There’s this misconception that we must ‘manage’ our emotions and that some emotions are ok, but others aren’t.
Why? Why do we feel it is wrong to show some emotions and not others and why do we think we have to manage them?
Emotions are literally Energy in Motion. Left alone, this energy moves through us, shape-shifting from one feeling to another, all day, everyday. But when we experience a feeling we don’t like – anxiety, sadness, frustration, anger etc, we tend to get stuck, spinning our wheels and doing all we can to make it go away. For some that might lead to external behaviours for a quick fix – drugs, alcohol, shopping, food etc. I know I’ve turned to the ice cream tub on occasions! But these things just give us temporary gratification and all we’re really doing, albeit innocently, is giving them more attention. Where your attention goes, your energy flows!
Think about it this way. All emotions are made of the same energy – we just label them differently and with that labelling comes a whole load more thinking and a whole load more feeling about who we are and what we can do. For instance, somebody feeling anxious, might think, ‘I’m anxious, therefore I can’t meet my friends/speak in public/go to the supermarket etc. See how limiting that is?
There are two fundamental misconceptions here:
1: You are not your feelings. You cannot be and observe something at the same time. You are either participant or observer. It’s like saying you’re performing live on stage whilst watching it simultaneously. Understanding this gives you the space you need to feel things, without getting caught up in them. Putting a full stop after ‘I feel anxious’ is like dropping the mic on it! There’s nowhere to go. Whereas putting a comma after it, lets it run wild! ‘I feel anxious, therefore I can’t……’
2: How you feel has absolutely no impact on your ability to do stuff. You can feel scared of flying, but still go on holiday. You can feel sad that a loved one has died, but still carry on with your life. You can feel unmotivated, but still go for a run. It’s all just energy running through you, whilst life carries you in a direction.
If we start to see our emotions as one energy and let that energy do its thing without getting caught up in naming it, it opens us up to feel safe experiencing anything, without the need to fix, change or manage. It will move through us so much quicker. See how freeing that is?