EMOTIONS – Why they are important

Emotions serve many purposes and communicate many things which are important for us to know, learn from. They are specific reactions to a particular event.  It can therefore be very useful to be aware and informed by our emotions rather than trying to ignore, deny, or push them away somewhere.
Some of the useful things emotions inform and support us with are: 
  • protection, self care and boundaries
  • knowing what is okay  and not okay for us,
  • gaining support, comfort and understanding needed
  • getting our needs met
  • changing our behaviour
  • processing  experiences, and difficult life events
  • releasing tension and stress
  • experiences of  loss and grief


Sometimes emotions can be quite uncomfortable, distressing and confusing to tolerate especially if we don’t understand them, or have not learnt how to know them, accept them,  or manage them.   Denying, ignoring or distracting ourselves from feelings may be helpful in the short term, however, sometimes this can also cause longer term problems when feelings still manage to find their own way to express themselves.  This delayed expression can happen, days, months or years away, and therefore can be difficult to understand when it is experienced separately from the original event.  This can look like difficulties such as: anger management, anxiety, depression, tearful upsets, erratic moods, addictive behaviour and self harming etc which are common aspects of work within Counselling and Psychotherapy.

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