Why Are We Strangers to Our Emotions?

Feelings; are the reactions we express with our body in our inner and outer world. The emotions of each of us are unique. The environment we live in, our personality, our traumas, that is, our spiritual life is different from each other. Everyone can interpret the same event differently, feel various emotions and react differently. While one child cries, the other may become angry at the same event.

Researches; Although he states that we have an infinite number of emotions, Paul Ekman states that we have six universal emotions. These; fear, anger, sadness, happiness, surprise and disgust. Not everyone feels these emotions in the same way, but all people reflect these emotions with the same facial expression. For example; The eyes and mouth of a surprised person are open. An angry person’s brows are frowning and his gaze is harsh. These feelings are the feelings that exist in us from the moment we are born, even before the cognitions. Let’s imagine a newborn baby. He expresses his needs and wishes by crying, and when they are satisfied, he smiles and tells us that he is comfortable and safe. So what happened that when we became adults, we were able to analyze our thoughts very well, but had difficulty in making sense of and expressing our emotions?

The fact that emotions vary according to culture causes emotion expression to be reflected differently in our body. In our society, while some emotions are suppressed according to gender, some emotions are expressed in an overdose. For example, while women express the feeling of crying easily, they can suppress this emotion when they are angry. In men, this situation is the opposite. The suppressed emotion is reflected in our body as a negative symptom. Emotions that cannot be expressed in a healthy way cause us to react with somatic symptoms such as heart palpitations, vomiting, and nausea. In order to be able to express our emotions correctly without suppressing them, we should teach them to express emotions from a young age. Despite the existence of cognitions, the infant’s expression of his needs with emotions begins at a later age, so the presence of emotions begins at the very foundation. Over time, we become alienated from ourselves by suppressing the emotions we know and recognize for cultural reasons. We can understand what a child who hasn’t spoken for a while is going through by observing his feelings. For example; A child who has been abused may wake up with fear at night, may have a crying crisis when a stranger comes to the house, and may try to express what they are experiencing with their emotions. However, it should not be forgotten that if a child is chronically afraid or crying, it must be taken into account. Because emotions are short lived. We can create emotional awareness with activities, games, awareness of teachers and parents at school.

As children grow up and reach school age, analytical intelligence has become our first priority. Today, the aim of parents is to raise children who can use their mental skills and language skills very well. We have become adults who do not know themselves, do not know what they want and what their needs are. However, the increase of people who do not understand their feelings and do not care about the feelings of others has brought the problem of empathy to the agenda. So what should we do?

First of all, not to make children forget these feelings that they already knew when they were born. Allowing them to express their feelings. To explain that feelings do not change according to gender: For example; Allowing the girl to get angry and the boy to cry. Practicing emotions with the participants, asking what do you feel instead of what do you think? Don’t get angry when she cries or are scared, let her express understanding. Not to label the child as a cowardly, watery eye. Do not compare children with each other. With the perspective that every child is unique and their feelings are unique, we wish to raise healthy individuals…

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