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Identifying our Emotions

Although feeling lonely and isolated is common among new dads (and men in general) many men find it hard to talk about it, with their partners or anyone else. Here at The Dadsnet, our members found the right space to speak at length about being a father, and the loneliness that can come with it.

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Identifying our Emotions

It might sound like a basic thing, but when we’re in the thick of it all it can actually be quite difficult to explain precisely what emotions we are feeling. We don’t have lessons in our emotions at school, nor is there any direct way that we are taught to understand the nuances in how they all differ. No wonder so many men don’t feel they can talk about their feelings when they can’t even give a name to what they are feeling in the first place!

We aren’t taught how to process our emotions either, often encouraged to bury them down and suppress them rather than understand them. If you’re feeling a mixture of emotions right now and want to try and get your head around them all, here’s some thought exercise questions to consider…

In these scenarios, can you recognise the emotions?

How do you feel when it is your birthday?

How do you feel when it rains?

How do you feel when someone hugs you?

How do you feel when you have a nightmare?

Now, how would you express those feelings in those moments? Or more importantly, would you actually express anything at all, or bottle it up?

Perhaps in some of those scenarios you would bottle it up, and others you might express things more openly. Consider comparing how you feel when you do open up compared to shutting down.

How often do you take the time to really think about your feelings? It might feel basic, but it is important to pay attention to your emotions. Do not try to hold your feelings but identify and express them in the best way for you. Dedicating some time purely to try and understand your emotions away from the daily routine can help to start making sense of things and make it easier to move forward.