Reading Emotions With Stillness
This blog post is a continuation of Control Your Emotions Still to really outline how Stillness can help with reading your emotions. We hope you enjoy!
- The ability to clearly define your emotions is called your emotional granularity
- Communicating this clearly helps other people understand your emotional state
- You also become better at calibrating yourself
- Stillness helps you to read your emotional states without bias
Describing Your Emotions
When we describe our emotions, we can never be sure we’re accurately conveying how we feel. This is because the medium, language, is so limited. For example, a 10-year-old with a limited vocabulary will classify a wide range of emotions as “sad” or “angry” when in reality, there are far more precise terms as there is such an array of feelings to be felt.
We rely heavily on a shared understanding of what a word means. When we use words that are vague and encapsulate a lot of feelings (such as “mad”) we are not being very helpful to others or ourselves.
Emotional Precision Is Key
When you have a more precise vocabulary you are better able to communicate exactly what is going on. If you’re redesigning your home, you will be better able to communicate your preferences with an interior designer if you are able to distinguish between 15 different shades of blue!
The process of language then serves to place distinguishing lines on a continuum. With the example of color, this is very easy to visualize on a color wheel. You are defining smaller segments to offer more precision.
This Is Called Emotional Granularity
With emotions, there is a similar mechanism here. If you are better able to describe exactly how something makes you feel (aggravated vs. frustrated), you can communicate more effectively. This is called your emotional granularity.
This ability is critical because not only can you give someone a better idea about your internal state, but also, you are better able to calibrate your own state. Knowing the difference between these emotions helps you to find more precise solutions.
Fixing The Problems
Rather than a very general band-aid solution for “anger”, you can create an array of remedies for whatever it is that you’re feeling. For example, a deep, full-bodied breath for petty frustration, or even the S.O.S. feature on our app, whatever makes you feel best in the moment.
Then if you are communicating this with someone, you give them far clearer insight into you. It’s the difference between telling your doctor you have pain on your left and telling them you have a dull throbbing pain on your left big toe.
Stillness Helps You Learn Yourself
This is all greatly enhanced by Getting Still. Stillness gives you the ability to read yourself. You sit with your emotions and examine them like an archeologist digging up bones and classifying them. When you are not fully engulfed in them, you aren’t seduced by their biases. Instead you see them all more clearly. Then you engage with learning yourself…
Want to start learning how to Get Still? Download Still Life and try it for free.