What are you really feeling: Your guide to love and trust
Surrounding ourselves with people we love and trust is one of the most valuable things we can do to live happy lives. We’ve all likely been told to practise trust falls at some point in our lives, letting our bodies fall back into the arms of a friend. And no matter how much you love that person, there’s always that little feeling that you’re going to fall on your back and that they won’t be there to catch you.
Love and trust are complicated emotions. They say it takes years to build trust but a moment to break it. Love is something most people seek. Whether that be through friendships, romantic relationships, family, or even through a love of things, such as science or art. But sometimes figuring out how we feel about things can be tricky – our heart might tell us one thing, while our mind tells us another – and trusting people isn’t always as easy as letting yourself fall back into someone’s arms.
Bach™ Original Flower Remedies has a few tips to help you better grasp your emotions so that you can not only understand the value of, but also find, love and trust in your life.
Wheel of emotions
According to research, humans can experience around 34,000 emotions. With so many emotions, how can we possibly begin to understand how we are feeling and know how to deal with those feelings? An American psychologist, Dr Robert Plutchik simplifies these emotions into eight primary emotions which are the basis for other emotions: joy, sadness, acceptance, disgust, fear, anger, surprise and anticipation. By using Plutchik’s emotional wheel, you might find identifying your mixed emotions a little easier, which will in turn help you in regulating and balancing them. Here is a link to an interactive version of Plutchik’s emotional wheel. Take a moment to look at the wheel and see how different emotions interact with each other. How are you feeling right now and how is that feeling playing into other associated emotions?
People often say that you should ‘trust your gut’, but sometimes our emotions can get the best of us. Being self-aware is one of the most important things we can do to figure out exactly what our gut is telling us to do. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about a decision, take a moment to close your eyes and breathe. Practising mindfulness every day can help us tune into ourselves, find the root of our problem and trust our decisions. Perhaps you could make a habit of checking in on yourself every morning and evening. How are you feeling right now? Is there anything bothering you? Who do you know you can turn to for help or advice? Meditation, writing down priorities and journaling can all help you become self-aware so you can better trust yourself and others.
Learning how to manage and understand our emotions is a process that can often be confusing. Sometimes we don’t know how we feel about someone and sometimes our feelings can take over our decision making abilities, making us feel like an emotional rollercoaster. Here are a few things you can do to start to learn how to increase your emotional intelligence:
- Take a look at the impact of your emotions: Not all emotions are ‘good’ or ‘bad’. If you look at the Wheel of Emotions, you can see that on the one side of trust you have love, and on the other you have submission. So even though trusting people is important, it’s also good to know what that trust really means. Are you accepting things at face value and forgetting your own values? Or is your trust enabling you to develop stronger, loving and balanced relationships with those around you?
- Accept your emotions: Though it’s important to know where you stand, try not to repress your emotions. Instead, accept what you are feeling and look at ways you can develop from there. For example, if you feel betrayed, don’t push away the feeling. Instead think of what this has taught you about yourself and how you can use your experience to live a happier life? Accepting responsibility is also important and being wrong is a part of life. If you have done something wrong, try to think constructively about what you could have done differently then accept it, and move on.
- Keep a mood journal: Mood journaling can help you notice patterns in your mood and causes for any big shifts. Take a couple of minutes every morning to write down how you’re feeling on a scale of 1 to 10. You could track emotions such as trust, anticipation, fear, joy and sadness. Over time, this might help you understand how your emotions work and what your triggers are.
Trust is key to healthy relationships, and the steppingstone to building it is communication. Here are a few simple tips to help you build your communication skills:
- Active listening: Although, talking openly is great, sometimes we need to take a step back and listen. But active listening isn’t just about letting the other person speak and nodding your head. Show that you are engaged in the conversation. Ask questions, repeat the last thing they have said when you’re replying
- Objective observation: When someone is telling you a story, seeking advice or communicating a problem, try not to let your judgment take over right away. Actively listen to what they have to say and, before forming your own opinion, put aside your judgment. Often when our opinions can be heard as criticism, leading to a breakdown in communication. Though expressing your own feeling is important, try not to jump to conclusions right away.
- Feelings: After having listened and observed, start expressing your feelings. Waiting to do this until now will show the person that not only have you heard what they are trying to say, but that you’ve acknowledged it. This will allow your feelings to come through more calmly and genuinely, and will hopefully help you build trust and open communication.
Helping people or volunteering can have a positive impact not only on your emotional health, but on others’ too. It can help you feel more connected, improve your social wellness and help you appreciate what you have and how you can contribute to others’ happiness as well.