Do you have feelings about your feelings? (DW#460)

emotions feelings Sep 28, 2018

Yesterday we talked about how it is more effective to notice and label emotions without adding our judgement to whether they are positive or negative – good or bad.

One way to look at this is that we can stop having feelings about our feelings. 

Here is how one author explains it (apologies as I cannot remember who it was!):

At least half of our negative emotions would disappear if we did just one thing: stop having feelings about our feelings.

For example, if we are sad about something, we become mad at ourselves on top of that, for being sad. So, now not only are we sad, we also are beating ourselves for it. So this becomes like a wounded person, who starts beating themselves for being wounded. 

When we do this, three things happen:
1) We never treat the wound itself. And what happens to a wound that isn't treated? It is more likely to get worse rather than go away. 

2) We cage the original emotion, rather than letting it take its course and flow away naturally. 

3) We hurt ourselves more through the beatings of anger and shame, about the original emotion. 

So what do we end up with? A person with an infected wound, inside a locked cage, taking a beating. 

And we wonder why we're suffering so much! 

So can you please (pretty please) allow yourself to feel what you're feeling and stop judging that emotion. Just for now. You may find that acceptance and self-compassion will allow the original emotion to pass much more quickly than if you keep feeding it with self-judgment. 

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