Why feeling your feelings matters
We each have a preference, a default setting, for the degree to which we are in contact with our feelings, and our thoughts.
For some of us, it's easy to be aware of thinking, to plan, to analyse, and to make sense of things. If this preference is overplayed we may even get stuck in thoughts, going around and around in loops.
For others of us, it is very natural to feel emotions and the connected body sensations, we may feel things deeply and have a rich emotional life. Overplayed, this preference may result in an intensity and at times in overwhelm.
Often, an important aspect of psychotherapy is helping clients to develop flexibility in the way they experience their feelings and their thinking. Symptoms like rumination, anxiety and depression can indicate a stuckness or a limitation in what we can access. It's as if we are in a trance, on auto-pilot, only experiencing things in one particular way. With therapeutic work, we can awaken to more choice and flexibility in what we notice and act on.
Welcome as it can be to alleviate symptoms, it can also be a shock to the system to begin to have deeper and fuller access to our feelings. If we have avoided embodying our experience for some time, we may need a gradual and gentle re-entry into our bodily form. We need to learn ways to contain felt experience, and find ways to express our deeper experiencing.
However, once we are again operating from within our physical experience, in touch with our five senses, an ability to process emotion, to let it flow through us and away from us, emerges. This can be freeing, and can change our day to day experience dramatically.
We do need to be careful what we wish for. Living in an embodied way is a rich thing, it brings uplifting, pleasant emotions, and it brings sadness, guilt, disgust, shame and all the other emotions we might rather not have. It is perhaps important to remember that all these emotions are all there within us regardless. If we are in touch with them, we can let them bring their messages and do their work, and then move on. If we are not in touch with them, symptoms may develop to protect us from them, causing unforseen difficulties.
For attuned, caring support in building your emotional resilience, get in touch.