YOUNG MINDS 02
Get Set, Emote!
Many of us needed to be taught some important lessons when we were younger, such as scissors are for cutting paper, not the new, expensive bedspread; your younger sibling’s face is not a punching bag and your father’s official papers are not nose wipes. As these words of caution sailed right over our heads and bounced off the walls, our parents continued teaching. They don’t just give up, you see. As much as we love to identify with our parents and their attitudes, we are still parallelly on a search for our own uniqueness. What can we say is a completely untaught, non-learned part of ourselves? Our emotions. No one can teach another individual how to feel. Your emotions are your own and they cannot exist independent of you. And such wonderful things they are too! Emotions infuse the world and our lives with glorious shades of rose, purples, blues and greens. They can also achieve the contrary and suck colour from all things wonderful. You will find that the neighbour’s fluorescent green exterior paint doesn’t appear green enough on days that you feel gloomy.
How many times have you heard an upset friend say “I am not sad because of what he said! I am angry!”? None of us wants to admit that something has affected us and we are feeling vulnerable. However, it helps to realise that all emotions serve a purpose and they are a beautiful tool to garner self-awareness. The presence of any emotion or the lack can tell us a great deal about what something means to us. So, correct identification of your emotions is the first step towards cultivating your emotional intelligence. Labelling your emotion accurately and managing it immediately prevents a build-up of negativity and an eventual outburst. Emotions can be managed by allowing oneself to look at a particular situation from various vantage points. As you broaden your perspective, the tendency to take things personally may be controlled and you gain the upper hand in managing the situation. Understand that you always have a choice to either react impulsively to external provocation or to act in a controlled, level-headed manner by which you communicate rationally to the offending party.
We, as people belonging to the larger framework of a society that has its own norms regarding terms of self-expression, often commit a big disservice to that part of ourselves that forms our very essence by self-censoring expression. When we suppress how we feel, we turn our emotional energy inwards and create bodily symptoms for ourselves such as headaches, backaches and fevers. As much as self-control is advised in certain social situations, it is equally important for us to express what we are feeling openly through honest communication with the involved parties. Expression of one’s emotional state may also occur through art which helps channel our emotional energy in a way that gives us immense relief and liberation.
Emotional well-being can be enhanced if we recognise that no part of us can be disowned; there is no emotion that is “bad” or “wrong”. Celebrate both the frowns and the smiles, for they make you as interesting as you are.
SANGEETHA MADHU & JYOTHI RAVICHANDRAN,
THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS- SCHOOL EDITION