Whenever you’re feeling emotions that make you feel uncomfortable or ones that you want to avoid, try running through a list of questions to shed light on what’s really going on. Remember that your emotions, especially the uncomfortable ones, are merely guides to show you what is actually happening. They are simply messengers. If you can learn how to listen to them instead of fighting or ignoring them, you can become better at working through your emotions by not allowing them to take over. Remain curious and neutral as you explore:
We don’t have to fear our emotions because they are merely guides to show us what is actually going on underneath the surface.
Here is a good list of questions to ask yourself when you are working through your emotions:
- Whose voice is this really?: A lot of times this is just an old tape of someone else’s voice. A good way to figure that out is to ask yourself who you first heard this from, especially if it is a phrase of blame or some form of self-shame.
- Where in my life am I feeling like a victim?: When we feel a loss of control, we tend to look outside ourselves to place the blame. Maybe it’s because “This is how I was raised” or a feeling of defeat like, “It will never be different.” Whatever it is, look for where you are feeling like a victim in this emotion.
- What do I really need right now: Identify your needs and then adhere to them.
- What is the false belief here?: Ask yourself, if __ is true, what does this ultimately say about myself? Whatever your answer, there is your false belief. Sit with that. Explore it. Ask if it’s true.
- How can I empower myself in this moment? (I am not a victim): What can you do to take back your power? Maybe this comes in a form of self care. Whatever it is, meet your needs in this moment.
- Am I seeing a pattern when this typically happens?: Do you feel this emotion after a particular event, type of person, or __? Explore that.
- Is this showing up in my body? Let me pause and connect.: Emotions that are not dealt with tend to be stored in our bodies. That reoccurring pain/bloating/sickness might just be more than physical. Explore it.
- How can I be kinder to myself right now?: It’s the only way to self heal. Be gentle with yourself.
- How am I resisting this emotion? Can I give myself permission to just feel it?: The more we fight, we more we fuel. The only thing resistance and renunciation brings is more of just that. Instead of resisting, try seeing what it looks like to give yourself freedom to explore and feel.