Feeling your feelings sounds redundant, but in a world used to suppressing unwelcome emotion, it is something to strive toward. When we are angry, grieving, or having other negative emotions, we are told to look on the bright side. Most of us have a very low tolerance for emotional discomfort (ours and someone else’s) so painful feelings are often avoided. The problem is that avoiding them comes at a high price physically and mentally. The irony is that recognizing and labeling our feelings is often the very thing that allows us to self-soothe and to actually begin to feel better! All that numbing and avoiding is exhausting, unhealthy, and counterproductive yet this is exactly how most of us have been conditioned to react.
How Are You Feeling?
Asking yourself how you are feeling is difficult if you aren’t accustomed to it because emotions are so complex. You might identify one emotion only to find it conflicting with another in a confusing paradox we call the mind. It takes practice, but figuring out how you feel can become easier if you realize you can feel many emotions at the same time. It can be confusing to identify that you feel both sad and happy simultaneously, but this is normal. The key to identifying your feelings is to allow yourself the freedom to explore your thoughts without judgment. Don’t get tangled up in how you should feel.
When you start to identify your emotions, you create a roadmap of thoughts and reactions. You discard your assumed and subsequent feelings and uncover raw emotion. These emotions are then accepted, understood, and tamed. They no longer have a hold on your body or the vast web of thoughts spinning in your consciousness. Instead, they are distilled into feelings that are accepted for what they are…a healthy experience of your humanity.
Feel Your Feelings When Times Are Tough
The world is pretty chaotic right now, and many people are struggling with emotional turmoil and fear of the unknown. The pandemic didn’t erase our old problems, and now there are more things to worry about and wonder about. Insecurity about the future, whether it is regarding health or finances, is a weight on everyone. That is why it is important for your emotional and physical health to feel your feelings. Emotion is not the enemy, but hiding emotion can become the enemy. Start your journey of feeling your feelings by watching/listening to Kim’s interview with Jenn Nelson on the topic of Living With Change. Also check out our workbook, “Feel Your Feelings,” and begin your path toward a better emotional state. If you find yourself struggling, consider speaking with a therapist who will be able to help you learn how to live a life of emotional acceptance.