I'm going to tell you why you should make friends with your emotions. So often, we try to push our feelings away. This may be done through drugs and alcohol, food and other addictions, exercise or medications. An informal industry has been developed in order to support us in NOT FEELING. What this ultimately does is add an additional layer to our pain and suffering. We still feel the emotions we don’t want to feel and we self medicate ourselves to get away from the feelings we still feel!
While I am not proposing that one eliminates – certainly not all at once – the “fixes” we use to get away from our feelings, I am suggesting that, in addition, we try to begin to understand our emotions. Many times our emotions provide us with valuable information and we are able to integrate our emotions and heal. Other times, by understanding our emotions, we can work with them. That's why you should make friends with your emotions.
There are different ways we can explore our feelings and emotions. Journaling can be a very effective way to connect emotions and can give us insight into the root cause of an emotion, which oftentimes has very little to do with the present moment. Usually, emotions are based on a past experience that is triggered by the present moment.
Breathing is another way to explore our emotions. Gentle breathing exercises in which we sit quietly and breathe deeply can allow the emotions to be there without feeling overwhelmed. Meditation is a way to sit with our feelings and recognize that the emotions are not us – they are only a part of us. We are NOT our emotions. Counseling gives us a safe avenue to talk about our emotions.
“We are all born with the capacity to feel a full range of emotions. And they are designed to flow through us easily, one giving way to another, like the multicolored handkerchiefs that emerge from a magicians magic hat. When we try to “control” our emotions by holding them in or denying their existence, we fight against our very nature. And the consequences can be destructive to ourselves and our relationships.”
Bret Lyon Ph.D