Practicing Emotional Awareness

How are you feeling?

Take a moment and a few deep breaths. Notice the quality of your breathing. Does it feel rushed and shallow? Is it deep, slow, and smooth? Put your attention on your physical experience to uncover what you are dealing with on the inside. Use your inhales and exhales to reveal something deeper about yourself.

How are you feeling?

Can you identify the emotion behind your breathing? What you find at first might be situational (stressed, tired, hungry, etc.). Look a layer deeper. If your experience is tired, what does tired feel like, emotionally? Keep digging deeper until you uncover the emotion behind your experience.

How are you feeling?

At first, it may be a challenge to identify and describe what you feel. Many of us were taught to ignore, push away, or power through our emotions and keep handling the task at hand—especially if the emotional experience is not a pleasant one. It may be an emotion that you don't have a word for, and that's okay. Do your best to feel it, and all the sensations that come with it.

Now what?

Can you be curious about what you feel? Can you sit with your feelings, get to know them, and experience them, without judging them as "good" or "bad"? When you cultivate emotional awareness, you put some distance between yourself and what you are feeling. Instead of becoming consumed by emotions unconsciously, you can see the emotions and choose what you do next.

How are you feeling now?

Aubrey Klein