Although gender equality is on the rise, men are still reared and socialized differently than women. Women are nurtured to have and express feelings. Conventionally, men were raised that expression or acknowledgement of feelings is a feminine characteristic and therefore for men to have an emotional experience can be stigmatizing.

Emotional freedom considers the exploration of our relationship to our feelings. Although some may not be aware of having feelings, the fact that we all have feelings is undeniable, whether we are aware of them or not.

So, what’s so bad about being unaware of feelings?

Many believe that if you aren’t aware of something it somehow ceases to exist. However, the contrary is true: Truth is true, whether we believe it (or are aware of it) or not. Emotional experiences affect our thoughts, perceptions, physical sensations, mood, attitudes, self-esteem, life outlook and so much more.

When we isolate from our emotional experiences, we fail to recognize these above influences and subsequently become victim to them. We feel sick and self-medicate. We fall victim to our mood swings. We become distrustful of ourselves when we notice how much our thoughts, attitudes and perceptions change seemingly out of the blue.

Gaining intuition into our feeling states allows us to have more intuition into our motives, needs, and premonitions. We can allow our feelings to help guide our decisions that result in well-being and fulfillment, rather than hinder our path with indecisiveness and self-doubt.

These soft skills are not just extraneous variables in our fulfillment quotient; they are hard-wired tools that we would all benefit to sharpen. Men are at more of a disadvantage here because, other than anger/aggression, there are not many socially supported outlets for men to explore and express feelings.

Psychotherapy and life coaching provide safe places where men are supported and encouraged to listen to themselves and discover the subconscious emotional experience that can inform and transform our lives.