Emotions vs. Feelings – how to deepen your awareness

Last year I was undergoing many changes—separation from friends, a change in career, and isolation. I knew I needed to change how I looked at my situation.

But I felt stuck… and needed out of a rut.

I was fortunate to discover the Unshakable Man Cohort, an 8-week emotional awareness training. It was a fantastic experience and helped me cope with the stresses of a pandemic and unlock a deeper awareness of who I am.

In this blog post, I will be sharing my biggest takeaways and why it’s important to practice emotional awareness.

Emotions versus Feelings

Emotions versus feelings image graph

One of the greatest lessons I took from the program was the difference between an emotion and a feeling.

Wait… aren’t they the same thing?

Chris, the founder of the Unshakable man, defines emotion as a physical sensation that’s happening in my body, telling the brain that something important is happening to the body’s well-being.

On the other hand, feelings are our verbal or mental interpretations of an emotional state we are aware we are experiencing. A person might know they are feeling angry at a situation but might not distinguish the physical emotion sensations that are causing it. Perhaps the fear of losing a loved one is being interpreted by the mind as feeling angry.

  • Emotions are physical sensations
  • Feelings are verbal and mental interpretations 

Understanding the difference between these two terms will help you communicate better with others and understand yourself more fully! It gives your experience more granularity, allowing you to express yourself better.

The Hard Versus Open Way

I did a video call with Chris yesterday to talk about the difference between emotions and feelings. He shared some incredible insight around what he calls the “the hard way versus the open way.”

Why practice emotional awareness together?

Once I understood the difference between emotions and feelings, I began to get more precise language. It helped me hold space for myself and others in a new way. It’s important to practice emotional awareness because it can make us more self-aware, create healthy relationships with others, and helps our mental state.

I really couldn’t do this by myself. 

I needed to be around others to practice the art of emotional awareness.

I could read as many articles as I wanted on what a feeling was… but it doesn’t matter until I am in a vulnerable space with others and EXPERIENCING it. That is why I gained so much from the unshakable man cohort. It was beneficial in practicing ways to better connect with myself and others.

I look forward to being a part of the new Cohort coming up and hope to see you there.


Check out the cohort and the other amazing offerings at:

Isaac Cotec
Isaac Cotec
Creator of HeroRise, Isaac Cotec has dedicated his life to empowering others through art and creativity. He is a scholar of the subconscious and has studied the power of symbolism to help create enduring change.

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