Research suggests that naming your emotions can be an effective strategy for creating distance from the emotion, helping to improve resilience and emotional well-being. This practice is often referred to as "emotional labeling" or "affect labeling."
Research also shows that when we label difficult emotions, the amygdala — a brain structure that registers danger — becomes less active and is less likely to trigger a stress reaction in the body.
“When we gently say, ‘This is anger’ or ‘Fear is arising,’ we usually feel some emotional freedom — there is some space around the feeling. Instead of being lost in the emotion, we can recognize that we are having the emotion and therefore have more choice of how to respond,” writes clinical psychologist Dr. Christopher Gremer in the magazine Mindful.
Additionally, the practice can provide the following benefits:
Reduce emotional intensity. Labeling emotions can reduce the intensity of negative emotions, making them feel manageable.
Enhance self-awareness. It promotes self-awareness by helping you better understand what you're feeling and why.
Regulate emotions. By naming your emotions, you gain greater control over them and can implement healthier coping strategies.
Reduce stress. This practice has been linked to reduced stress responses in the body.
Improve decision-making. Recognizing and labeling emotions can lead to better decision-making and problem-solving, as you're more in touch with your feelings.
Overall, naming your emotions is a valuable tool in developing emotional resilience, as it allows you to acknowledge and process your feelings effectively.
Learn more in this Blue Cross Virtual Well-Being℠ webinar, Name Your Emotions to Strengthen Your Brain’s Resiliency. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and individual well-being webinars and meditations here, where you’ll also find past webinars and meditations on demand.
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