Emotions…good or bad. Do you try to convince yourself that you shouldn’t be feeling the way you do, or you should just suck it up? Some of us have been taught it’s not ok to feel certain feelings.
You know, it’s not possible to be constantly positive. There’s nothing wrong with positivity, but if we disown our uncomfortable emotions, then positivity can be an unhealthy facade.
Speaking of positive…you’ve probably been taught that there are two general groups of emotions: positive and negative. There are 6 primary emotions.
Anger, Happiness, Surprise, Disgust, Sadness, and Fear
I’m sure you can guess which of these are considered “good” emotions and which ones are considered “bad” emotions. I don’t know about you, but it’s interesting that of all the primary emotions only one is considered “good” and it’s the one we’re supposed to be ok with feeling! Strange, don’t you think?
So, we spend a lot of energy trying to ignore the majority of primary emotions. That sure doesn’t seem like a ticket to happiness.
Suppressing emotions won’t make you feel better and definitely shaming yourself for feeling the uncomfortable emotions will only make things worse.
What should we do then? Well, it does take practice learning how to feel and process our emotions rather than suppress, ignore, or explode. But, we can learn to experience feelings. A first step is to not judge ourselves for feeling what we feel; no should-ing or shouldn’t-ing!
Here’s an example of what you can do instead of judging your emotions as good/bad…you can say, “this is uncomfortable, this is strong” and then you can ask yourself “how can I work through this emotion, what can I change?”.
You can choose to slow down and notice. Notice where you feel this emotion. What does it feel like? Describe the sensation. If it had a color, what would it be?
Describing rather than judging empowers you to make choices. Perhaps notice the thoughts that come with what you’re feeling.
One thing I do that helps is to feel the energy of the emotion and I imagine the energy (in a felt sense way) slowly spinning up and I breathe it out. There are other ideas I’ll share in a future blog.
I hope this has been helpful as you practice feeling and not judging.