription drugs, alcohol, recreational drugs, or food, someone who is compulsive and/or excessive, someone who is consistently superficial, or someone who is too busy to feel. I'm sure you could add some signs to this list as well. Whatever you are feeling should not be trapped or buried inside. Ask yourself if you operate out of fear or out of love. If you are unsure, ask a friend. Odds are they already recognize your emotions.
The truth is that hiding our emotions can make us tired and depressed. We may find ourselves overreacting to minor situations, walking about with a feeling of uneasiness, unmotivated, and unaware. If you think this will not affect the people you love, think again. “The more you identify with a person, the more likely you are to catch the emotion. Much of this occurs and we are completely oblivious to it.” says John Cacioppo, Ph.D., director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago.
I challenge you to be more conscious and aware of your emotions. What are you spreading? If you can access the cause of your emotions, you can avoid passing them on to people who don't deserve it. For example, if you have had a terrible day at work, you can refrain from passing it on to your children and spouse when you arrive at home. Become an expert at dissolving or diffusing your negative emotions. Try positive thinking techniques to transform into a more joyful and uplifting person. This exercise will make you more in tune with what emotions you are spreading and soon you will become someone people want to be around.
Ms. Bhakti Mary
I am an optimistic, positive, generous and driven woman who is passionate about self-improvement.
The essence of who you are does not lie in the past. What matters is what you are willing to do NOW. You are the presence.