LESSON ONE: How to Feel Feelings
It is a choice.
Seems like we should all just “know” how to feel. And we do, you don't have to learn how to feel, but you do have to actively choose to feel. It is in that choice that we can get lost.
We choose resistance, buffering, avoidance, literally anything but feeling an emotion. Feeling emotions can be overwhelming and intense. If you don't know how to release the feeling, then it can be easy to get stuck in a loop and make it mean even more terrible things about ourselves and that feels even shittier than the initial feeling, so we avoid it at all costs. It doesn't always have to be a negative emotion, sometimes we resist the good emotions too.
I didn't realize how much I was resisting and repressing my emotions, so afraid to get stuck in a loop, until I literally blew my life up and had to work to put the pieces back together.
You know what the first step was to building my life again?… feeling all the feelings!
What are feelings?
Emotions/Feelings are vibrations in our body. That is all they are.
If an alien came from space and asked how you described sadness, how would you describe it? Heavy in your stomach, slow moving?
What about excitement?
Fast moving, maybe light in your chest?
These are feelings.
When you are experiencing intense feelings, you are experiencing intense vibrations.
How do you feel feelings?
You feel the vibrations happening in your body. Like actually feel them.
I find it helpful to incorporate breath and speaking out loud when I am actively feeling.
1. Recognize the feeling and name it.
Any name you want, there are not set definitions to what the feeling feels like to you!
2. Separate it from the story in your head (more in LESSON TWO).
Just focus on the vibrations in your body. When you find yourself going back to your thoughts, take a few deep breaths, connect back with your body and focus on the vibrations in your body.
3. Experience the vibrations it causes in your body.
What does it feel like in your body?
Is it heavy or light?
Where is it located?
Is it fast or slow?
Does it have a specific motion like waves or spirals?
4. Release it.
I like to verbally say out loud what I am experiencing. Then continue to breathe through it. When you detach the feeling from the story and experience the vibrations, the intensity will dissipate in about 90 secs. It is like a wave cresting. Ride the wave and you can move through it.