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M5L4 – How do I face my feelings? | Dr Jamie Barnier

M5L4 – How do I face my feelings?

MODULE 5 : Brief Introduction

  • Feeling blockers
  • Avoided situations – worksheet
  • Avoided feelings
  • Facing feelings

 

LESSON 4

One of the most common responses I hear in therapy is “I don’t know how to feel my feelings.” Years of suppressing emotions or distracting from them using feeling blockers has created this belief. This idea is based around helplessness (which in itself is a feeling blocker).

The good news is that your body does know what to do with feelings and how to experience them – if it would just get an opportunity to do so.

  • To begin with, just become willing to start experiencing your feelings deeply and fully.
  • Start to recount the experiences you have had today and how they have affected you emotionally
  • Once you have been able to identify an emotion, pay attention to what happens in your body:
    • What is the sensation you notice? The temperature?
    • Do you experience a heat or a cooling?
    • Does it want to travel upwards or expand out?
    • Notice where the feeling peaks and notice when it starts to subside.
    • Take your time with this exercise and be wary of any critical or helpless thoughts that start to emerge “I can’t do this” “this is too hard” “I must be doing it wrong.” Try not to overthink the process.

People begin to notice that when they begin to pay attention to their feelings, the intensity goes down (as the emotion does not have to fight to be seen). For example, if people allow themselves to experience their anger physically inside, the anger no longer has to build up in an attempt to be noticed and acknowledged (note, I’m talking about the physical or felt experience of anger in the body, not a behavioural response to anger such as lashing out). If we listen to the whispers of our body, it won’t have to scream at us to grab our attention. Remember that each feeling has a purpose. Feelings are designed to assist us to live at our highest potential.

Side effects of facing feelings

  1. Emotions are less overwhelming when the intensity is lessened.
  2. Less festering over things or bottling things up leads to fewer relationship problems and increased happiness
  3. Anxiety levels reduce and performance improves
  4. Health issues improve (researchers suggest that upwards of 80% of health-related problems have their origin in stress)
  5. Decreased blood pressure and improvements in general health and well-being.

 

 

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