Deal with the feel

We humans can be complicated.  We have these pesky things called feelings which seem to be a controlling force.  Have you ever noticed that when things are going well, feelings aren’t something you ever stop to think about?  But when things aren’t so great and you hit a rough patch and the negative feelings come up.  Immediately.  Like a big stone wall.  

We are so quick to notice the negative feelings.  To feel the world is against us.  To be stopped, or to go at half speed because we’re dragging the hard stuff around with us.  It’s incredible.  And it’s human.

How often do we notice our happy feelings: the ones that really light us up and have us spreading joy and positivity in the world?  When was the last time you spent a significant amount of time in the contentment zone?  That special place that has you spreading love and light and lifting yourself and others up?

That old 3 to 1 ratio is always there: you need 3 positive feelings to balance every negative feeling.  Ever notice how you remember the one negative thing someone has said, or made you feel when if you reflect honestly they in fact told you several positive things as well, but its always the negative we remember.  

All emotions stem from sad, mad, scared & glad.  That’s a 3:1 ratio too.  Clearly we’re hard wired to look at the negative first, to keep ourselves safe by scanning for danger and walling ourselves in with the defensive mechanisms.  I wonder, how well is that serving us?  All this negativity, hatred, anger, stress & defensiveness doesn’t make for a very wonderful world.  

And it certainly makes it hard to be happy.  So let’s look at taking the first step and talk about how to deal with our feelings.

First of all you need to notice them and acknowledge them. You can label them if you like.  It’s helpful to know what you’re dealing with.  

Then accept them as yours.  Check in with yourself.  Are you letting someone else’s feelings be projected onto you?  Us people pleasers love to pick up other people’s feelings and carry them around to be helpful.  Newsflash, that’s not actually helping anyone.  Not you.  Or the person who you’re carrying for.  Put down the second hand feelings.  Either give them back or better still leave them where you found them.

Now check your body’s response.  Whereabouts in your body can you feel these feelings?  It should take you a second or less to do this.  If you’re not sure then return to the point above.

And finally, stay with the feeling. - it only takes 17 seconds to process a feeling.  If there’s more than 1 feeling to work with then do 1 at a time, don’t try and double up.  Each feeling gets its own processing time.  

Sitting with a feeling might make you want to cry - that’s not a bad thing - or it might make you want to hit something - again, it’s not a bad thing, just pick something appropriate (like your pillow) to hit.  Or it might make you want to hug someone, or pick up the phone and say hi to a person you’ve been missing.

You get to decide how you respond.  The choice is yours.  And, if you don’t want to keep a feeling after you’ve felt it then LET IT GO.  Again, totally your choice but how much do you want to keep carrying things around? 

If you’re having trouble dealing with your feelings then reach out, feelings can be tricky to deal with on your own.  It’s a sign of strength to get help with the missions.