This is one of my favourite topics because I know the key to unlocking growth is through our feelings. When I have a client who allows herself to feel I know how cleansing and healing it can be for her. So often we tend to resist feelings.
It’s a refreshing change seeing the younger generations being more open to having their feelings. They often refer to it as ‘feeling the feels’ and after all, this is why we are here, to have a variety of feeling experiences and evolve through the growth we gain from them.
Yet so many older generations don’t talk much about feelings. Most of us were taught to not ‘burden others’ with our feelings or we learned it unconsciously because we didn’t see people openly talking about it. I’ve noticed over the years it can be considered weird or too much information for others to speak about their feelings for long, myself included. It often makes others feel uncomfortable which makes sense if it’s not been normalized. Feeling safe to feel and share with another person is very important and usually we would only share with a trusted friend if you had one.
Feelings are vulnerable and that has been identified as showing weakness which can be a taboo subject.
This is what society often taught us, when someone expresses their true feelings they were often the butt of jokes or picked on. Just look at TV or movies; it’s been modeled to us for ages. I’m not saying humour isn’t helpful to reduce stress and tension however if it’s used to mask or deflect our feelings it can be detrimental not expressing our true feelings over time.
So to remedy this suppression of emoting we figured out all sorts of ways to numb out and even avoid them all together.
Deep down we secretly judge ourselves for having them because we identify with them and labelled ourselves as wrong or bad. I’m not saying this isn’t still the case for many but at least we are talking about it socially and that normalizes them which reduces the fear of digging into the root of them.
It’s important to be witnessed and validated when we process our deeper emotional pain and it always feels better to let our feelings out to a compassionate and trusted person. This is one of the main things I support my clients with and it’s usually that they have developed an unconscious suppression to feel.
I know that was me, I would feel the feeling rising from my belly and stop just before it got to my throat, it would get stuck there. I had to focus my attention and tell myself it’s OK to feel, let it come up and out so I can release it. After some practice and working with a coach I can now allow my feelings to surface and be felt and I have way less stress and tension in my body and feel a sense of relief after.
We are evolving as a species and gradually over the past several decades we have seen mental health issues rise and many people struggle with the amount of feelings they have and what to do about them. If you’re having heavy feelings and/or have had a painful or traumatic experience my best advice is to see a health care professional. Don’t do this alone, ask for help!
In saying that, you can practice managing your feelings.
Here’s the 5 steps to help you practice.
1. Identify the feeling – Eg. “I’m feeling frustration, that’s OK, I am entitled to feel frustrated. It’s just a feeling and it will pass.”
2. Allow that feeling to be there, sit with the frustration, notice how it feels and make sure to breathe slowly and deeply not quick and shallow. (Journaling your feelings is a great help)
3. Do not attach to the feeling. Remind yourself you are feeling frustrated, you are not frustrated. Don’t take the feeling on as your identity.
4. Intentionally ask yourself what this feeling is teaching you? It’s usually the opposite of what the feeling is, so in our example of frustration you could be learning how to practice staying calm and not feeling as if you need to control everything. Have compassion for yourself.
5. Release the feeling. Thank the feelings for their lessons and be grateful for them. Even if you really are not feeling gratitude at the time that’s ok, intentionally hand it over to your higher power and trust it’s all working out in the grand scheme of things. Be appreciative and celebrate yourself that you allowed that feeling to be felt, move through your body and release it. That’s an accomplishment!!
Being mindful with focused attention on our breath when we are having our feelings is very helpful to stay in control and feel in a healthy way. If you find this is too much to do on your own or you want to be able to do this faster with support let’s explore that on a Clarity Call.
Remember the adage … we must feel it to heal it.
Learning how to master your feelings is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and everyone around you will benefit too!
In Love & Gratitude,