What Do My Emotions Mean?

Understanding what our emotions mean can help us to process and make sense of them.  It’s also essential to feel them vs. simply thinking or pondering.  As you look through these definitions notice how your body responds.  Are there sensations that arise?  Let the body be part of the investigation. As you try on this emotional info, notice your physical experience and any images that arise as you consider what your emotions may mean.  Pay attention to the different body reactions to each emotion.  Remember, you are the ultimate authority on you!  You can revise this list based on what you sense for yourself.


Meaning of Emotions

Anger shows what you are passionate about, where your boundaries are (or want to be!), and what you believe needs to change.

Anxiety shows that you need to wake up to the present.  You may be stuck in the past or living in fear of the future.

Bitterness shows where you still need to heal and where you are holding judgements about yourself and others.

Disappointment shows that you tried for something, you didn’t give in to apathy or collapse, and that you still care.

Discomfort shows that you need to pay attention to what is happening right now.  This can signal an opportunity to do something differently that your usual way.

Guilt shows you that you’re living in other people’s expectations of what you should do?

Resentment shows where you are living in the past and not allowing the present to be as it is.

Sadness shows you the depth of your feeling and your care for others and this world.  This is a mark of open-heartedness and being truly human.

Shame shows that you’ve internalized other people’s beliefs and that you need to reconnect with yourself.

While generalizations are limited, they can be of use.  This list of the meaning of emotions with suggestions about what they may be trying to reveal is offered as a starting point.  I wish I knew who to credit these definitions to.  I see influences of psychology, Louise Hay, and my own understanding of the mind and heart.  If you know of others to acknowledge, please, say so in the comments. 

As you come to a better understanding of your emotional world, may you be more able to make choices in service of more openness and connection with yourself and others.


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