What Are Emotions? What Is Emotional Awareness?

Emotions in marriage and relationship counselling Sydney

When an emotion is triggered, a set of impulses arise that are translated into thoughts, actions, words and bodily movement. Once the emotional behaviour is set off, a refractory period begins in which we are not only not monitoring, we cannot reconsider. We cannot perceive anything in the external world that is inconsistent with the emotion we are feeling. We cannot access the knowledge we have that would disconfirm the emotion.

Source: Emotional Awareness: Overcoming the Obstacles to Psychological Balance and Compassion. A Conversation Between the Dalai Lama and Paul Ekman (2008), p. 68.

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Published on Jan 8, 2014

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Emotions and your relationship

Emotions in the context of intimate relationship are a hot topic. Historically men are conditioned to avoid them and women are encouraged to express them.

This often leads to men thinking their partners are irrational and unreasonable and women thinking their partners are emotional retards.

Neither is true!!

Women are simply wired to feel and to nurture and men are wired to identify problems, fix them and move on.

This doesn't work though in the real world of intimate relationship.

Women do tend to feel things and they do need their partners to listen to those feelings. Women usually need those feelings to be heard and validated with empathy from their partners. This can sometimes be a big ask in the world of Action Man who just needs to know what to fix and then he will think he has succeeded.

A woman can go a long way in helping her man understand what she needs. He is NOT PSYCHIC!! He needs instruction!! This may sound something like, "Darling, I have had such a stressful day, I just need to talk about it. Are you willing to listen?"

When a man hears this, hopefully he will make the connection about what is required for him to "fix it". Just listening will do it!

He would probably get a lot more "ticks in the boxes" if he also validates his lady by saying, for example, "I'm hearing all that happened today really stressed you out. Is there more?"

Positive emotions vs negative emotions

John Gottman is one of the leading researchers on the quality of marriage relationships. He is the founder of the Family Research Laboratory which is also known as the "Love Lab" in the this field of study.

From his studies, Gottman concluded that for a couple to experience a successful relationship, there must be at least five times as many positive interactions or communications that generate positive emotions for every one that results in some negative feelings.

More information may be found in John Gottman's book, Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last.

Some questions about emotions to reflect on

The answers to these questions will usually reflect the quality of emotional intimacy in your relationship!

Christine teaches Emotional Freedom Techniques to manage negative emotions. If you are unhappy with your answers the questions above, maybe it is time to make that call to 0418 226 961 or you can simply go straight to the convenient online appointment calendar.

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