What are our emotions trying to tell us?

We all have many different needs such as wanting security, love, a sense of belonging or approval from others. When these needs are satisfied, our response is positive, but when they are not, we often react in a negative way. However, what is it that makes us respond inadequately? Why do we frequently blame others for our situation?

The fundamental issue is that our emotions are generated by needs. Therefore, if our desires are satisfied our emotional reaction is positive (such as happiness or joy) but if they are not, negative feelings can be the result (frustration, anger, sadness, etc.).

A typical behavior pattern, many of us exhibit when experiencing a negative emotion, is to blame others and accuse them of being responsible for our troubles. However, we must realize is behind this feeling there is an unsatisfied need and we must identify what it is. After all, only we are responsible for our emotions and if the underlying need is not being met, we need to isolate it and find the resolution.

Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about 4 basic level of need: to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy. This breakdown of our myriad of wants helps to identify the core drivers in our lives and find ways we can satisfy them for a fulfilling and rewarding life.

At the end of the day, we are responsible for how we react to our emotions and how we perform. Only we can control our feelings and discover the unsatisfied desires behind them. And when we accept these situations are ours to control, not the responsibility of others, we are well equipped to deal with obstacles that come our way.

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