Updated: Oct 14
Emotions are to be respected. I had underlined this sentence in my psychologist's handbook on my first read-through many years ago now. I think this is a good rule to live by for all of us, and not a rule that only applies in the psychologist's office. Respect others' emotions, and more importantly, respect one's own emotions.
How many times have you disregarded how you feel? It makes sense that we do this in our society. Emotional experiences were even dismissed as unimportant "interference" in the scientific explorations of the mind until the early 1980s.
We can invalidate our experience of the world by challenging our emotional responses in clumsy and hostile ways. For example, by getting frustrated when our anxieties prevent us from progressing toward a goal.
I know emotions can and often do feel uncomfortable but suppressing and avoiding them doesn't help and can be bad for our health. To respect our emotions we can be interested in our reactions, and be driven to understand and listen to what we might want at that moment.
Remember it is our thinking that produces our emotional responses be they conscious or subconscious. Exploring your thinking is a much more functional way of honouring, understanding and processing your experiences. Leave your emotions alone. Change your thinking.