Unhelpful ways to deal with our emotions

When I talk to my clients about learning to be aware and present with their feelings, I sometimes see that this sounds like new information to them. Sometimes they seem confused, or even a little bit of afraid and resistant to this idea. And even for me, going where the emotions are can still be scary sometimes. 

The thing is, if we don’t have a strategy to help us process our feelings, and if we don’t have the right support, it can be a scary thing to do. If you are not used to being with yourself in those vulnerable moments, it can be pretty easy to feel out of control.

Some emotions seem so powerful that we are afraid we might explode, react to them, and maybe lash out and snap at someone. Or we might fall into a rabbit hole of thoughts, feeling more and more sorry for ourselves. Without the right tools, it can feel quite overwhelming to be with our feelings.

It’s quite understandable then that we prefer to tune them down, to distract ourselves a little bit, to try and make them go away, so that we can at least feel in control. 

But this strategy has a cost. 

It doesn’t allow us to digest our feelings and actually complete their cycle.

So then they stack up and they become harder and harder to manage.

And sometimes we just explode at the smallest provocation.

Or we start feeling gloomier about just everything.

So maybe we eat or drink or watch Netflix a little too much so that we can feel a little bit better for a little while.

And in the long term, it just makes us feel disconnected to ourselves.

The alternative is to allow our emotions.

Which starts with simply noticing and naming what we are feeling.