Friday, July 31, 2015

SΩ10 - Emotions Uncorked

My friend, Parth, recently asked; “Mario, when is your next post coming out?” Thanks to him, I’ve returned to Society Ω! Actually, he helped edit this post and is now a co-editor, please give him a warm welcome.

Well the truth is my life has been filled to the brink! At the start of the month I snuck into the EduLearn15 conference in Barcelona. Met some unique people from all over the world and heard about their projects. Simultaneously, I began collaborating with a guy on an EdTech related venture. We almost reached an employment agreement. Yet, at the last moment it fell through. The silver lining is that I am now committed to exploring EdTech and it’s a high chance I'll pursue a career in it. Currently, I’m taking the online course "Implementation and Evaluation of Educational Technology". Hope to post more on EdTech in the near future.

Freedom to Express
Now onto the meat of the post! I'd say most of us have dealt with emotional turmoil and difficulties. We've all had similar experiences: an argument with a friend, a breakup, feeling lonely, etc. However, why do most people, especially guys, feel the need to keep emotions bottled up? For this reason, I was super excited that Pixar boldly showcases the beauty of emotions in their latest movie "Inside Out". I can highly recommend it for people of all ages!

True Friends Listen
I could talk all day about emotions and "Inside Out", but how would that help you? Recently, I was talking to a friend about his relationship problems. For me this is part of a good friendship; being able to share and support each other's personal challenges. Yet, it’s difficult to find someone who has the time/interest to truly listen and be present. Nevertheless, if there is a someone whom you trust, try to share little by little. Either it brings the two of you closer together or makes it clear that you need better friends. in that case, why not reach out to someone you lost touch with. Just be cautious not to load all your burdens on one person!

The Therapeutic Way
Getting back to my friend, it soon became apparent that he needed help with someone more experienced. This happens sometimes, either a friend lacks the experience or you’re uncomfortable sharing the details. So, what other options are there? Another option I've previously used is going to a therapist/counselor. Please keep an open mindset to this, since the media portrays this option in a rather negative and exaggerated way. In order for this option to go successfully, it’s important to research the options and  test out different therapists/counselors. It’s important to note a common misconception, if you want a psychiatric evaluation or medication, only a certified psychiatrist can give this.

Here is a brief guideline to finding the right counselor/therapist:
  • First, you have to know the problem(s) you wish to deal with and a rough idea of what kind of support you need (someone to listen to, medication, etc.)
  • Second, based on the first find a specialist or support group that fits your needs (There are plenty of options, so try a few!)
  • Third, choose a place you feel most comfortable with (location of the building, room of the counselor, feel of the chair, etc.)
  • Fourth, go with a professional and experienced counselor/therapist (If he/she constantly asks 'how does that make you feel?'…they are likely inexperienced and can’t effectively connect to people…so find another one)
  • Last, but most important trust your instinct and go with someone you'd feel comfortable talking to about anything (In my experience, I'm only able to expose deep issues with male counselors)
7 Cups of Tea
Even after all my tips, some of you might still be skeptical. Recently, I found an alternative that might be perfect for your emotional turmoil. It's called 7 Cups of Tea and there is a website and app. In a nutshell, it's a social community of trained active listeners, who anyone can talk to anonymously. Well my experience thus far has been a good one, with a small caveat. This week I talked to two listeners about where to find friends that better fit my diverse lifestyle. Both suggested I try dating. However, at the moment I'm just interested in friendship. One listener was very curious and we discussed the issue in detail. The other kept pushing this idea and talking about his experience and that sex is important too! Thus, the caveat is that although each listener goes through training, his or her skillset varies greatly! Also, realize that these are NOT professionals so for a deeper psychological problem a professional is advised.

To sum things up, if you have an emotional problem: accept it, find an emotional outlet, and resolve it! Feeling the need to bottle one's emotions will likely lead to larger future problems. As a whole, we have to accept that emotions exist and together we can learn to handle them. Emotions make us human, so express them with pride!

Special thanks to Betsy for helping edit numerous posts and is a truly inspirational force to everyone who's met her.

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