What to “do” with your feelings when you feel them.
Give yourself some credit! You just walked with me through learning about the 8 difficult feelings and I think staying the course on this journey merits a hardy congratulations! As the Aussies would say, “Good on ya!”
Now that you have a better idea about how you experience your difficult feelings and which ones may be harder for you to manage, let’s explore what to “do” with your feelings when you feel them.
Specifically, this involves acknowledging, accepting, and trusting your thoughts, feelings, needs, sensations, and perceptions. So, once a feeling has been triggered, and you are riding the 90 Second waves of feelings, take a mental pause and consider what triggered your reaction; what situation, event or experience it’s connected to; whether your reaction relates to anything in the past; and then, what you might want to do about it. It’s good for you to know that once these elements of your emotional experience are in your awareness, you can make sense of what you are going through, and use this information to make decisions, express yourself, and/or take action.
For instance, when difficult feelings are present, some people move quickly to disconnect from, distract from, or shut down their experience. One example involves conversations I had with two women in their forties who wouldn’t allow themselves to cry, and frankly, hadn’t cried in decades. One shut down her sadness and tearfulness for so long that she suffered from intense headaches and jaw pain. The other woman couldn’t fully experience her emotional life; she would talk about what she thought, never about what she felt. Once these women developed an understanding of the 8 difficult feelings, and each allowed tearfulness to be present; they immediately experienced a quiet calm following the waves of emotion.
Because they were better able to experience and move through their own emotional discomfort, they both began to expand their ability to handle uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. As this ability expanded, they both found that their emotional responses to previously triggering situations began to feel less threatening.
With continued practice, they also both reported a shift in closeness in their relationships, since their partners now had more access to their inner lives.
This weeks questions:
How can you use your access to the difficult feelings to better help you make decisions, express yourself or take action?
How can you expand your emotional tolerance and find that quiet calm?
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. I’ll post the question and jump on myself to chat and answer questions.
To A Life You Love,
Dr. Joan Rosenberg