How do you accurately identify, feel, and express your thoughts and feelings?
As we close out the first month of this new year and new decade, it is a nice opportunity to just check in and see if anything has changed with how you are thinking and processing feelings. Speaking of feelings…
If true feelings are not fully felt nor expressed to others, they have to “go” somewhere. They tend to go inside instead of out and often show up as the bodily sensations associated with anxiety. Once you accurately identify, feel, and express your thoughts and feelings, anxiety tends to dissipate and a greater sense of calm prevails.
One of the best ways to resolve anxiety, then, is to experience and express unpleasant feelings. I have since refined this process, and created what is called the Rosenberg Anxiety Reset™.
Below are some of the questions you can use as a guide to help you understand what you are genuinely feeling, and to identify what you may need to express to others. This would be a great time to grab your journal or a piece of paper to write out the answers.
Rosenberg Anxiety Reset™
1. Identify an experience or memory when you felt anxious and allow yourself to feel the anxiety you felt at the time.
2. If I took all the words away from you that were suggestive of anxiety, fear, or worry, what would you really be feeling? Use the eight difficult feelings as your starting point. (For example, don’t use apprehensive, fearful, panicked, or scared.)
3. Go back to the experience or memory you identified and swap your anxiety, fear, or worry with this new feeling (from question 2). Stay with the experience for 5 to 10 seconds.
4. Can you feel or experience your previously described anxiety? (Most commonly, the answer is no; if yes, consider whether you’ve accurately identified the underlying feeling.)
5. Did the memory you chose involve other people?
6. Would expressing the feeling you identified have been appropriate in your situation?
7. Was this feeling expressed during that situation or soon after?
This technique helps you create a space for yourself to better identify the true feelings that are hidden under your anxiety. From this, you can better equip yourself to not just label the real feelings, but to understand why you are feeling those feelings.
This weeks questions:
At least twice in the upcoming week, try and find the time to sit down, and practice this exercise. Make sure you are in a safe, secure, and comfortable environment, as this can be difficult.
I’d love for you to respond on my facebook group if you feel comfortable!!
Join my group on Facebook LOVE MY LIFE and let me know. Feel free to share my series with your friends or colleagues as well!
To A Life You Love,
Dr. Joan Rosenberg