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Christian Counseling - Expressing Emotions

People who regularly express their emotions are, generally speaking, more psychologically healthy. I am not speaking of those who would find themselves on the extreme end of the emotional curve. The people on the extreme end who cannot seem to control the expression of their emotions often are not psychologically healthy. Rather, the average person who expresses their emotions regularly is emotionally healthier than those who do not.

First, in order to express our emotions, we need to be aware of what the emotion we are experiencing is. Correctly identifying the emotion that we are experiencing is half the battle. By identifying the emotion we can avoid self-deceit.

Second, choosing to express the emotion allows our inner experience and our outward behavior to be congruent. Without expression of emotion or with the expression of an opposite emotion, we are at war with ourselves. This type of war does not end well. In addition, when we do not express our emotions to others, they will not be able to respond to us appropriately, which can further allow for hurt in relationships to fester. The festering hurt leads to resentment of the other in that they never seem to meet our needs. This resentment will finally lead to contempt for the other, and, often, an end to relationship.

The first step in this process is to check in with yourself regularly during the day. Ask yourself how you are feeling.? Make a note. If you find your inner experience and outward behavior are not consistent, ask yourself, why not? Next week I will discuss some reasons why our inner and outer experience are not congruent.

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