I was raised to be an emotional stuffer. Nobody intentionally taught me that, but the messages were (and continue to be) all around: some feelings are "good", some feelings are "bad." We should feel the "goods" ones and quickly move passed the "bad" ones.
Welp, it turns out, that in order to feel all the pleasant emotions to their fullest, we have to allow ourselves to feel the unpleasant ones as well. Our emotions are experienced in contrast, so in order to truly experience any of them, we have to experience all of them.
What I've learned
As such, one of the most impactful things I have learned through coaching is how to feel my feelings. To really allow my emotions without trying to push them back down and hoping they wouldn't show up at "inappropriate" times.
I learned that the emotional mind will not listen to the logical mind until it feels adequately attended to. Once I stopped trying to avoid, hide, or justify my tears, anger, frustration, etc., I became more tuned in with my mind and my body. And the funny thing is, once I learned to do that, I had fewer emotional surprises and a greater sense of peace.
What's worked for me
Knowing that it's helpful to feel feelings and actually doing it are two totally different things. It took me a while to really learn how to allow unpleasant emotion. Here are some of the keys that have worked well for me:
- I started journaling almost every day to just allow any thoughts that were in my head out. Without judgement. Without expectation. Just writing whatever came up. This was sometimes very emotional, but I just let that be.
- I started naming my emotions out loud to myself. "I feel sad." "This feels unfair." "I feel isolated."
- I started watching them in my body - noticing what they feel like, getting curious about where I felt them, what the sensation was like. Ex: feels like burning in my chest, holding my breath, tightness in my abdomen, etc. Sometimes I would even say it out loud.
- And then I would stay with them until they would move through, which they will. And while they will move through, they will also come back and that is just normal! We experience emotions in waves.
This took time and practice, but it was helpful for me and I hope it might be helpful for some of you.
Cue the video
Want to know more? Or just want to hear it in a different way? The video below is all about the balance of emotion and how to feel our feelings. You've got this! Check it out and then leave me a comment below - what stood out for you?
Prefer to read? Get the transcript HERE.
Before you go! Don't forget to leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!