Why are feelings so difficult for so many of us? Why are we constantly working to avoid them? Did we get some type of a memo as kids to stop having feelings and push them away at all costs? Well actually, I think the answer to that last question is a resounding “Yes!” Most of us were raised by parents and a society that told us to not feel certain ways. “Don’t be sad.” “Don’t be mad.” “Get over it.” Etc.
Our parents and society were most likely well-intentioned, yet how beneficial was that advice? Feelings are definitely not the problem, but our reactions to feelings certainly are. We feel sad so we “take to the bed” or eat away our problems or pretend that we aren’t feeling that way, thus putting our body and mind in contrast with each other. We are angry, so we lash out at others or we take the anger out on ourselves. It’s all understandable, but it really isn’t very helpful or healthy.
Why are we so afraid to be sad? What will happen if we allow ourselves to experience grief and sadness? What if we just allow it to run through our bodies and we sit and experience it without judgment and without running away? What if all emotions and feelings are part of our life experience and not something to run from? What if feelings were actually okay in every way? How different would your life be if you believed that?
The Value of Experiencing Hard Emotions
I’ve actually found it very difficult to sit with my emotions. I’m not used to it. I’m used to running away by getting busy or “unconscious.” Sitting with my feelings requires me to be present and to experience some discomfort. Who wants to do that? Most of us don’t, yet what I find when I allow myself the experience of feeling is that I’m so much better for it. I understand myself and others better. I’m more present, more forgiving, and much more joyful.The greatest gift I can give myself is to feel everything without judgment. #feelings #emotions #mindfulness Click To Tweet
I often ask myself, “What am I feeling and why am I feeling this way?” My first answer is usually “Because that other person made me feel this way.” That, of course, isn’t true because ultimately we are responsible for our own feelings and responses. So, once I let go of blaming someone else for my feelings, I am responsible for owning them and deciding what to do with them. The greatest gift I can give myself is to feel everything without judgment of myself or others.
I’ve got work to do in this area, but it’s good and powerful work and worth the time. All feelings are fine, but our reactions to our feelings might not be. Happiness lies in the difference.
Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. PCC
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Smart Women, Inspired Lives: How to Be Happy & Confident
by Dr. Lisa Kaplin
Do you long for more energy? Do you wish you could walk into any room and feel happy and confident? Do you simply want to enjoy your life more – personally and professionally? You can. Too many women today are doing more, but feeling less satisfied. Life doesn’t have to be that way. With small tweaks and simple strategies, you can enjoy a great life with soaring self-confidence, a good sense of well-being, and plenty of laughter. This easy-to-read yet profoundly impactful book will be all you need to join the tribe of smart women living inspired lives. Your life gets better right now.
About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, PCC
Certified Life Coach and Psychologist at Smart Women Inspired Lives.
I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.
Gain the Confidence You’ve Always Wanted
Are you stuck in a place where you don’t feel good about yourself, feel stuck, and don’t feel happy or fulfilled? Whatever it is that keeps you from happiness can be solved. It’s true! And it can usually be solved within a short amount of time.
Many women have either lost confidence in themselves or realize that they’ve never had it. They are afraid to ask for what they want, they don’t feel good about themselves, and they find that just getting through the day is exhausting.
Lisa’s unique coaching around happiness, fulfillment, and self-esteem is a deep dive into insightful, permanent changes in how you feel about yourself, how you approach life, and how to take care of yourself in the healthiest possible way.
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