Why is there not a class in school about ‘How to Feel, How to Allow Feelings’?
Get ready, buckle up… this post is a long one.
Allowing feelings is fundamental to my emotional freedom and health. And I’ll bet a million dollars it is fundamental to yours too.
Emotions come and go IF we are open to them. If we try to resist, avoid or suppress emotions then they get stuck in our bodies which feels really uncomfortable and tense which often turns into frustrated, anxious or depressed.
What You Need to Know in order to Allow Your Emotions and Feelings
- Emotions are simply physical vibrations which we literally FEEL in our body.
- Emotions usually pass quite quickly IF we allow them.
- Allowing means opening, pausing, listening and welcoming the physical vibration in your body.
- Curiousity is an extrodinary tool to go towards your emotions.
- Allowing an emotion is a skill, it takes practice, time and attention.
- Emotions cannot actually harm you, the worst that can happen is that you are very uncomfortable.
- Allowing an emotion can feel uncomfortable in the short term AND will have giant reward in the long run.
Examples of what Emotions Feel like?
- Sad often has a quality of heaviness.
- Excited has a feeling of bubbliness. Etc
- Heart break can literally feel like an ache or pain in the chest or actual heart. Perhaps additionally a tight throat or tension in the eyes.
- Anger can feel like heat or a surge of energy.
All of these are physical vibrations that we can feel in our body.
My ‘Allow’ Breakthrough Story
I was going through a very big break up around the age of thirty, and even though I wanted the break up, I still felt a huge host of emotions that I did not know how to deal with. I ended up depressed.
Go here to read the full story of my breakthrough of learning how to allow my feelings and how I freed myself from my depression in doing so.
I am a firm believer of the allowing emotions practice and I would encourage everyone and anyone to learn how to allow emotions, it is crucial to the experience of your inner state.
Your Emotional Options:
You have three options when you feel an emotion.
One: To Resist or Avoid
When you resist or avoid an emotion you are unintentionally or intentionally choosing not to feel your feelings.
Most of the time the feelings you avoid are ‘negative’ emotions like anger, sadness, disappointment, insecurity, humiliation and such.
When you resist or avoid an emotion you instead feel feelings like stress, tension, anxiety, overwhelm, depression or frustration. The emotions become literally stuck in your body and just show up differently than the original emotion.
You do not actually get rid of your emotions, you simply delay them, and you pay an energetic interest rate.
Two: To Distract
When you distract your self from an emotion you choose some kind of action that literally distracts your self from feeling. Actions used to distract can be: eating, drinking, smoking, working, facebooking and such. You can literally use anything to distract your self from feeling your emotions.
The emotions are still there. You can not make your emotions permanently go away by distracting yourself from them. You just delay them, eventually they need to be processed.
Why we Avoid, Resist and Distract ourselves
We avoid, resist or distract our self from our emotions because we think they will over-take us.
We don’t even really know that we are resisting, avoiding or distracting; it is most often done on auto-pilot, unconsciously.
Most of us are simply acting out of habit or routine because that is what we have always done.
Many people feel totally out of control of our emotional state; therefor we attempt to control our emotions by resisting, avoiding and distracting.
Controlling Emotions vs Controlling Thoughts
Controlling emotions is futile, and only causes yourself inner turmoil, stress and disconnection.
Controlling your thoughts is where your power lies.
Allowing your emotions is how to free your self from your emotions. Seems counterintuitive, right?
Three: To Allow
When you allow an emotion you need to step into a neutral space with curiosity and compassion. This in and of itself is an incredible useful skill, it is an act of presence.
When you notice that you have an emotion you can bring awareness into that very second and choose to welcome the emotion, to notice how the emotion feels in your body and to allow the emotion to process through your body.
This process generally takes only a few moments. The physical vibration of the emotion will generally shift and change immediately upon your allowance of it.
The Tracking Tool
In the process of allowing your emotion the tool of self-tracking will teach you how to watch your self; through this state you can choose to enter a space of allowing emotion.
- Take your attention to the physical vibration.
- Describe the sensation.
- Notice that the emotion is not you.
- Realize you are having the experience of the emotion.
Do your best to come from a place of curiousity and compassion as you watch your self.
Do your best not to judge your self.
This is an observation practice.
The kinder you can be to yourself the better.
Feeling emotions may feel very foreign, awkward and uncomfortabl. Here are a few prompts to help you.
- Imagine yourself walking into a room full of that emotion, what color is it, what does it smell like, what wallpaper are the walls covered in, what music is playing, immerse your Self in the emotion inside the room.
- Sometimes emotions linger with us for a while. Like grief over a loss. In this case you may need to feel a mulititude of waves of greif. You can imagine carrying it around with you like a bag. You can even choose to set it down sometimes. Or spend more focused time feeling the weight of the bag. Again, being present with your emotion.
- Sometimes emotions are an ingrained way of being in the world like anxious. In a case like this you may want to make friends with your emotion, learn how co-exist with it and form a positive relationship with your ingrained emotion.
Your willingness to be with your emotion will radically shift your experience of your emotion.
Allowing emotions requires you to increase your capacity to feel discomfort.
How I Track Backwards
I often catch my self after I have been resisting an emotion. I often notice that I feel yucky in my skin, sometimes I feel stressed or anxious. Sometimes I get depressed.
When I notice I am resisting an emotion then I stop my self.
I find some time to pause and sit with myself.
I get curious as to what the physical sensations of the emotion are in my body. AND I start asking my self WHY I am feeling what I am feeling.
When I ask my self WHY, then I usually get a whole lot of sentences in my head showing my what thoughts are causing my emotions.
This presence practice, I call it my meeting time with my Self, is incredibly relieving in and of it self.
The next step is looking at my thoughts, questioning them and eventually choosing the thoughts that I want to think.
How to Allow : Take Away
Allowing emotions is the key to feeling better.
You can handle any emotion; emotions are physical vibrations, energies, they cannot harm you.
Thoughts cause emotions.
All thoughts are optional.
Interesting stuff? I think so… want more useful tools? Head over to Coaching Basics