Five Steps to
Transform uncomfortable emotions into powerful strengths
When you are stressed, anxious, or upset, your body reacts physically.
We keep negative emotions around longer. (Pushing them aside and not processing them. Because we don’t know how they can be helpful, or we learned they were bad, or it hurts to feel uncomfortable emotions.
What can we learn from the emotions we feel ?
Emotions drive our actions – for example, a fight, flight or freeze response.
Emotions tell others that we’re dealing with stressors and may need support.
Emotions have wisdom. They tell us something important in our life is changing or needs attention
Our emotions have wisdom for us
There’s a lot of wisdom in all emotions, including those we think are negative.
If you’re feeling sad, there’s probably something you need to let go of, such as a loss, a dream or a goal.
If you’re feeling anxious, there’s probably something you need to face or address. This could be something from your past, something in your present or something you’re worrying will happen in the future.
If you’re feeling angry, there’s probably something you feel isn’t fair, and you need to identify what it is
While the process is a lot more complicated than this, and often requires professional support here are 5 steps to learn how this is done.
1-Acknowlede that you’re feeling something.
I know this sounds silly. But how often do we just push anything that feel uncomfortable away. I got so good at it, I didn’t even know I was doing it. So the first step, is to slow down and notice how you’re feeling. (I do this in my morning and evening mediations/ prayers)
2-Name and Identify the feeling.
Is is good, bad, neutral. Have you felt it before. Does it have a name I already know. If you don’t know, check out this feeling wheel.
3- Once you know what you’re feeling. Where are you feeling it?
Our body is constantly giving us clues through physical sensations. Where in your body to you feel the feeling.
When I’m nervous, I feel tense in the top of my stomach. And want to puke
When I’m excited, I feel like I have to catch my breath.
When I’m sad. I feel it under my heart.
This is the ‘sitting’ part of it. Where do you notice the physical sensation. Bring your attention to it, and then BREATH. Don’t try to change the feeling. Don’t make it go away or talk yourself out of it. Does it change as you pay attention to it? Remember research shows that the average time we feel and emotion is only 90 seconds before it changes and dissipates.
5-practice self compassion.
Those words jumpstarted my education on “sitting with my feelings. The hard emotions and the easy ones.”