TEFL (Teaching Emotions as a Foreign Language)

I listened to a really interesting podcast this week with Jameela Jamil and Aisling Bea where they talked about many (often hilarious) things, including the power of having language to describe emotions.

Language is so powerful. When we have the words to describe what is going on inside us they act as a doorway through which we can let those emotions go. Without a way to describe how we feel those feelings sit there, or get filed away inside us, only to burst out in some unhelpful way at another point in time.

In the podcast, Aisling Bea describes having language to describe emotions as like bleeding a radiator. When you turn the key to let the air out (ie when you have the words to name how you feel) the radiator (or the human) warms up again.

Right now as I sit here typing I notice I have some anxiety in my body. I have a tightness in my chest and I feel a bit like I’m breathing shallowly. I also feel a bit coiled up and metallic or cold. However, knowing the above, I have been naming those feelings out loud to myself and each time I do I notice a slight relaxation, my shoulders go back a little bit, I feel a little more at peace. I start to warm up a tiny bit more each time I name how I feel.

My invitation to you today is to name how you feel. Find the language to describe what’s going on for you. Write it down on paper, say it out loud to no one in particular, or tell someone you trust. There’s that beautiful phrase ‘name it to tame it’ and I, like Aisling Bea and Jameela Jamil, really believe it’s true.

Have a peaceful weekend, with love, Hannah and Team Bird

Photo by Daniel Fazio on Unsplash

We still have a few spaces left on our Grief Circle in April. We’d love to see you there if you feel called to join us.

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