Feelings are useful
Updated: Mar 8, 2019
I was watching a Ted Talk this morning and it was about how we deal or I should say how we do NOT deal with our emotions. I recommend watching it: “Why we all need to practice emotional first aid” by Guy Winch. As I am studying for my final exams, I am reviewing the chapter on feelings and I was nudged to write a short piece about it. The past 10 days have been challenging emotionally for me and emotions are all at a high.
There is usually a negative thought from people when we talk about emotions/feelings. My generation and more so the ones before me lived in an environment that we needed to hide our emotions, be strong, adapt, move on. However, there is more and more talk, focus and initiatives related to mental health which deal with emotions/feelings etc.
As I read about the Prime Minister of Canada who had stated in 2017: “The Government of Canada will provide $5 billion over the next 10 years to provinces and territories to support mental health initiatives. These investments will help improve access to evidence-based interventions and mental health services and care for people across the country. With a particular focus on youth and young adults, this will help as many as 500,000 young Canadians.” I feel motivated that finally there is a shift and less of a stigma around talking about emotions and feelings and prominently mental health. It is safer now and there are many opportunities to offer assistance. There is still loads of work to do but the direction is now with eyes on the road ahead as opposed to turning our heads the other way.
Feelings/emotions are a valuable source of information. We should think of them as a guide, our best friends so that we can understand, and help us respond to different situations. These offer HONEST information and learning how to listen and respond to them is a crucial skill we need to develop and master.
An important note is that we should NOT react based on the information our emotions/feelings are providing us. We need to listen, consider what message it is providing us and then decide how to respond in a way that it will be constructive to us and our environment. For instance, I was thinking about Bliss and the hard life she had had. The feeling I felt was anger towards whoever mistreated her. Had I responded to this and knowing who had done that, I probably would have acted in a way that would not have been constructive. In identifying my anger, understanding it and releasing it I was able to move on to another feeling.
I suggest that we learn how to manage our feeling/emotions. In my course, we have learned some steps to identify and release feelings:
"Feelings/emotions are a valuable source of information. We should think of them as a guide, our best friends so that we can understand, and help us respond to different situations. These offer HONEST information and learning how to listen and respond to them is a crucial skill we need to develop and master."
Firstly “we need to bring attention into our body … this is where the feelings originate. Then we need to identify the place in our body that “hurts”. Where the tension or tightness or pain is? Upper chest relates to sadness. Heart area relates to hurt. Stomach relates to anger/fear. Then we focus on the physical area where the feeling is occurring. Accepting whatever feelings come up. Open yourself to it. Experience it without resistance. Become choice-less about whether you want to have the feeling or not. Stay with the feeling and don’t analyze it. Express the feeling by choosing the feeling word that seems difficult to say.”
I suggest to keep a journal of this practice and I found that journaling serves two main purposes: 1) it is healing 2) it is a tool ~ in going back to the entries you can further learn about yourself and your feelings/emotions. There is usually another story behind the story you tell. It is usually clear when you return to it at a later point.
Should you want to find ways to move forward and take action to improve yourself with this technique, get in contact with me. We can set-up a coaching program for you.