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How to Process Emotions Part 5: Enjoyment

How To’s designed to get you unstuck and pull you into alignment with your highest self.

Well, we’ve made it through the wilderness – anger, sadness, fear, and disgust – and now we get to talk about enjoyment!

Today, let’s finish up this series by peering into this core emotion to find out what it feels like, what it wants for you, and how to get more of it.

What does enjoyment feel like in the body?

There are two parts to enjoyment – excitement and joy.

Excitement

Excitement quickens our heart rate and causes a feeling of butterflies in the stomach.

Since it’s a high arousal emotion, it can often be misinterpreted as anxiety.

The main difference is the presence of pleasure which excitement generally gives us.

Anxiety also comes with a sense of dread, whereas excitement is marked by anticipation.

Joy

Joy makes us feel warm all over the body.

It gives us a feeling of lightness and sometimes even a bubbling sensation inside us that tells us we’re connecting with something we love or are grateful for.

The positive intention of enjoyment

This is a little more obvious with enjoyment than other emotions – the positive intention of enjoyment is to help us experience pleasure and happiness.

It helps remove worry and it eclipses low levels of stress, energizing and motivating us toward our goals.

When we lean into enjoyment, not only does it feel awesome-sauce, it also familiarizes us with the feeling and makes it easier for us to return to this state whenever it is available to us.

But… My enjoyment doesn’t ever feel available to me

Although it’s more likely to suppress negative emotions, it’s not uncommon AT ALL to find that we also suppress enjoyment.

Have you ever had the feeling that if you let yourself really enjoy a present moment, something bad will happen or you’ll miss an important cue?

That could be an obstacle blocking your excitement and joy.

And sometimes in childhood, we find our enjoyment was either ignored or criticized if we were perceived as being too rowdy.

This goes along with the premise of children being seen and not heard – enjoyment can be a boisterous emotion coming in the form of laughing, talking loudly, or even squealing from time to time!

If we were met with a “SHHHH!” in those moments, we may be prone to internalizing our enjoyment even as adults since it makes us feel vulnerable and conspicuous.

What happens if I tend to suppress my enjoyment?

As humans, enjoyment is like medicine to the body.

It’s both healing and energizing, two crucial states to maintaining our quality of life.

Suppressing excitement and joy actually leads to the same symptoms as suppressing other emotions.

It causes nervousness, anxiety, and increased stress in the body as well as physical illness.

How do I process my enjoyment?

The best way to get in touch with your state of enjoyment is literally to FEEL it!

Take a moment and create space for it, paying close attention to the warmth and lightness inside you.

Closely monitor the sensations of enjoyment in your body and allow it to expand.

If anxiety comes up, notice that.

Another way to encourage this expansive emotional state is to bask in gratitude.

Take a moment and allow yourself to feel good!

This helps enjoyment to feel like a safe emotion again and will increase your happiness overall.

Huzzah!!!!

To sum up…

We’ve come so far together these last few weeks, and my hope is that you feel more prepared to sort through your emotions as they come up for you.

Remember that you have no control over which emotions come up for you, but you DO have the ability to process them and gain valuable insight.

All of your emotions want good things for you, including health, protection, connection, and happiness.

Let me know if I can help support you on this path of emotional awareness!

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