This semester, the Wellness Class is Studying “Emotional Wellness”. It is an aspect of life that confounds many people. We often receive confusing messages about our feelings. As children we freely express our many emotions. When I watch my beautiful grandchildren, they express their upset feelings fully and for the most part, go back to their default state – which is “happy and seeking fun”.
Most of the adults we work with have learned to block certain emotions. Some have learned to “over-express” their emotions. Neither style will build lasting intimate relationships. If we withhold our feelings, we create distance, if we express every fleeting emotion, we can end up overwhelming people. In either case, people can end up avoiding us.
We are all capable of increasing our emotional wellness. It generally involves a level of courage and commitment. For most of us the process of re-claiming our emotional selves, involves returning to some of the experiences of our childhood, youth and early adulthood. Healing work often involves returning to those early experience and allowing our younger selves to have a voice. Group healing is very powerful as many emotional wounds heal more effectively when we are able to express ourselves to a “new community” of people who will accept us unconditionally.
We observe people emerging from their Emotional Wellness work with improved self esteem, increased zest for life, and the ability to create healthy and fulfilling relationships. It is probably the most powerful and important (and often most avoided) work, counselors can do with their clients. Here are some indicators you may have emotional healing work to do:
- You often suffer from anxiety or depression
- You feel “heavy”, burdened and fatigued
- You have trouble staying in the present
- Your relationships are ridden with conflict
- You have flashbacks, nightmares and difficulty sleeping
The truth is, we all can benefit from emotional healing work. Understanding our past hurts and traumas make it easier to separate the past from the present. When we live in the present we are attractive to everyone around us and exude a sense of peace and joy.