We are emotional creatures and how we manage and express our different emotions not only plays an important role in our everyday interactions with other people, but also shapes those interactions.
Emotions dictate how we think, behave and make decisions, which means they help us survive and thrive. Emotions can be short-lived but they often have long-lasting effects or bring undesirable consequences, especially in the case of anger or aggression.
That's why we are often reminded to avoid giving out or being overwhelmed by negative emotions. While emotions can tie us together, they can also drive a wedge between people.
Our emotional energy is immense and dynamic, so like any energy force it can be constructive and destructive at the same time. Imagine being so frustrated or angry you struck something or someone. Or the emotional pain when a loved one dies that can make you break down and cry. Words cannot begin to describe such pain.
On the other end of the spectrum, events like the birth of a child or some unexpected good news can summon positive emotional energy. Meanwhile, emotional energy released during sexual activity can be immensely ecstatic.
We all have emotional energy and can learn how to tap into it so that we can better use it to our advantage.
"It's a feeling of the heart and an inner connection with yourself that is in harmony with your body, mind and soul," says Nathalie Sommer, a certified relationship and intimacy coach. "Emotions are energy and what we give attention to we create and fuel. Generally, emotional energy is neutral or wise. It's feeling the sensation and physiological reaction that creates our emotions.
"We tap into it by feeling rather than by doing what our mind says - connecting into our subconscious mind and allowing ourselves to feel our emotions and also to link them to our body. We also need to ask: 'Where is that emotion sitting in my body. Do I feel joy in my body, or do I feel tense in a certain part?'"
The level of emotional energy someone has differs from person to person. Some people are a lot more sensitive to their surroundings, so they subconsciously take on other people's emotions, feelings and pain.
"It can also have something to do with our upbringing, life experiences and personality," Sommer says. "Some people are very empathetic and take on other people's energetic emotions or the energy of the environment."
You can view any given emotion as a flow of water, and imagine it channelling through the body in continuous motion.
For sensitive people, that flow is rapid and direct. If you are less sensitive, the flow is slower and less direct; the feelings might not even register at all, being suppressed and denied.
"For example, in a stressful environment the sensitive type will start taking on the stress from their surroundings and creating it as their own. Yet it's not even theirs to feel. Some people struggle with saying 'no' so they overextend their emotional energy and they start to feel drained and unhappy," Sommer says.
"Basically, their emotional energy tank is empty. It takes emotional awareness and self-awareness to know what is yours, and what we take on from our surroundings.
Her advice is to ask yourself: "Is the emotion that I'm feeling truly mine?"
"When we do experience our own emotions, it's also important that we own that," she says. "Often, it's something that gets triggered from a past experience, so rather than blaming someone else, it's important that we own the emotions and deal with them appropriately."
The bottom line is we need to stay in our own emotional energy zone and own itNathalie Sommer
Sommer says a common mistake people make is not listening to that little voice within, or what the body is saying.
"They tend to suppress their emotions and feelings instead of listening to what's truly going on. They worry a lot, as they are too much in their head or their thoughts rather than being in their body and their true emotions. Their body might tense up for no reason, which tells them something isn't right, or they experience pain in their body, but actively choose to ignore it."
When emotional energy diminishes, we can feel drained. Often this affects not just our emotions but our body too; as a result, we feel tired. This usually happens because we nurture and give more than we receive, Sommer says.
"Over time people can feel disconnected from themselves and tired of always needing to please everyone. They are driven by 'shoulds' and feel their needs are not being met because their 'wants' are not being honoured. They feel overextended, self-conscious, sad and stressed. All this happens because they are not listening to their true emotions and what their body is telling them."
How can we use emotional energy to improve relationships - both romantic and non-romantic ones?
"By staying in our own truth. We tend to feel so much subconsciously that often what we are feeling we project onto others, or the other person can feel what we feel energetically too."
Luckily a person with good emotional energy can pair up with one who is the opposite, according to Sommer.
"I believe in polarity and creating balance and that we can all learn from each other. We're all on different journeys, so as long as we stay true to our path and we don't consciously upset the other person's then things should be OK," she says.
"Remember, do not take on the other person's emotions and create them as our own to upset ourselves. The bottom line is we need to stay in our own emotional energy zone and own it."
Tips on learning how to boost or replenish your emotional energy
Advice from Nathalie Sommer
1. Understand what is lowering it, then set boundaries so you don't overextend or give too much.
2. Practise self-care. Understand what makes you feel good, what replenishes you and creates joy or makes you feel nurtured. It can be as simple as reading a book, buying some flowers or taking a long hot shower.
3. When you're feeling low, sad and drained, first acknowledge these feelings then ask yourself: "What do I need or what can I give myself?"
4. Close your eyes, connect to your body by taking a deep breath and feel your emotions, rather than think about them. See what feelings come up when you ask yourself: "What do I need to give myself? Self-love? Self-care? Acceptance? Safety?" Then allow yourself to feel that emotion to rewire and replenish your brain, emotions and nervous system.
Luisa Tam is a correspondent at the Post
Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.Artikel Asli