The Many Faces of Fear

Feeling like something’s… off but struggling to pinpoint the exact reason?

I hear you –  and I know your feelings are valid.

It’s just that some people – me included! – experience trouble when it comes to identifying their own emotions.

The thing is, emotions are complex and come in all shapes and sizes, with some being more obvious than others.

Things aren’t black and white as we’ve been taught to think – a single emotion can manifest itself in a variety of different ways.

Knowing the true meaning behind your emotions is the first step in living a happy life.

Read on to learn how to recognize different emotions that aren’t always obvious and what you can do to deal with them.

Why do we struggle with identifying our own emotions?

Well, because it’s not always easy.

Getting to the core of our emotions takes a lot of work.

Not everyone’s ready to invest that much work into it – and those willing aren’t exactly sure how to do it. No one taught us anything about how to recognize different emotions, know what I mean?

On top of it, the human brain does a hell of a good job protecting us.

Put most simply, your brain doesn’t want you to feel bad. So it does what it can and what it knows – and that sometimes means drowning every single negative emotion that pops up along the way until you feel completely and utterly numb.

But don’t get disappointed now – the good thing is that sometimes, you can outsmart even your own brain. *that’s where being emotionally intelligent comes in handy!*

How to recognize different emotions like a pro

Here’s how to identify your own emotions with ease!

1. You’re feeling depressed

Contrary to popular belief, being depressed doesn’t classify you as lazy or ungrateful.

Depression is a sign that something’s happening deep under the surface. You’ve been ignoring something for too long – and now, it wants to get out.

Sadness isn’t the only emotion that makes you feel depressed. Any trauma can cause this – think unresolved anger, unprocessed grief, everyday frustrations, major disappointments, fear for the future...

The best way to fix it?

Let it out. Say everything that’s been bothering you out loud. Give yourself permission to feel angry, sad, scared – anything you need to feel like your old self. I promise you, you’re going to feel much, much better!

2. You’re feeling overwhelmed

You know how life feels just too damn much on some days?

And before you blame yourself for being weak – don’t fall for that trap, you’re not weak! – just… stop. Stop and count to ten. Take a deep breath.

Let’s work backward here – follow my lead, it’s easy, I promise!

What’s hiding behind your overwhelmed? Are you anxious? Confused? Feeling helpless? Most of the time, all of those feelings boil down to one major emotion: FEAR.

Fear isn’t that bad as we’ve been told – it’s how humanity survived throughout history. Everyone’s scared sometimes - yes, even the bravest ones out there.

Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to feel scared. Face your fears. Let go of what might go wrong – and instead, think about what can go right.

See, it already feels better, doesn’t it?

3. You’re overthinking everything

Feeling paralyzed when it comes to making big decisions? That’s alright, everyone feels insecure at times.

But if you catch yourself overthinking every minor move along the way, it may be time to track down your insecurity.

Think well now. Are you scared of repeating a past mistake? Regretting something? Disappointing loved ones?

Yup – you’re overthinking everything because you’re scared. *fear comes with way too many faces if you ask me*

Please stop tormenting yourself this way. Have some faith – be confident with yourself.

You know better now than to repeat the same mistake twice. Learn to love so much that you know how to forgive yourself – even if you make the wrong decision.

4. You’re being too critical with yourself

Is your inner critic being too loud?

Before you start believing that nothing you ever do is good enough, please read this: that’s not the real you.

That’s just your ego using your fear of failure against you. You’re simply scared – and your ego is manipulating you into letting fear define you.

One way to beat fear is to simply accept your imperfection.

Accept yourself just the way you are. Don’t hold any grudges with yourself – after all, you’re the person you spend the most time with. Make sure that time is worthwhile!

Do you struggle to identify your own emotions? What do you do to distinguish between negative emotions?