Hey Shannon #4 – What do I do with these feelings?

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Hey Shannon,

I’ve been really stuck lately, feeling bad about what I’m doing (or not doing or should be doing).

I’ve been paying attention to when my difficult feelings start, and the thoughts behind them, I just don’t know what to do with them after that.


Now What?

Hey NW,

Noticing your feelings can be a useful practice. As can recognizing what thoughts are behind, or bring up, different emotions.

This practice becomes less useful if you focus on the reasons behind it, the whys. Why isn’t the best question to be asking yourself. Focusing on the why’s can dig you in even deeper.

Be a curious researcher not a novelist.

It’s easy to want to get into the story of the feeling and the thought. Sometimes stories can be helpful, but in this situation, it’s more useful to separate the thought and the feeling.

Put the thought (and the story) to the side for a now.

Turn your attention to your body. Notice how you experience the feeling in your body. Get curious:

What are the actual sensations?

Where do you notice them?

What’s your breathing like?

What else are you noticing?

Allow yourself to observe the sensations, letting them run their natural course. There’s no need to try and change them or control them.

Notice how the natural sensations, the biological experience of an emotion, is over in about 90 seconds.

After scanning through your body, and noticing all the different sensations you’re feeling, allow yourself to breathe deeply a few times. Then, take a moment to check in with yourself. See what it is you really need in that moment. (Get a free audio to guide you through this.)

Following this process will help you move forward through, rather than get stuck in, your difficult emotions.

Keep the questions coming!

Have a question? Head over to my contact page and ask away.

Photo credit: Vintage Mail Bag by Marcin Wichary via Flickr

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