Emotions Can Make You Stronger

I adore author and speaker, Brené Brown.  This past weekend I had the incredible opportunity to attend her live event on Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice

She has discovered some common traits in men and women who rise up after a fall.  These people include spirituality, among many other qualities, to get back up on their feet again.  They use their setback to make them even stronger in the end.

Have you had a setback in your life that you desperately want to turn into a comeback?

Me too.  But first, let’s talk about getting even.

This might be a simplistic example, but today my son punched his brother in the stomach. He did it because he was angry with him about something that had nothing to do with his brother- he was tired, hungry, and took his emotions out on his bro.

Not cool.

Brené talked in depth about how our emotions can literally be the key to our health.

Sadly most of us can only own or identify about three emotions when we are faced with circumstances that light us up (good or bad).  However, in order to be emotionally healthy and deal with our feelings, we need to be able to tap into the full range of thirty emotions possibly stirring in us.

That’s a big gap of missed connection.  While my son is still only four years old, wouldn’t it be great if he could instead express what he was feeling instead of abusing his body and those around him to get out his emotions??

Because emotions are expressed IN THE BODY.

Emotions are feelings.  We FEEL first in the body and then the mind interprets what is going on.  When a cop turns on his lights behind you, you heart begins to pound, you get sweaty palms, your thoughts start to race, and you grip the steering wheel tighter.

The faster we can put an accurate label on our feelings the quicker we can address our needs and deal with them.  Or pull over and actually find what we need.

It’s paralyzing to deal with the same setbacks all the time.  No one wants to stay in a place of defeat, hopelessness, fear, shame, or frustration.

We were born to use our strengths in this world.  So why let our emotions hold us back?

The more we stop to pay attention to our bodies, the more we can actually tap in to what we are feeling. 

The more we move the less likely we will be depressed and the more we will actually toughen our brain so that stress has less of an impact on us.

That’s right, there’s a biochemical reason that exercise will help you reduce your urge to punch people. Which is at least good news for my family. (Journal of Neuroscience, 2011)

Want to increase your grit and resiliency so that you can rise up after a fall in your life?

Take these 2 first steps:

  1. Stop and figure out what you are feeling when you are triggered by observing what is going on in your body.
  2. Once you know what you are feeling, get beyond the emotion by moving it through you. Choose a form of activity that feels right to express yourself (without hurting others).  Write down what thoughts and emotions come up for you or talk through it out loud while you are moving.  I promise you this is the best form of free therapy I have ever experienced.

When you can express yourself and own your emotions, you are liberated from the junk that holds you back- or from having to sit in time out. 

Proverbs 4:23 reads: “Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” 

If you want to get stronger, don’t wait until you feel like it, or until you’re ready. 

Movement will ignite the power in your heart to keep going.