Your Emotions are Meant to Be Felt: 6 Tips for Processing Your Feelings
Table of Contents
Welcome back to another post :) thanks for reading!
So far, we’ve talked about many different topics in spirituality, including masculine versus feminine energy, how to find your life purpose, and why meditation matters.
Today, we will talk about the big main reason why most of us are here.
To feel every feeling.
The spiritual path is a path of awareness - of ourselves, our tendencies, our pain, and our traumas. As we build awareness, one thing we want to do is heal.
Because that’s what the path of spirituality really is: a path of healing.
Have you ever heard the phrase: you got to feel it to heal it?
The human experience features a wide range of emotions: from anger, jealousy, hatred and grief, to love, joy, compassion, and peace.
Many of us have learned to bypass our emotions. One potential reason is because we are living in a state of survival. In this way, we are using the sympathetic response (fight-or-flight state) to tend to situations. This is a reactionary state, and not one where we think our best. This may feel easier in the moment to do when we don't feel there are a lot of options available to us at the time.
Additionally, we may not have also been taught the tools to effectively deal with our emotions. Or perhaps it was never modeled to us in a healthy way. Because of this, we may have looked outwardly to process our feelings. This could include food, substances, alcohol, TV, shopping, etc.
Is that so wrong, to want to make yourself feel better? Absolutely not. It’s absolutely normal to not want to suffer. Nobody consciously wants to suffer. However, we do need to examine if what we are trying to do to help ourselves is healthfully tending to our needs or somewhat destructive.
We also tend to judge our feelings. Or rationalize them. "I shouldn't feel this way because..." "I should be over this by now because..." Other people may do this to you, too. "Don't be (insert emotion here)."
It's the resistance to the feeling that actually makes it stick with us.
It takes a large dose of awareness and responsibility to pause and actually feel. It seems so simple but can be very hard to do.
That’s why people want to skip over it. Including myself. And, the short-term gain can lead to long-term consequences. Ideally, we want to find a way to be with our feelings in a self-compassionate and loving way. Like our own best friend.
Because feeling our feelings is ultimately how we transmute the pain. And once we transmute our pain, we can be free to experience life in a new kind of way.
The truth is though, feelings are cyclical. They crescendo and diminuendo. They are almost never linear, with a clear start and finish. The same feelings can come up over and over again. And many situations can impart a complex layering of feelings, so it is normal to feel multiple things at once.
Here are some tips to get familiar with your feelings.
- Sit in meditation: meditation helps us to increase our self-awareness and to get familiar with what is going on in the present moment. The act of mindfulness is simply to notice, non-judgmentally. What meditation teaches us is we don’t have to “do” anything about an emotion. We can simply be with the emotion.
- Journal: journaling can be highly healing, because you get to tell your story, from your point of view, without having to justify it to anyone. Getting your story out on paper can open up your headspace. Additionally, it gives you a place to process. Journaling can also help us name our feelings, an important step in feeling them. However, sometimes there aren't words to name our feelings, so go to the next point!
- Feel into your feelings: Cry if you need to. Scream if you have to (into your pillow, not at anyone in particular). Lie on the floor. Be like Sadness in Inside Out. She is great at feeling her feelings!! You could try art to express your feelings. Coloring can be immensely therapeutic. Because if we don't, what we resist persists. So if we acknowledge those feelings, they have a chance to be seen and heard. Just like what we would want for ourselves. Right?
- Practice emotional freedom technique (EFT): By tapping your fingers on certain meridian points in the body we can help recite phrases that acknowledge and accept our feelings, without judgment. This can help to reduce stress. I have found this to be deeply healing in my own practices. You can read more about EFT here, or watch a Youtube video here.
- Notice where in the body you feel the emotions: do you feel it in your throat? Your chest? Your hips? Your head? Your neck? Is it one chakra? Is it in all of them? Notice what happens when you notice your body. What does this do to your emotions? Does the pain start to ease when you recognize what is going on?
- Ask yourself, what do I need now? Do I need to move around? Go running? Hug myself? Lie down? Sit under a blanket? Meditate? Block off my schedule for the rest of the day? Drink a warm beverage? Send myself some love? Ask for help from a friend or a therapist? You get to choose what is best for you!
Remember, some emotions can totally knock us on our butts. That is part of life! None of us are immune to certain feelings! That is part of the human experience. It’s when we judge our feelings that we deny ourselves the benefits of feeling that feeling. And thereby healing that feeling!
It has often been thought that feelings were a sign of weakness. But I say when we accept our feelings, we come out stronger. And then we don’t have to be plagued by that experience or trigger as badly. That’s good news!
Healing opens us up to new possibilities, new emotions, new experiences, and new vibrations. It’s actually a way of up-leveling ourselves.
If we don’t feel our feelings, the universe will keep sending us situations to trigger those emotions until we sit and deal with them in a helpful way.
These are just a few things I have learned on my spiritual path.
The Bottom Line
If you are in the midst of healing, know that you are not alone in this. There are multitudes of people who are also healing and trying to break their cycle of pain - from heartbreak to loss, grief, ancestral trauma, addiction, mental health, abuse, manipulation, and the like.
Our path towards freedom is through healing. Nobody said it would be easy. But it is worth it. You get to choose how you respond. Will you use your masculine or your feminine energy? Will you respond using your sympathetic response (fight or flight) or your parasympathetic response (rest and digest)?
Pause to check in with yourself to see what you need. Then proceed. And ask for help when you need it (professional or otherwise).
Because you are worthy of joy, love, compassion, and kindness.
You deserve the life that you want. And more!
Sending love to all my readers,
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." - Maya Angelou
- "EFT Tapping". Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/eft-tapping. Date Accessed: June 12, 2022
- "How to tap with Jessica Ortner". Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPqGjcxoPS8. Date Accessed: June 13, 2022
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