How Do You Feel About Your Feelings?
Happy, excited, loving, peaceful, amazed, successful, creative, optimistic, valued, I’m sure you could think of more.
These are welcome all day any day
Obviously life isn’t always a high, so I don’t mind feeling these ones sometimes too:
Bored, disappointed, indifferent, tired.
But there are a group of emotions that I’ve never been a fan of:
Anger, sadness, disgust, anxious, fearful, depressed, scared, humiliated, worthless, just to name a few.
All throughout my life when I’ve felt this last group I’ve done what I can to avoid it.
Keep busy, distract myself, suppress them.
But nothing I’ve ever tried has been very effective. I’m even starting to realise how much it often just makes it worse in the long-term.
I’ve STRUGGLED to stop myself from feeling these unwanted emotions and push myself towards feeling only the “positive” ones.
How Do You Deal With Unwanted Emotions?
He advocates for a different strategy in dealing with unwanted feelings, thoughts, sensations
He explains that struggling against our emotions typically just creates more problems – getting angry at ourselves when we feel anxious, feeling sad that we’ve been feeling angry, feeling guilty that we’re feeling grumpy and sad.
Russ encourages us to adopt a position of acceptance towards them. To acknowledge they’re there and to even be curious about them, that they’re trying to communicate something they think could be helpful. Maybe those messages aren’t in line with how you want to act, but, like a scientist, to explore our inner worlds and observe what’s going on.
He has a range of helpful techniques and ideas to help move us from struggling with our emotions, to acknowledging them, being present in the moment, and acting in step with our core values.
Here’s one of my favourite exercises I’ve been using lately to go from feeling overwhelmed and “flooded”, back to being present, grounded, and behaving the way I want to be.