How to Feel a Feeling
A feeling is just a sensation in your body. No more, no less. It’s just like a wave on the beach. It only lasts about 90 seconds if we allow it and don’t resist it. It will generally have a name like anxiety, sadness, fear, grief, joy or excitement. It will often have a location, temperature, speed, weight and a color.
Feelings won’t kill you. For a long time I was pretty sure they would, and resisted them. Like, REALLY resisted them. I’d deny them, overeat or over drink just to name a few ways. Mostly the negative ones but sometimes the positive ones too. I thought resisting them would make them go away or dilute them. It actually makes them stronger and keeps them around longer. What we resist persists. I created a lot of suffering for myself by resisting them, and not just allowing them to flow through me.
This is a practice, and it does take practice. Most of us aren’t taught how to really feel and process our emotions/feelings, especially the negative ones. No throwing anyone under the bus. They weren’t taught how to do it either. Now I follow the steps listed below, “ride the feeling” and just let it pass like a wave. And it’s changing my life. I feel so much better when I allow my feelings. And I feel like a whole human being having the full human experience. When we are willing to feel all of our feelings, life gets so much richer!
Follow the steps below to allow your feelings to pass through you:
- Become aware of the sensation in your body.
- Name the feeling.
- Locate it in your body.
- Does it have a temperature, speed, color or weight?
- Breathe into it taking nice, deep, slow breaths.
- You can ask the feeling if it wants to tell you something.
- Allow it to flow though you like a wave because it won’t harm you.
You may want to take a few minutes to journal your experience. Keep practicing these steps and they’ll get to be second nature. And remember to be compassionate with yourself. This is probably new, and I know you’ll get it!
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