When we haven’t felt safe to feel all of our emotions in childhood, it can be quite daunting to fully experience them as an adult. Many of us are taught that certain emotions are “bad”. And that when we feel them, we are “bad or Wrong”
All emotions are helpful, when we use them correctly
And when we can sit and feel our feelings, we can process them and come back in to balance more easily and quickly. When we deny our emotions, we can stuff them down, and leave them bubbling away, ready to explode and catch us of guard
Like a lot of emotions that are uncomfortable, we can avoid feeling sadness. There can be a fear that feeling into the sadness we are experiencing may pull us in to depression, or we may stay in sadness.
We may also feel a certain shame, for being sad, like we haven’t made our life a 100% happy place. Yet feeling sad is a normal part of life. It’s an active emotion, one that helps us know ourself more.
Studies have shown that people who allow themselves to feel sad, are more likely to move through this emotion and be back in a happier place more quickly. Denying sadness (like denying any emotion) not only blocks that off, but it also blocks off other emotions like joy, happiness and love.
It is also true that when we are in touch with sadness, we are more likely to empathise with others and feel connected to others struggles and therefore be more giving.
So next time you feel sad, remember it’s a really normal human experience
Sit with it
And it will pass
Isn’t it wonderful when we feel happy, especially when we feel happy for no reason, simply for the joy of being alive. Yet there have definitely been times in my life when I’ve felt I shouldn’t or couldn’t be happy. That if I’m happy I won’t fit in with the crowd, or that I didn’t deserve to be happy. Yet we all deserve happiness, it’s not reserved just for a lucky few.
And it’s important to remember happiness is an active emotion, we can’t always be happy, that’s not normal, it’s a state we flow in to and out of, we can live in an underlying state of peace, yet our emotions need to flow and move in order that we are fully present with ourselves, learning and growing.
Enjoy the happiness today
Fear is a double-edged sword, it’s a vital part of our survival
Without fear we would no doubt have died out long long ago
Not only is it an emotion, but it produces physiological changes in our body that help keep us fear
One of the most helpful practices I have used to help me with fear is:
Acknowledge the fear
Thank the fear for keeping me safe
And then ask that the fear sit in the back seat and allow me to drive and steer my life in the direction I wish it to go
Disgust is interesting, what one person finds disgusting another may find interesting or non-offensive. Yet at the core, disgust is a response to a situation which isn’t tolerable. It is our body’s way of ridding us of toxins or avoiding toxins.
The disgust and repulsion we may feel at the foul smelling gone off food, will stop us ingesting it.
And yet disgust can often be out of proportion to the situation, studies have shown that people show disgust at disfigurements and are more likely to be tolerant of their own babies’ dirty nappies than someone else’s (even when they don’t know which is which)
If you feel disgusted at something, try not to push that feeling away, as with all our feelings, it is ok to feel them. Being in touch with disgust could be very helpful, it might even save your life
Anger is one of those emotions that many people feel uncomfortable feeling
The number of clients who when I ask if they feel angry (after sensing this emotion in their chakras) say no, is quite high, and yet these clients often report other people in their life being angry.
When we don’t own our anger, it will show up in those around us
What is interesting is to look at why we don’t feel comfortable owning our anger, moving past anger as bad emotion to seeing it as a helpful emotion that lets us know a boundary hasn’t been respected, or that we or those around us have acted out of alignment with our values
Our emotional response to surprise really does depend on the situation. It can either be a positive, negative or neutral experience. However surprise does add an element of excitement to our lives. It gives us something to talk about.
Next time notice if you’re surprised, if you feel drawn to sharing this experience with others. It can be a real point of connection
It can bring a sense of vitality and help us feel more in touch with life
When I think of surprise it is easy to see how it can feel good and not good, just like any other emotion, it has its benefit.
It can feel so uncomfortable to be jealous of someone else
It can bring up feelings of unworthiness, you may be thinking “why can’t I have XXX”. It could be the nice house, the car, the friends, the lover, the partner, the well-behaved kids etc… there’s no end to what we can be jealous of.
I have found the below can really help when we’re feeling jealous or envious of someone or something
1 – Acknowledge it. Feel the desire for the thing, there is nothing wrong with desiring or being attracted to something
2 – look at what is underneath that desire, what need would this situation or thing meet?
3 – Send love to the person or situation you are envious of
4 – thank them for showing you what you desire
5 – Cut from the energy of the situation
6 – find a way to meet the need yourself, if you are envious or a loving relationship, give yourself the love you require. If you’re jealous of a new sports car, because you think it will make you accepted by your friends, accept yourself
And remember ALL our emotions are here to tell us something
No emotion is wrong or bad
I talk a lot about all our emotions being healthy, yet all emotions taken to extremes become problematic. And this is how I see shame.
When we feel shame, we are no longer concerned this the moment, we are concretising the emotion, and making it personal. Shame says I am wrong, I am worthless, I am a horrible person. None of this is healthy.
Guilt on the other hand is about a specific action
It sounds much more like
I did something wrong
That wasn’t a nice thing to say
I wish I hadn’t done that
With guilt there is a desire to change, to make amends and to rectify the situation
Guilt lets us know we have acted out of alignment with our values
When I work with clients in groups or 1-2-1, I often feel a lot of repressed shame in the solar plexus chakra, it isn’t helpful and really prevents us being our joyful light filled selves.
Next time you feel guilty, focus on the situation, acknowledge that you feel uncomfortable about what happened, look at how you can make it right.
Remember we all make mistakes, and its ok to get things wrong, it does not mean there is anything wrong with you. You are simply human.
I am sure at times we have all felt overwhelmed
It can feel like its engulfing us
It maybe that we simply have way too much going on and we need to say no, put some boundaries in place and get some help, either paid help, like a cleaner, a PA / VA or letting our families know the balance is off and we need more support.
But it can also be that our beliefs about what is good enough are set at an unrealistic level, we may have grown up in families or societies where doing it all was seen as the norm, where excessive hard work is praised, and an ability to “cope” is respected.
But how about we take a step back and really evaluate if this lifestyle is serving us.
When we feel overwhelmed it is telling us that we need to recentre, we need time to rest and time to put our needs first
Remember it is not selfish to look after yourself, in fact I would argue selfcare and self-love are the greatest gift you can give to the world
I am stuck by the ability of humans to dream, to desire, and to create a beautiful life> Children are very good at this, daydreaming and wishing. And yet as we grow, we lose our ability to do this. and I wonder if it is because the feeling of disappointment, we may have experienced, as well as all the “adulting”.
We may know we desire something, set our heart on it, and then feel disappointed when it doesn’t materialise, or we have experience unexpected disappointment, we didn’t know we wanted something. And we may even feel old or outdated disappointment, perhaps as we reached certain milestones we may realise we have a slight disappointment that life isn’t what we imaged it would be. It might even be better, but that doesn’t stop us having feelings of disappointment.
Know that feeling disappointed is ok, it doesn’t always mean you took the wrong path, or made the wrong decision, it might be a way to process life’s unexpected twists and turns.
Oh this is a great one to explore
Vulnerability can feel so scary
Yet without being vulnerable we cannot move beyond our comfort zone and be courageous
And remember that its ok to feel vulnerable and have clear boundaries around what we do and don’t do. Being and feeling safe is very important as we explore vulnerability.
Let me know how being vulnerable has helped you on your healing journey
For anyone struggling with feeling vulnerable, I would highly recommend the work of Bréne Brown. She talks a lot about embracing vulnerability
Remember there is a difference from feeling anxious and having an anxiety disorder
A feeling of anxiety maybe helpful, having long term or consistent anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is not helpful and if you feel this maybe you, please seek professional help.
So how is feeling anxious helpful? Well when are levels of anxiety are healthy, and in balance, our anxiety allows us to sense danger before we can see it. Walking along a cliff edge is enough to make me anxious, it helps me keep my whits about me and to focus on staying safe!
Anxiety can let us know when something is important to us, an interview, and exam, a date, whatever it is, it allows us to focus on the situation and motivates us to prepare for the best outcome.
Being ashamed of our anxiety and denying it, is not helpful, when we can acknowledge it, welcome it and work with it our relationship with anxiety becomes easier.
Please remember this post is my thoughts on how to befriend all your emotions, I am not a medical professional, and anxiety can be a serious health issue.
Remember that whenever you are struggling with a feeling or emotion, it will have its use, try slowing down, listening and reframing the way you view this feeling, it will pass.Laura Hamblyn 2021