“How are you feeling?” Good, not bad, ok, fine, alright!
These are the general answers that I get when I first start working with my clients. It is something that I teach them very early on is that those words are not feelings, they’re judgements of feelings. It doesn’t surprise me that a lot of people don’t have any awareness of their emotions because as a society we are not taught how to feel our feelings. And then we wonder why there are teenage girls not going to school because their ‘anxiety is too high’, or young boys fighting with each other becuase they don’t know any other way to release their anger. If we do not learn about our emotions at a young age then we grow into adults who withdraw from the world, take our emotions out on others, get into violent relationships, be a victim in our own lives and blame everything around us or become addicted to sex, alcohol, food or drugs just to escape our reality.
Now I understand that “depression and anxiety disorders” are real and in some cases prescribed medication is needed. However I see too many people become attached to this diagnoses “I am depressed or I am anxious” and it can hold them back from overcoming these emotional barriers.
“I don’t want to get out of bed today, I hate my job, I’ve put on so much weight, I don’t want to fight the battle inside my head anymore.” I thought to myself as I reached for my energy drink just to get my day started.
“I need to get off this plane, something bad is going to happen, I need the air hostess to move me to another seat, I feel hot and stuck.” I said to myself as I sat in between two people on a full flight, my heart was racing so fast and I was struggling to breathe. This was the start of what I could only describe as a panic attack.
“Arggg you’re so annoying, you make me feel so angry, I can’t do this with you anymore, I hate myself and this relationship.” I screamed to my boyfriend in a rage of emotion and frustration.
These are a few examples in my life where I have let uncomfortable emotions take over and it has been a journey for me to learn how to actually FEEL MY FEELINGS in a healthy way and not get caught up in my emotions, remembering that they will pass and then I can come back to feeling happy and content.
So if ‘good or bad’ are not feelings than what are emotions? I break it down as ‘comfortable and uncomfortable’ feelings because when we judge ourselves as feeling good or bad we identify that as being a good or bad human which often makes us feel worse. We need to remember that we are NOT our feelings, they are simply just part of us (energy in motion!)
SAD- upset, grief, lonely, hurt, disappointed.
MAD- angry, frustrated, annoyed, irritated.
GLAD- happy, content, calm, excited, peaceful, relaxed.
SCARED- anxious, overwhelmed, insecure, vulnerable, frightened.
Our feelings only last for a short time, it is our negative mind that keeps us thinking we are “stuck.” So remember that emotions are just energy in motion, when you can IDENTIFY how you’re feeling then you can begin to release the emotion.
We all live very busy lives and it is easy to keep distracting ourselves. It can be confronting to look within and its easier to blame the world around us. But what I know for sure is that its hard to wake up feeling unhappy and not enjoying life. So darling if you want to live a happier life then its time to do the inner work.
I like to explain the process like this… at the start of each day we are given an empty bucket, throughout the day it gets filled up with emotions, if we continue to distract ourselves and not express our feelings in a healthy way then we may explode by taking it out on ourselves or others. Examples of un-healthy ways that we express our emotions are; beating ourselves up, blaming and yelling at others, over eating or turning to alcohol. So learning how to feel your feelings each day will honestly change your life for the better and stop any toxic behaviours that don’t serve you… here are some specific tools:
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO FEEL YOUR FEELINGS.
And what if I told you that your uncomfortable emotions are actuallly telling you something? That instead of being fearful of anxiety, anger, overwhelm etc you could actually use them to empower you.
Your feelings just tell you how you feel and YOU get to choose how you respond to them.
I support a lot of women to stop letting anxiety hold them back in life. One of the main things I remind them is that when you change the meaning you give something, you change the experience you have.
So next time anxiety arises, ask yourself WHY and what’s really going on? For me usually it’s when I have too much on my plate or I am stepping out of my comfort zone. It’s a reminder for me to slow down, to check in with myself, be aware of my negative mind that may be making the situation worse and breathe through the discomfort as the emotion passes.