This is the last part of the theme “Mindkicking and Minshifting” with Jonas Frörd. You can read about our first episode where Jonas talks about his background and the creation of Mindkicker here, and learn about the Iceland Edition here.
This time we spoke with Jonas about processing our emotions and feeling our feelings, how little we do it in our daily life, and how badly we are equipped for doing that. Nowadays most of the time we work intellectually, our hobbies are intellectual too, and we don’t connect emotions to it. This leads to people thinking that they become numb, they don’t feel anything, just think. Actually, they still feel a lot, but without having the labels in the intellectual us, we cannot realize and process the emotional.
How many words are we using on a daily or weekly basis to describe what we feel? Maybe a handful, but that doesn’t mean that you only feel so little of emotions or feelings. It’s a much richer, broader spectrum, yet that richness stays unknown to many of us. It’s like seeing the world in black and white or just having three colors versus having the whole spectrum of them.
If our brain doesn’t have the label for something, it’s difficult for us to perceive it, even though it exists in the world. The story about the word “blue” appearing in many languages is a beautiful example of that. The same with our emotions: if we don’t have a label for it, it’s very difficult for us to actually feel and analyze. Emotions and feelings are in the body, but they are just stuck there. What you need to do is enrich your vocabulary to get some tools that let you see the spectrum, feel it, and process it.
Jonas told a story of his client who after a while understood that he was living with mother’s feelings all these years. When he was a little boy and started crying, she would always say “Stop crying. It doesn’t hurt”. This was his mother’s feelings, not his. It’s a common thing that Jonas saw many times in his practice. Parents and relatives want the best for their kids, they want to minimize the pain, but sometimes it can have bad consequences.
When you’re a child, it’s important that parents help you understand your feelings and emotions. By explaining to you that being sad or angry is okay, they’re helping you to accept these emotions. When you don’t have that or when you’re punished for being too emotional about something, it can lead to the habit of suppressing what you feel. When you become older, you’re losing this wide range of emotions but it’s not something you can’t regain. It just needs training.
The first step of this training is giving yourself permission to feel your feelings. It’s okay to feel whatever comes up and then try to learn how to navigate, process it, how to go through your feelings in a healthy way. Then you can ask yourself “Are the feelings I’m having my own? Or is it something from the outside that was imposed by someone else?”. This is the same point we were having with Jonas about values last episode. Try to analyze and sort out whether what you’re feeling is truly yours. You can try this exercise with fear. For example, the fear of spiders. Ask yourself, do you really afraid of them, or is it something you were taught to believe?
There’s also one powerful tool which has proved its effectiveness by many people – it’s called “the emotion wheel”. If you’ll search for it on the internet, you’ll see many illustrations of three circles in one another. The most inner circle contains our most used emotions – fear, sadness, joy, etc. Each next ring of that circle is broken down into more words, and then each of those is broken down further. This tool gives you the opportunity to explore different shades of one big feeling. It helps you process your emotions much easier because you know what exactly is bothering you right now, or what exactly makes you happy to then replicate it.
Also, most people think “If I’m happy right now, I’m not supposed to be sad” or “If I have a reason to be sad right now, I’m not allowed to be happy”. This mindset can mess up our lives and our relationships so badly. It’s okay to feel both – something positive and something negative. We are rich humans, who have souls that can “multitask” it that way. When we understand the language of the brain and body, we can make a choice between being sad, or happy. It requires everyday training. The power of self-leadership is that you are so self-aware you actually catch yourself on your patterns, and you have the tools to turn it around. When you have the self-love to accept yourself in the moments when you’re having ridiculous reactions, you can actually laugh about it.
If you want to learn more about this topic, listen to the whole episode of the Genius Leadership podcast with Jonas here.
If you have been listening to our conversations and feeling like this is really something for you, then book these days on your calendar for our next Mindkicker trip in Iceland – 18th to 20th of January 2023. Reach out to us to get yourself on the waitlist, to pre-book your spot, because we won’t have a big group.
Stay tuned and be genius!