The Whole Being: The Importance of Emotional Awareness for Men

The myth that emotions belong to women may make “being emotional” an inner attack on one’s masculinity. The underlying emotional message of “man up” has the negative consequence of creating an environment for “man down.” As humans we are sentient beings. This means we are able to perceive and feel things. Men are humans and their emotional world is no less than any other human. The challenge lies in having a world that operates all the time and influences the overall wellbeing that one may be disconnected from.

Imagine there is room in your house that impacts the other rooms yet there is an invisible wall that prevents access to the room. The inability to access, acknowledge, attend to and express feelings does more harm than good. Here are a few ways to access that room.

Ways to Connect

• Identify Feelings: Emotional awareness in and of itself is powerful tool. Instead of good

or bad, drill down to the core feeling. Here is a list of feeling words to assist:

loved surprised eager supportive helpful

hopeful joyful insecure clever tired

scared intrigued bothered loving miserable

angry confused gloomy jealous passionate

hopeless delighted tender empty awed

excited annoyed cheerful anxious heartbroken

happy. bold terrified silly calm

bored depressed lively blissful proud

awkward nurturing curious peaceful satisfied

overwhelmed capable affectionate devastated

• Grounding Exercises

Grounding is a way to bring yourself out of your mind and into the physical world by connecting to your body and environment. This allows you to be in the here and now.

Grounding In Self

Following Your Breath: take a deep breath in through your nose filling your belly with air, exhale through your nose as you contract your belly. Attend to your inhale and your exhale on each breath.

Feel Your Feet: notice the pressure that your feet have on the ground, hold your attention there to that moment

Grounding to the Environment

Connect to the Earth: walk in grass, dirt, sand, etc while barefoot

Connect to Your Physical Space: count the colors in the room

• Journal

• Check-Ins

Take a moment to reach out to a friend or two. Engage in an activity that you enjoy. It is ok to let other know that you are not ok.

Finding Support

Taking the time to attend sessions with a therapist can assist in increasing emotional awareness. You can locate therapists via directories from your insurance provider, Psychology Today and other online directories. Take a moment to find a therapist who is the right fit for where you are at and where you want to be.