Kicking How You Feel About How You Feel Out Of The Driver’s Seat

heather o'neill coaching

A beautiful young blond woman driving her convertible car with her hand in the air feeling the wind blowingFeelings get a bad rap. Because so often it’s not our initial feelings about things that get us so tripped up.

It’s our feelings about our feelings.

For example, many times when we experience feelings of anxiety, or anger or sadness we get very caught up in our feeling about those feelings. We tell ourselves things like “Oh no I am feeling anxious again”, “I shouldn’t feel this way”, “now I feel nervous”, “what if something bad happens”, etc.

And when we are not aware that we are the thinker of our thoughts rather than our thoughts themselves, we then have no awareness of this mind chatter ABOUT our feelings. We are then not watching our thoughts and feelings, we BECOME our thoughts about our feelings because we do not have a birds eye view of them. And we have no idea about what is really going on in our heads because we are smack in the middle of it.

You may have heard me talk about head trash before. THIS is head trash. Having all kinds of thoughts, judgments and worries about our feelings.

But what if I simply said to myself, OK I am feeling anxious right now. I accept my feelings, I am not trying to resist them, I am going to simply accept them for what they are.

In that space of non resistance we move through our feelings much quicker. And we are not trying to stuff them down or pretend we are not feeling them.

We are recognizing them for what they are, and perhaps we sprinkle a little self love in there, and then we don’t make a problem out of them.

We don’t get upset with our self for feeling fearful again. We don’t get caught up in the what if’s around our feelings….ie what if I start feeling that brick in my stomach again and my palms become all sweaty? Or I feel nervous right now so what if that causes me to mess something up or say the wrong thing??

How about if we feel sad about something that we think we shouldn’t feel sad about. Instead of just recognizing “I feel sad right now” we usually start beating ourselves up about feeling that way.

What would it feel like to simply allow yourself to feel sad and then let it go?

And by let it go I mean don’t resist it and don’t qualify it. You lean into it by recognizing how you feel without picking the feeling apart. And what happens when we do this will come as a surprise. Because the feeling passes through.

Our feeling states are quite transient. It’s our monkey chatter laden minds that get us into so much unnecessary momentum with how we feel.

Fear is so much a fear of the fear itself.

It’s not wanting to feel a certain way. But what if we just let it be OK to feel however we are feeling in the moment and not try to make it go away. But also not cling to it. Just let it be what it is.

We can also use the feelings we don’t like to help us deliberately move into how we do want to feel. Because if I am feeling fearful I can ask myself how DO I want to feel. And I can answer and be clear that I want to feel safe and secure. And then I can ask for help and blessings to feel that way.

And then once I ask for that help and blessings I let that go too. The key is to not be grasping so tightly to any of it, but to just be and to flow and to choose our focus when it is not where we want it to be.

My suggested action step is to pick an hour or 2 out of your day where you become very mindful of your feelings. But simply as the observer. Recognize that for you to identify those feelings that it means that you are NOT the thoughts and feelings themselves but the one who is experiencing them. You can name how you are feeling and then leave it at that. Observe what happens next. Do they feelings stay long? Do they float away? Begin to notice what happens when you don’t make it a problem no matter how you are feeling in that moment. Try not to judge or further define of any of it and just be with how you feel.

 

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