That headline might surprise you. But it’s true. Some of us spend time and energy avoiding our feelings, instead of feeling them.
It’s understandable. No one really wants to feel the bad feelings. But by avoiding them, we are actually causing them to stick around longer, and that causes stress.
In today’s podcast, I’ll share with you a super-simple 5 step process to feel your negative feelings so you can let that stress go and get back to feeling better!
I also have a new free download for you today to deepen the impact of this podcast episode for you. It’s a FREE Daily Gratitude Journal. Download it HERE!
And join us in the Life Designed Community on Facebook!
Welcome to A Life Designed.
My name is Tina Haisman. I teach busy moms how to create more heart-to-heart connection with their husband and children so they can feel deeply fulfilled in their most important relationships.
When they work with me, they discover how to design their life so they can enjoy the connection they are seeking.
The topic of today’s podcast is … How Feeling Your Feelings Reduces Stress
But before we get started, I have something for you. It is a Daily Gratitude Worksheet. That you can use to cultivate more gratitude in your life. I will put the link for you to download it in the show notes.
I would also like to invite you to my private group on Facebook where you can come to get positive inspiration for your life. Search A Life Designed in the facebook search bar.
Now let’s dive in and talk about How Feeling Your Feelings Reduces Stress
We first need to talk about exactly what a feeling is. Many, many, many people do not actually understand.
I know this because, usually when I ask a person how they feel about something, and they answer me with a thought.
If I wanted a thought, I would have asked what do you “think” about that.
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that. I didn’t either until I became a life coach.
But it’s too bad none of us understand this, because it’s actually really important.
Knowing the difference between thoughts and feelings can really help improve your quality of life and reduce your stress levels.
So, let’s talk about it a little bit.
A thought is a sentence in your mind. Something you think.
A feeling is an emotion you feel in your body. Some describe it as a vibration in your body. Or a sensation.
Also, a feeling is described in only one word. Like happy, sad, frustrated, glad.
It is vital to know that a feeling is the result of a thought that you have. Every thought you have causes a feeling. Good. Bad or Neutral.
And that feeling causes you to take the actions you do in your life.
So, that’s why feelings matter. They are the reason we do or don’t do everything in our life.
Most of us love the sensation of good feelings, like love, joy, happiness and excitement. But what about those bad feelings like sadness, anger and fear.
We don’t like feeling those, do we? Many of us try to avoid them. But, the truth is that avoiding them is not healthy. It can be a destructive habit that actually increases our stress in the long run.
So, while we might be afraid to feel those negative emotions, if we will actually do it, we will find that they don’t linger – they move on more quickly. Avoiding emotions causes them to stick around longer.
So, we want to notice them. Feel them. Then let them go.
Doing this will help you recognize that you are in control of your feelings!! Which is great news, because so often we feel like our emotions are in charge of us!
The fascinating thing to me is that we think our emotions are all in our head, but actually, they are in our bodies.
You know how sometimes people say,
I feel a lump in the back of my throat – I feel that way when I’ve been trying not to cry while watching something on TV. Or
My stomach is twisted in knots. I feel that when I am nervous. Or
I feel sick to my stomach. I can remember feeling this way after making a mistake and being worried about it.
There are some other pretty common sensations people feel in their bodies when they experience a negative emotion.
For example, the body’s reaction to the feeling of anger might be that it gets tense. Your temperature seems to rise, your breathing and heart rate might rise, and you might find it difficult to concentrate.
When people feel anxious, they report sensations in their body like getting shaky or sweaty or hot. They also report an increase in breathing and heart rate. And difficulty concentrating.
When people feel depressed, they report sensations of tired, having trouble with their memory or concentration, having a loss of appetite or trouble sleeping.
So, how do you connect with your feelings so you can allow them to pass sooner? I have a simple 5 step process for you.
First. Sit down and breathe. Take a few deep breaths. Be sure to breathe deeply into your stomach. Just settle down.
Second. Notice, without judgment what you are feeling. Remember it’s just one word – like anxious, sad, mad, stressed.
Third. Ask yourself what is causing you to feel this way. This is where your thought will come in. It will be a sentence, like, I am disappointed in myself for yelling at the kids. This is to help you understand why you are feeling this way.
Fourth. Ask yourself where you feel this in your body. Are your shoulders tense. Is your stomach upset? Do you have a headache? Do you feel a lump in the back of your throat? This step helps you see where this emotion shows up in your body.
Fifth. Ask yourself what you need to learn from this feeling today. Maybe you learned that you need some more self-care so you are less stressed and don’t take it out on your children. Or maybe you learned that you need to ask for more help from your husband. Or maybe you learned that the kids need to take learning breaks more often so they are less crabby.
Knowing this helps you change your behavior and avoid repeating it.
This whole process will help you feel SO much better. You will be able to have peace with any feeling you have.
Because you are going to slow down enough to honor yourself. You’ll understand the thought that is causing the feeling. And you’ll come up with an action plan to deal with what you learned from the feeling!
Isn’t this amazing you guys? Sometimes we feel like we are not in control of our emotions. Like they are happening to us. But that’s not really true.
Now you know that you don’t have to be afraid of your emotions. You know they come from your thoughts and you know how to notice them and learn from them.
To recap our little 5 step process, it is:
Second. Notice, what you are feeling.
Third. Ask yourself what thought is causing you to feel this way.
Fourth. Ask yourself where you feel this feeling in your body.
Fifth. Ask yourself what you need to learn from this feeling today.
I know this is easier said than done, so reach out to me if you need help. I would love to help you.
Thank you so much for listening in. Please let me know if you have any specific questions.
Remember! Download your free guide Daily Gratitude Journal. I will put the link for you to download it in the show notes. And join us in the Life Designed community on Facebook.
Thank you! See you next week!