All of us have emotions sometimes that are overwhelming. We can feel rage, despair, sadness, or fear that make us think that there must be something wrong with us. Do other people deal with this?
We also judge ourselves for feeling rage or hate toward someone. We think it for a moment and then push it down, and think ‘that’s a horrible thought, I can’t feel that.’
But you can. And you should. Marisa Peer, award winning celebrity therapist and creator of RTT (Rapid Transformational Therapy), shares that Awareness, Allowing, and Articulating are key in dealing with emotions in a healthy way. There’s a huge irony here because if you do the Three A’s, the feelings actually lessen or disappear. And if you say, ‘This is wrong or bad, I can’t feel this way or I shouldn’t feel this way,’ you actually cause the feeling to grow. Instead of letting it come up and out, it stays in you and builds every time another “bad” thought is added to it.
The first A is for Awareness. Become aware of how you are feeling. This may sound super simple-most of these tools are. It’s simple, but hard at first. I used to be so out of touch with my feelings that before they could even come to the surface, I would feel myself swallowing them. This seemed so helpful at the time! I didn’t cry, or get mad, or express fear. At least not in public and not very often. But I still HAD the feelings, so they were in me and came out sideways- as I like to call it. Sideways means you don’t deal with your emotions and so they come out in a different way, somewhere else in your life. For me it was letting all the emotions out at home as anger toward my husband and kids, and not feeling peaceful or calm. I was anxious. Because there was no healthy release of emotions- they were always right under the surface. This is SO common! If you do this please know that you are NOT alone.
By stuffing (I use this phrase for pushing down emotions so they can’t come up to the surface, and refusing to face them) my ‘bad’ emotions, I also had a hard time feeling the good emotions in life. I stayed shut down even when I wanted to feel good. When we close ourselves off to anger, jealousy, or guilt because those emotions feel terrible, our body only sees that we are stuffing emotions. The body does not judge good or bad. So it just learns to stuff. So we also stuff good emotions like joy, excitement, and hope. Not fun!
So for me, becoming aware of my emotions meant I became aware that I was stuffing them- literally it felt like I swallowed them. I also had to quit labeling emotions as ‘bad’. Anger is not bad! It’s simply an indicator. Like a light on the dashboard of your car. If the gas light comes on we don’t say, ‘Oh no! Running out of gas is bad. I’m going to cover up that light! Maybe it’ll go away.’ Of course it doesn’t, and neither do our emotions. Read More