Humans are emotional creatures. Emotions drive our actions. At times we get overwhelmed by our emotions which can lead us into an unproductive space. How can becoming aware of our emotions help us?
In today's episode let's learn the following:
Hello, and welcome to Fit and Fabulous with me, Dr. Orlena Kerek. I hope that you are feeling fabulous.
My children have gone back to school. It gives me a little bit more time to focus my brain on work. Also, on what I'm achieving and all the exciting things that I'm putting together at the moment.
As you may have gathered, I find it a little bit tricky to do homeschooling and focusing on my business at the same time.
I have been reading a couple of amazing books recently.
I'm reading the longevity diet by Valter Longo. It's super, super interesting. I'll do another podcast about it later on, but in a nutshell, it's really exciting.
I love reading books that reflect my message. Obviously, what I think is based on reading lots of other books and articles.
It's not like people agree with me out of the blue, it's feeding into that wealth of knowledge. I love his message.
Essentially, you can live to a hundred by leading a healthy diet. It doesn't have to be complicated. There are the easy steps to do it, which is exactly my message.
It's all about leading a healthy and long life and it being easy and enjoying it.
Today, I wanted to talk a little bit more about emotions.
I find emotions fascinating.
I've recently finished reading a book called "How Emotions Are Made. The Secret Life of the Brain." It's by Lisa Feldman Barrett. It's a fascinating book. I have to admit, it's not a page-turner. It's one of those sorts of drier, more sciency books.
Sometimes people write in an interesting way. You can't put the book down because they've included lots of stories. It made it really, really interesting. The author is a neuroscientist.
What she says is that emotions are essential concepts that our brain generates. This is really interesting because other people have theories about emotions. Emotions sort of coming from outside of us.
To me as a doctor, that doesn't really make sense. The fact that our brain generates them falls into place.
It rings true for me. Yes, we have this brain and our brain has loads of information. It's coming into it in terms of sight, smell, touch, and all of those things that come from our body, but also within itself.
It generates different things as well such as thoughts and emotions. Emotions are a sort of concept that our brain creates and that we learn to understand.
Emotions are actually based in our society as well. What we don't realise is that our society teaches us all these emotions.
She gives an example of how, in some societies, they don't feel anger. I think, "Wow, how is that possible?"
We think of anger as something that is something there. It’s something that we're born with and she's saying that it’s not true.
There are some societies where they don't have this emotion, which is angry. It doesn't exist. They have other emotions, but they don't have anger.
It's an interesting read. I think it really helps to understand what these emotions are.
For me, the amazing thing is if we can create emotions then we can have a certain amount of control. We will have control over what we create and what we don't create. That is amazing.
That puts us in a really powerful position. Yo be able to say, “I choose to create the emotion of happiness, rather than frustration and anger, and negative emotions that keep us stuck.”
Obviously, you have to learn to do that. It's not something that most people can do overnight.
One trick that she talks about, and I love this trick, is thinking about emotional granularity.
What does emotional granularity mean? Imagine that you only have two emotions: happy and sad. Everything that you do falls either into happy and sad. That sort of course emotional granularity. You don't have very many emotions, but we have lots more emotions than that.
Lots of people don't label their emotions in fine detail. So if you think about joy, you might have elation or ecstatic or joy at one particular thing and the other.
There is no limit to the number of emotions because we create them.
We can create our own emotions.
We can actually create words for our own emotions. We can say to ourselves, "Oh, this is this emotion that I have." Then you teach your body, "I'm feeling this emotion."
Let me give you an example. I love swimming in the sea and I love it for all kinds of different reasons.
I live near the Mediterranean and the water in the Mediterranean is crystal clear. I love seeing the animals, seeing the fish. It's like swimming in an aquarium and I love the coldness. I love the exercise. I love everything about it. Well, not everything gets freezing, so not absolutely everything.
"Seafling" Definition: Enjoying spending time in the sea.
I invented this word called "seafling". What it means to me is this concept about all the things that I love about the sea.
So it might be that it's early in the morning and I can look down underneath the water. I can also look up and see the sun rising and see those two beautiful, totally different images in my mind. This is something unique to me swimming in the sea.
Another thing that I love seeing is the shoals of fish in different parts and different depths. So what was the I'm at the top looking down, and you might have a Shoal, which half a meter down and anther further down. It's like you're looking down on this beautiful seascape.
The fish are just sort of relaxing and doing whatever it is that fish do. Then I say to myself when I see these things, "Oh, I'm “seafling.”
When I start swimming, I build up this anticipation of, "Oh my goodness, I'm going to go and enjoy the sea."
I'm going to be doing seafling. Seafling can be different for different people.
A lot of my friends will go and they don't get quite as cold as me. So I like to keep swimming so that I don't cool down. Some people like to just stay in the water and to chat.
Instead of going to a coffee shop, they might swim a kilometer chat for 10, 15 minutes, and then swim back. I'll sit there going one of these people doing. I would say "Can you please turn around and swim back now because I'm beginning to get cold."
What I know they're doing is just seafling. They're just enjoying that sensation of being in the sea.
"Sawfling". Definition: I saw something amazing in the sea and I showed it to someone else.
I happened to be one of these people who can see animals in the sea so another word that I created is "surfing." (I really need to increase my vocabulary or my variety of words.)
So quite often I wear a diving mask when I go. Most people wear goggles. I wear a diving mask, which I think gives me a bit of an advantage, but I might see a stingray or a Moray eel or an octopus or squid. Quite often I will point out to my friends who were swimming with me.
The problem with swimming is if they're a little bit ahead of me and I'm behind, it's very difficult for me to get to their attention. Their ears are underwater and so I might see something amazing and think, “Oh, wow, this is an amazing Moray eel.”
I'd call my friends but they are after me and they've swum on and on and on. In the end, I have to go after them.
I don't always get the opportunity to show them what amazing things I have seen. When I do get that opportunity, I really enjoy sharing it. That experience, I call it "sawfling."
So I do seafling and sawfling. Now you can create whatever words you want.
"Woodfling" Definition: Enjoying spending time in the woods
Another one I have, which I haven't quite nailed the word yet, but the concept I have is being in the woods. I love being in the woods and quite often on my way back from swimming, I will cycle through the woods.
I love the smell of pine. We have pine woods here that sort of damp smell when it's damp. The dry pine needle smells when it's dry. it's mostly dry here, but occasionally it's stamped.
I'm going to call it "woodfling" because I'm lacking a little bit of imagination.
The more you can increase your emotional granularity, your emotional tapestry, the more you teach yourself about these emotions.
You can do the same with negative emotions too.
One of the ones I have is I'm going to call it "warmfling". That time when you're doing exercise and you can feel that your muscles really beginning to hurt.
"Warmfling". Definition: Feeling you get when your muscles are being used.
I call it "warmfling". I can go, “Wow. I can feel the warmth.” I enjoy that. It's the hardness, which is helping my muscles to develop.
It's a double-edged word, or you can see it as a negative thing, or you can see it as a positive thing.
If you could label the negative things, you can often realise that they aren't as negative as you realise.
I might think about the frustration of doing the work. I can say to myself, this is the frustration of sitting down and having to do the work well. I know what it is, I can take a deep breath. I can just carry on doing it without letting it knock me sideways.
Understanding our emotions and what triggers us, how our emotional tapestry is really important.
We don't have to be confined by the words that society has set out for us. Now, obviously, those are great words, but we can create our own.
There's joy and excitement and understanding in creating words. So I would love to know what your words are. What makes you tick and what doesn't make you tick. So I hope that was useful.
Just some exciting things, I am creating a Fit and Fabulous Family International Summit that is going to be happening from December the fourth to the sixth.
I have got some amazing speakers. The summit is going to be free for those three days.
If you're already on my email list, you just need to put your name in and you'll be given access. It's perfectly free. You can sign up. Now I will put the URL in the show notes.
Each person is going to do a little talk for 10 to 15 minutes. I know you're busy and you don't have time to listen to all these things.
There will also be a lifetime ticket that you can purchase if you are not available to listen to those talks between the fourth and the 6th of December, but an amazing free resource, which I'm super excited to be working on. Also, to offer to everybody who wants to listen to it.
Wouldn't it be amazing if you could dial down your cravings for certain foods?
Or increase your like for healthy foods? Wouldn't that make healthy eating so much easier?
Well you can! In just 30 minutes.
Alea didn't like blueberries until she did the Magic Likes exercise. She was eating them and enjoying them by the end of the call!
Tory stopped eating pretzels after she did the exercise.
Find out more about Dr Orlena's Magic Likes and Dislikes Exercise.
(Psst... if you sign up for the "Overeating quiz" you can get a huge discount!)
Dr Orlena Kerek (MBChB from the University of Bristol, UK) trained as a pediatric doctor. She is now a family health coach. She helps busy mums who want to feel amazing by eating healthy food, enjoy a healthy life, get back into their honeymoon shorts and teach their kids healthy habits all without thinking about it.
If you'd like help and want a healthy family and healthy lifestyle without having to think about it book a 30 minute "Healthy Life Roadmap" call here.