Ever had an emotion that you just can't quite put your finger on?

"It's like... I feel like... you know... ugh, like..." 

Cut to having an existential meltdown in a Starbucks over not being able to pinpoint how you're feeling. No? Just me? 

Turns out, there's TONS of definitions for emotions that we don't even have in the English language.  Get into some of these:

  • Mbuki-mvuki (Bantu) – The irresistible urge to “shuck off your clothes as you dance” (been there)

  • Iktsuarpok (Inuit) – The anticipation one feels when waiting for someone, whereby one keeps going outside to check if they have arrived

  • Shinrin-yoku (Japanese) – the relaxation gained from bathing in the forest, figuratively or literally

  • Sehnsucht (German) – “life-longings”, an intense desire for alternative states and realisations of life, even if they are unattainable

A tool I love to use with clients when they're emotionally tongue tied is EMBODIMENT.

Sometimes our bodies know more than our minds do. They instinctivelly have the answer to our Alexithymia (difficulty in experiencing, expressing, and describing emotional responses).  

Here's a few questions to ask yourself the next time you're feeling emotionally constipated:

"Where do I feel the emotion in my body?" 

"What color is it?"

"Whats is its temperature?"

"What does it make my body want to do?" (Then go ahead and do that)

You might be surprised how quickly the emotional answers come out when you give your body a chance to express them

So what's the point?

The point is - we're not computers... we are, by design emotional BEINGS.  So many times in life we are so concerned with DOING things that we breeze right over how we're feeling.  Taking time to get in touch with our emotions and giving them a name - an embodiment - allows us to fully experience those emotions and move through them.  We get to be humanBEINGS not humanDOINGS... and that allows for more:

Desbundar (Portuguese) – the shedding one’s inhibitions in having fun  

Yuan bei (Chinese) – a sense of complete and perfect accomplishment,

Sukha (Sanskrit) – genuine lasting happiness independent of circumstances