Stop Fearing Your Emotions
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This famous phrase was coined during a speech given by former President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Why then do we fear so many things? Emotions can be very scary, and many people fear experiencing or expressing emotions.
Emotions are complicated and complex. We begin cultivating emotions very early in our infancy. If we are not taught how to understand, cope, and regulate our emotions, we can have great difficulties with them later in life. This is where our fear of emotions begins.
Emotions are natural to human existence. Robert Plutchik's wheel of emotions is considered one of the most prominent emotional theories of the 20th century. Think of this wheel as you would the primary color wheel.
The primary color wheel included yellow, red, and blue. When these colors combine, they make secondary colors. When secondary colors are mixed, they make tertiary colors. And so on and so forth. The wheel of emotions is relatively the same.
The wheel of emotion has eight sectors that make up our primary emotions. These emotions include anger, anticipation, trust, joy, surprise, fear, sadness, and disgust. When these emotions are combined, they in turn create every single emotion that we experience.
Many emotions immediately invoke strong memories of previous experiences. These memories can be good or bad, positive, or negative, conscious or unconscious. Prior experiences and memories are tied to our emotions like glue to paper.
If these experiences conjure good memories, they invoke emotions that we want to embrace. If these experiences conjure bad memories, they invoke emotions that we want to run and hide from. This is where emotional fear is born.
Fear is defined as, “An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.” There is no doubt that fear is a biological condition. Fear when experienced currently helps keep us safe. Fear is linked to our body’s fight or flight response. Fear should only be experienced in overwhelming situations where danger is lurking. Emotions should never invoke fear.
Even though emotions can be scary, there is no reason to fear them. Emotions cannot hurt you. You are not your emotions. Instead, you are only simply the one experiencing your emotions. It’s hard to believe, but you are in fact 100% responsible for your own emotions.
Emotions are reactions that human beings experience in response to events or situations. Your Emotions themselves cannot be dangerous or negative. Once our actions based on those emotions can be harmful. Emotions let you know that you’re still alive and able to think, feel, and experience the world.
There is no healthy way to eliminate your emotions. Emotions are an inevitable part of being human. Instead of being fearful of emotions, learn to embrace, learn from, foster, and if necessary, change them.
Experiencing emotions in healthy ways can help produce the following:
● Greater life satisfaction
● Increased adjustment to stressors
● More psychological resilience
● Reduced anxiety
● Reduced stress
● Improved confidence
● Improved connection with others
Take the necessary steps to ensure you know how to identify, track, and adjust your emotions. If you’ve been living in a state of fear as it relates to your emotions and you do not feel equipped to deal with them on your own, there is nothing wrong with asking for help.
Talking to a friend, or family member, or joining a support group may be a great place to start. You can also seek the guidance of a trained professional.
Emotions should not be feared. Do not allow yourself to fall victim to the emotions of your life. Take control of your emotions and allow yourself to reap the benefits. Emotions allow us to experience the highs and lows of the world. While not all emotions are positive, no emotion is worth living in a state of fear.