You’ve no doubt heard the protest before: “Don’t be so emotional.” As a passionate Latina, I’ve heard it my fair share. I always feel a bit embarrassed when I’m on the receiving end of that remark, as if emotions are a bad thing. Unfortunately, in the United States, we confuse managing our emotions with controlling or suppressing them.
This makes sense when you consider that our ability to be in touch with and express our feelings is slowly socialized out of us. A good example is when a toddler bumps his head. We rush to him and say, “You’re okay. You’re okay.” We’re told to be okay even if we’re not.
Then we enter school and we’re told to be rational and not emotional. Later, in the workplace, we’re trained to put on armor. So over time, our ability to even access emotion gets thwarted. Our emotional muscles, as it were, atrophy.
Suppressing emotion, however, is an illusion. It’s impossible to manage your emotions if you’re first not aware of them. That means you have to learn to identify emotions and express them appropriately before you have any hope of actually managing them.
But if you’re like me, when the stress and hustle bustle of a day keep you on the treadmill, it’s hard to feel the ground, much less anything else. What’s a gal to do?
Pay attention to your emotions. Write them down as a way to get in the habit or use the many mobile applications out there that make it easier for you to do it.
Logging your emotions from happy to angry can help you deal with your emotions and let your passion shine through.