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Understand the Difference between Emotions and Feelings

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Yesterday, I woke up feeling uneasy. My body felt restless and jittery, and I had a tightness in my upper stomach. My jaw clenched whenever I wasn't paying attention.

I knew something was wrong, but I wasn't sure what. It could have been a poor night's sleep, dehydration, or a subconscious thought that I was cycling through.

My conscious mind decided to investigate further. It assigned an external cause to the physical sensations , or emotions, that I was experiencing. My brain decided that I was feeling sad because my trip had been cancelled and I had forgotten to pay a bill.

Emotions are our body's way of communicating with us through physical sensations. Feelings are our brain's interpretation of those sensations. In other words, my sadness may have been caused by my brain's interpretation of prior events, however, it could also have been that I was just tired and dehydrated.

The important thing to remember is that we have control over our interpretations. We can't control our emotions, but we can control how we think about them.

If we allow our brains to run wild with blame and finger-pointing, we will only make ourselves feel worse. But if we pause for a moment and witness our thoughts (which turn to feelings), we can see them for what they are: just thoughts.

We can then choose to let go of the negative thoughts and focus on the positive. We can choose to see situations as opportunities to learn and grow. We can also choose to consider that sometimes our bodies just get sensations and if we let them be those sensations can move through on their own.

This is not always easy, but it is possible. With practice, we can learn to control our interpretations and take back control of our emotions.

Meditation and mindfulness can help us to develop this skill. They can teach us to observe our thoughts without judgment and to let them go.

If you are struggling to control your emotions, I encourage you to try meditation and mindfulness. They can be very helpful.

Can you think of the last time you felt confused about or overwhelmed by your emotions and feelings? Let's talk about it.

Nicole Hope is an Empowerment Coach and Wellbeing Instructor. Specializing in worry, stress and emotions management. Go to my website and learn more about how I can support you by clicking the button below.

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