Tag Archives: emotion

Language and Psychology

They say we are what we eat, but is it also true that we are what we say?

As I sit here pondering how to integrate all our techniques for grounding and calming, how to develop habits to overcome my tendency to panic and to face life with an attitude that results in capable, adult handling of situations rather than my usual babyish crying and tantrum throwing, I am reminded of how the English language might affect us.

Often, I am afraid.

In French, J’ai peur.  Literally, that means “I have fear.”

In Spanish, Tengo miedo.  Literally, “I have fear.”

How come in English I AM afraid?  I AM the fear?  When you HAVE something, isn’t it much easier to get rid of it?  Race down the highway and toss it out the window?  Bye bye fear?  I have fear in my pocket, pick it out and throw it in the trash.  Worst case scenario, I throw out the pants.

I AM afraid.  That’s part of my being.  That’s essential to my existence.  I AM Elena, I AM a Mama, I AM afraid.  

I can say, I FEEL afraid or I EXPERIENCE fear, I suppose.  But that is not my go-to expression.  No, I AM hungry, tired, overwhelmed, sad.  Okay, none of those things right this minute, but I just mean when I feel something, I AM it.

At least in Spanish, they may say “I am sad,” but they have two forms of the verb “to be,” one indicates a temporary state, one is a permanent state of being.  Guess which one is used for emotions?  They give themselves a way out!  Do we?

Does our use of verbs have any psychological effect, or AM I just trippin’?

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Top Five: Things that Ground You

This may seem like a froo-froo dingy top five, but something else I took away from my Thanksgiving trip is a burning desire and steely resolve not to be such a stress-case, not to be so high strung, not to so easily fly off the handle, freak out, make a mountain out of a molehill, lose my cool.  I want to be mellow.  You’d think being from California I’d have a head start but no.  Might be too much to ask, but I’m determined.

To this end, I want to be able to bring to mind some things that ground me and make me feel calm, and if you all will share some of your grounding techniques or mental images, that might give me some more ideas…

My Top Five Things that Ground Me

1. upbeat music (not just upbeat rhythm but also lyrics)

2. Beer (I realize this is a total crutch, but it takes the edge off my fretting mind)

3. Cleaning house

4. Eating comfort food (another crutch)

5. ???

And there you have it.  None of these things come in terribly handy when my son has dumped out yet another bowl of cereal and has stomped it into the carpet and I begin the yell from hell.  Stuff my face, get a buzz going and clean while listening to Bob Marley.  Now you see why I have issues…

Please… your Top Five… STAT!

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