5 Tips to Help You Make Friends With Your Feelings

Beautiful blond woman in meadow with modern lookIt baffles me that I could have lived for 50 years and not have learned how to make peace with my feelings. I somehow thought that the way it works with feelings is that we’re supposed to embrace and nurture the positive, good feeling emotions and when we do that we won’t have room for the negative, uncomfortable ones.

I was talking with a coaching client this week and she described how she attempts to deal with her feelings by telling herself that she is being irrational as she attempts to push her anxiety away. She described that she really doesn’t know how to handle uncomfortable feelings other than to try and push them away, talk herself out of them and avoid them.

We all know how it feels to try and hold on the good feelings like happiness and contentment and push away or avoid the feelings like anger or sadness. Most of us are also really expert at going to battle between our thoughts and our feelings. It’s a constant tug of war between what we’re actually feeling and what our thoughts are saying we should be feeling.

It wasn’t until I learned about and started practicing mindfulness that I realized that there is another way. This other way is something that everyone needs to know about and practice if they want any peace in their lives at all.

Here are 5 things that you need to know about feelings:

1. You’re meant to feel them ALL.

Feelings are meant to be experienced and not just the ones we like feeling. We’re meant to feel anger, resentment, sadness, impatience, grief and the big one fear.

We can’t selectively choose to feel only certain things because when we numb out one emotion we numb out all of the emotions.

It is the most amazing liberating experience to be able to sit with and allow the uncomfortable feelings. Learning how to accept them and letting them be there without trying to resist in my opinion creates miracles in our lives.

2. Feelings are meant to flow.

Feelings are meant to come and go and flow through us. They are not meant to get stuck. But what happens is that when we resist or deny our feelings they get stuck. Like Carl Jung said, “what we resist, persists” and that goes for feeling as well. When we turn away from our feelings because they’re too uncomfortable and we don’t want to be experiencing them, they persist. Conversely, when we accept them and hold space for them they can flow through on their own.

Another one of my coaching clients said recently that there was absolutely no way that she was going to be able to forgive her ex-husband for what he did to her. She was marinating in anger and resentment and without being aware of it was keeping those feelings stuck because of a choice that she was making. Anger is a healthy emotion but becomes toxic when it gets stuck.

3. Feelings are meant to be shared.

I read a thought provoking little book recently, called “Why am I afraid to tell you who I am” by John Powell. It was so thought provoking because it described how to have a deep authentic connection with someone you must be willing to share your feelings. You must share your feelings even if it feels uncomfortable to do so. Without that ability, your relationship will be superficial and that we as humans need to have those deep connections with others. When you’re unable to share your feelings you’re unable to share who you are.

How many of us say that we’re in committed marriages, relationships and for a variety of reasons don’t express our feeling? So many of us shutdown and when we do, our desire for connection is also shut down.

4. Feelings are a gauge of your thoughts.

Your feelings tell you what is going on in terms of your thought patterns and your underlying subconscious beliefs. When we accept what we’re feeling without trying to resist it and push it away it creates space for us to be open to investigating the underlying thoughts that are triggering the feelings.  We become more aware both of our thoughts and our feelings.

I used to try and manipulate my thoughts so that I could manipulate my feelings, at least the uncomfortable ones. Now I use my feelings as a window to understanding my thought patterns and am actually grateful for the uncomfortable ones as they help guide me as to the areas I need to work on.

5. Feelings are not meant to be judged.

Feelings are not meant to be judged as good or bad. They’re meant to be experienced and embraced as part of the human experience. As soon as we learn to let go of the judgment around our feelings they become benign. Feeling that are judged, suppressed, denied, numbed, avoided or vilified wreak havoc in our lives physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Learning to accept and deal with your full range of emotions is one of the most important skills you can develop. When you become skillful at accepting your feelings, the battles in your mind will stop and you will feel a lot more peaceful.

Bev Janisch About Bev Janisch

Bev Janisch is a mindful living coach, speaker and author. Bev mentors women who are ready to take an inner journey to connect with themselves, gain clarity about who they are, what’s important to them and how to live a life full of passion and peace of mind. Bev empowers women with a proven mindfulness based system of powerful tools and techniques to transform their lives from the inside out. Bev’s 30 years as a compassionate nurse and her current expertise as a certified mindfulness and meditation coach sets the stage for profound transformations. Women who work with Bev are guaranteed to ignite their inner sparkle. To learn more, apply to work with Bev or receive your free gift visit www.thecompassionatemind.com