Expand your comfort zone using emotions
Emotions are at the heart of every path toward growth, innovation, and change. The journey of discovering our emotions and the emotions of those around us continues with a challenge: the #ShakeUpYourEmotions challenge.
Why a challenge just about emotions?
Because emotions are the essential when it comes to expanding our various comfort zones, taking ourselves back, and doing what makes us feel good.
Because a challenge can be the right occasion to approach a world that has fascinated generations of scholars, psychologists, philosophers, poets, and simple enthusiasts.
Because it’s often nice not to take ourselves too seriously, giving space to our curiosity.
Why keep trying to rationalize when we could simply experiment? I would say it’s time to dive into the challenge.
The #ShakeUpYourEmotions challenge
The #ShakeUpYourEmotions challenge was born from the idea of finding a fun and curious way to increase our awareness of our emotional state.
Everyday life, with its routines, frenetic rhythms, and a thousand problems, is likely to distract us from careful observation and deep listening to ourselves and the people around us. The world changes quickly. Our life goes on. We change constantly, and our emotional state underlies all of this.
Eighty percent of what we feel remains below the threshold of consciousness—yes indeed, we are that unaware. Emotions: Awareness and Comfort Zone inaugurated the chapter of Comfort Zone Shake-Up dedicated to emotions—what they are, who invented them, and why they are so important—and with this challenge we move into action. Setting aside for the moment the debate on a possible classification of emotions (I will come back on that), we will build on the approach of American psychologist Paul Ekman. His pioneering scientific research on recognizing the emotions in “universal” facial expressions is the basis for this challenge, which asks us to think about, reflect on, and interpret an emotion a day for five days.
How to participate
Every day will be dedicated to an emotion.
We’re going to brush up on the meaning of the emotion in question—its definition. This will allow us to think about that emotion and to start reflecting on the meaning of the word in our lives. In some cases this reflection will not add anything new, and in other cases the reflection may trigger a personal journey of exploration and learning. There is no right or wrong way to go about this; simply abandon yourself to your thoughts.
We then move on to interpretation—this is the real challenge! How would you interpret this emotion? Where do you find this emotion around you? Maybe in your cat. Maybe in an old forgotten photo. The invitation is to recognize and experience the different emotions, leaving ample room for imagination.
I have tried to interpret some of my emotions (follow me on Facebook and Instagram and you will see). You can do the same by photographing yourself, looking at an old photograph, drawing the emotion, finding it in the expressions of the people around you, or expressing yourself in the way you want.
Post your interpretations on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #ShakeUpYourEmotions. Under this hashtag all the emotional expressions can be collected and examined to expand the meaning we give to each emotion. In the article Emotions: Awareness and Comfort Zone I talk about the variability of emotions.
The variability is a horizontal variability—which concerns the richness of the emotional vocabulary of different cultures—and is at the same time a vertical variability, in which different cultures can have more or less extensive scales of intensity to measure a given emotion. The difference—this emotional variability—is a value itself.
The value of this challenge will be directly proportional to the value of your participation. I am looking forward to hearing from you!
Ready for the challenge?
Photo credits Nonoka Judit Sipos for NonoArtPhotography