Emotions do not have to be our demise. Our emotions can be empowering parts of who we are in our lives of recovery. Here are four steps for taking a look at your emotions and becoming empowered by them.
The first step in becoming an emotionally authentic person is to own your emotions. It might seem silly to think that anyone else could own emotions, considering emotions happen inside of you. Many people give their emotional power away to others by blaming responsibility through statements and beliefs like “You made me feel”. The truth is, nobody can make you feel anything. Emotions are something we create and they are also something we can choose. Until we gain emotional awareness and start building our emotional intelligence, it can feel like we are consumed and controlled by our emotions. Especially when we don’t want to feel what we are feeling, you assign responsibility of our emotions to external people and/or circumstances. Instead, we have to learn to own it. Own your emotional state by letting go of judgment, good or bad. Let your emotions be your emotions. Through the next few steps, you’ll be able to decide what you want to do with those emotions after you own them.
Naming and identifying emotions is a challenge faced by most people. In treatment, many therapy processing groups begin with a “feelings chart” a piece of paper lined with rows of faces expressing the emotions written beneath them. Many people aren’t aware of what their actual feelings are because they never gained the emotional vocabulary necessary to define them. For many, their feelings stop at “good” and “bad”. Naming your emotions start to take some of the overwhelming power away from them. You are able to recognize what you need to confront and understand where that emotion might be coming from once you are able to name what that emotion actually is.
As you come into power with your emotions you find you are able to make choices about how you feel. Even for those who are recovering from dual diagnosis mood disorders, there is an ability to challenge your emotions and make changes, if you want. Take a look at the emotional reaction. Does it seem right? If it doesn’t seem right, can you guess as to where this emotional reaction is coming from and why it is coming up right now? See if there are other emotions you think would be more empowering or make the situation different. You may or may not find something else. By challenging the emotion, you give yourself the opportunity to change it.
Emotions are choices and you can change your choice. You can change how you want to feel about a circumstance and then take the necessary steps toward changing it. Some emotional changes will happen instantaneously in a lightbulb moment. Other emotional changes are more deep and complex, necessitating time as well as work to sort out. Whether it takes a long time or a short time, you are able to recognize that the power to change your emotions belongs to you.
Recovery is achieved in programs that are dynamic and varied, catering to the clients and their specific needs. At Cypress Lakes Lodge, our goal is to provide that integrated, holistic approach to addiction treatment bringing together emotional skill building, life skills, a boost of confidence and healthy living mindset. Call us on 409 331 2204.