Well-being Wednesday: The wisdom of feelings
I was stressed and anxious recently and vented some of that to a friend. “What would you tell a client she asked?”……
Although well-intentioned, I recognized that this comment was about her discomfort with my emotions. And this happens often, not just in this relationship, but in some of my other relationships, even my closest ones, and I see it outside my circle of relationships as well.
We are collectively challenged by feelings, especially the “bad” or “wrong” feelings – anxiety, sadness, grief, anger, etc. Why? They’re uncomfortable in the body, feeling like tightness or waves of heat or lethargy or chaotic.
Beyond the discomfort, we cut these emotions short for the sake of others around us. We’re told we are being unreasonable, to move on, to let go. When reinforced by others, we aren’t given agency or permission to feel our own feelings.
Is that even true, for me? Am I being unreasonable? Because that’s the thing – no one has life figured out completely, and if they claim to, good for them, but the navigational skills that work for them might not apply to others. While we can learn from each other, we have to determine our own self care and emotional management techniques (and these will likely change over time, with changing life circumstances and needs).
“What would I tell a client?” First, I’d ask if I could help and how. If they asked for advice or feedback, I’d tell them that their feelings have wisdom and that the way to figure out what is needed from them is to allow and listen and then….when you’ve learned from the emotions, let go.
I am not a mental health practitioner, but this is more of a yogic and mindfulness approach – an honoring of the moment and what is, rather than racing to escape something. This honoring allows for ease in the discomfort and helps us expand our capacity and permission to feel, but also allows us to learn our patterns and needs. This isn’t too dissimilar from meditation, where the point is not to empty the mind, it is to notice, allow, but not attach to the story.
My strategy might not work for you, and I wouldn’t claim that this is the one.true.answer. But I’d also suggest that neither is shutting down others’ permission and capacity to feel.
What are your emotions telling you?
And my stress? It was a momentary thing that I need to defuse by moving, by talking, by adjusting my schedule, and allowing with time. I have big feelings and I love that part of my self – my capacity to care and sense and learn from it all.
Wishing you all a well Wednesday and the capacity to feel and sit with discomfort.
For similar pieces like this, you might enjoy What is Shadow Work? – Ignite Well-Being (ignitewell-being.com)
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The above content is written by Dr. Allison Mitch, PT (DPT); copyright protected, please cite accordingly. The picture is from Pexels. To work with me or for more information, please email email@example.com
*Please note that none of the above information is specific medical advice, but are educational resources. If you have concerns about your health, please contact a trusted healthcare professional*