On Re-Learning Emotions

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I’ve been frustrated in therapy lately as I feel like I’m repeating the learning process of skills I’ve spent years in therapy learning before. Apparently it turns out that I’m not sure on what I’ve already spent years learning because for some reason, I revert back to what childhood taught me and how It affected me. I suppose, they do say that the lessons learnt in childhood shape us for life, so unlearning all of that and re-learning what I wasn’t taught, and what was taught for as unhealthy as that turned out to be is a difficult process that is taking years of my life.

We had a homework assignment from the previous week of therapy about myths about emotions. I knew the truths, and that they weren’t true. For example, negative emotions are the result of a bad attitude. I know this isn’t true – I knew they all weren’t true, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t comply to some of the myths in my behaviour sometimes.

I wrote my own  myth that I know I struggle with. It was, “Emotions are dangerous”. Now I know that technically emotions aren’t dangerous but I have learnt they are because my behaviours and reactions to my emotions have led to some dangerous situations in my life, which equates in my mind that emotions are dangerous. I brought this up in group and we spoke about it. I didn’t realise it was my reactions to these emotions that was the dangerous aspect rather than the emotions themselves because I feel at their mercy and like I have to do what they impulse me into doing.

One of my problems, conversely, is not feeling emotions too strongly, but rather blocking them out and not feeling them at all. Therefore I downloaded an app where I have to NAME the emotion I’m feeling in addition to rating myself on a scaled of 1-5.  My only hitch on this app is that I prefer scales of 1-10, but I can live with a 1-5 scale because it will get me practicing naming my emotions.

I spoke to my support worker about this today and she said it was a good idea. She was helpful and is very kind, but that’s another story for another post.

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One thought on “On Re-Learning Emotions

  1. Thank you, you’ve taught me something new today – its the reaction to the emotion that is the ‘bad thing’. I honestly always thought it was my emotions, their intensity and frequency that got me into trouble. So I guess its all about – feel an emotion and react in an appropriate/non-destructive manner?

    Liked by 1 person

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