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Emotions: Why Are They Important?

Emotions: Essential to Our Humanity

emotionsEmotions, if denied and repressed or allowed free rein, can lead us down some dark paths.[1] If we learn how to be more aware of our feelings and express them in constructive ways, emotions can lead us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.1 Emotions are an essential part of humanity.1

Emotions try to protect us from harm and lead us in the right direction.1 They are necessary to our decision-making process, as they help us to sense what we need and lead us on the forward path.1 Emotions help us to communicate with others and express our likes and dislikes.1 In order to empathize with ourselves and others, we need our emotions.1

The key to a happy and loving family is the ability to express our feelings openly and in a constructive way, without holding too much in or letting too much out.1 Families that fall at either ends of this spectrum often have problems.1 Balancing between the two extremes can be difficult, and it is often a lifelong process.1 However, it is possible.

Get in touch with understanding your feelings.1 Are you able to express your emotions freely?1 When was the last time you allowed yourself to cry a good cry?1 How do you express frustration and anger?1 Do you wear your heart on your sleeve or do you keep it all bottled up inside?1 Become aware of your answers to these questions and you will understand your emotions better, allowing you to know when and how to express them.1

The Spectrum of Emotions

Families that hold too many of their feelings inside lose touch with their needs and wants, which can lead to depression.1 It isn’t healthy to leave your feelings stuffed inside—you need to express sadness, anger, anxiety, and happiness.1 If you allow your feelings to remain suffocated inside, they intensify and cause negative or bitter feelings towards yourself or others.1

However, it isn’t always good to let it all out either.1 Focusing too much on expressing emotion does not leave enough time to listen to others’ feelings.1 It makes you focus too much on yourself. Families that place a large weight on expressing too much emotion leads to a household of yelling, crying over everything, and hurting one another on a regular basis.1 It’s all boiling over, and it’s not healthy. It is not true to think that the more feelings you share, the closer your relationships will be.1 Some things are better left unsaid.

Befriend Your Emotions

Avoid these two extremes by making friends with your feelings.1 Become aware of your emotions, and don’t express or suppress too much.1 Name your emotions as they arise and try to understand them before you express yourself.1 It takes practice, but emotions can be complicated—they aren’t always clear-cut.1 Maintain a balanced, relaxed-energized state of open awareness in which you can remain in the present moment yet are ready for what may come next.1



[1] MacMannis, D. M. (2013, October 7). If Your Emotions are Boiling Over or Buried Deep…. Psych Central. Retrieved October 9, 2013, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/parenting-tips/2013/10/if-your-emotions-are-boiling-over-or-buried-deep/

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