Emotions can be very confusing for a lot of people. We are often taught “not to trust our emotions” as they can lead us astray. We are not often taught to understand or recognize our emotions. In fact, so often we would rather numb our emotions- opting for another scroll on facebook or instagram when we’re feeling a certain funk we can’t shake off.
So, what are emotions?
Emotions actually show up physically in your body in different ways. Different emotions cause different chemical reactions in your body leading to different sensations or “Feelings”. Creating an awareness of how your emotions show up in your body, can help you regulate your emotions and become more self-aware.
When one is not aware of how they are feeling, there is a higher likelihood of them reacting without thinking about the consequences of their reactions. Emotions are often the fuel for our behaviours, feelings, and our thoughts! Oftentimes, there are primary and secondary emotions which show up in response to a situation. Primary emotions are the first emotion that is felt when reacting to a situation, whereas secondary emotions sink in a little later. For example, if you were to get into an argument with your partner, you might feel anger at first… However, that may turn into hurt if you felt wronged. Or it may turn into shame if you lashed out at your partner.
Here is how major emotions can show up in your body :
- Anger : anger shows up as tension in your body. It can manifest as clenched fists, heart thumping, increased heart rate, feeling hot on your face and neck, increased blood pressure, throbbing temples, a clenched jaw, shaking or trembling limbs, increased sweating and headaches.
- Anxiety : anxiety can show up in many ways in the physical body, this can vary depending on individuals. Some common ways in which anxiety can show up in the physical body is tension within the body, sweaty palms, gastrointestinal issues, heaviness in chest and at times feeling lightheadedness or diziness.
- Fear : fear can manifest in the body in many ways, such as stomach butterflies, shortness of breath, dry mouth, , tension around your eyes and mouth and stomach sickness. Sometimes fear can manifest in your body and you may not know that it is fear.
- Sadness: feelings of sadness can live in your body through aches and pains. It can show up as heavy feelings in one’s chest, empty feelings in your stomach. Sadness can cause uncontrollable crying or sit in your throat and feel like a lump.
- Shame : Shame can be seen when looking into people’s eyes, stomach, feeling sick to your stomach, chest heaviness, feelings of wanting to hide. There’s also evidence that feelings of shame cause increased body temperature.
How do you think emotions show up in your physical body? Do you have questions on emotional and self-regulation? Emotions are a huge part of a person and can impact every relationship!