Today I wanted to talk about ways to process through deeply painful emotions that might be impacting various areas of your life and about emotions that you can’t seem to move beyond.
Something I see a lot of in my counselling practice are women who have been wronged. They have been let down by someone close – their partner, a parent, one of their children, a sibling or a friend – and they are in a world of pain.
They feel disappointed, hurt, rejected and alone and they are not only angry, they resent the fact that they have been hurt and they don’t understand why when they try so hard. The pain they are feeling eats away at them as everywhere they go their pain goes with them. They have talked to everyone they can think of to help them understand and try to relieve their pain but instead of feeling better, they only seem to feel worse.
Today I wanted to share some really effective ideas for processing through a really painful event and the feelings that you might have a result so that you can move forward without all that emotional baggage weighing you down, stealing all of your joy and sucking the juice out of your juicy life.
Motivator Tony Robbins refers to e-motions as energy in motion and it is my personal experience as well as my experience as a counsellor that we get into trouble when our emotions get stuck.
Getting in to action is a great way to move energy and deal with emotional pain so following are 5 things you can do to help yourself when you are in pain.
- Give yourself permission to have your feelings.
Know that if someone has done something to hurt you then you have every right to your feelings. A lot of women get stuck here and it creates an emotional pressure cooker for them. They put themselves through all sorts of turmoil because they have been raised (or programed) to be good girls and good girls are supposed to speak and act nicely all the time. This is the biggest lie and you were told this so that you wouldn’t complain or make the people around you feel uncomfortable. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that you don’t have a right to your feelings. And especially don’t do that to yourself.
2. Stop resisting.
Know that resistance is useless. Feelings are neither right nor wrong. They just are what they are so the best thing you can do is stop judging your feelings and just accept that you have them and even if you don’t understand them or their intensity, they are your feelings and you have them for a reason.
3. Separate fact from fiction.
Learning the difference between fact and fiction in a situation has the power to change your whole outlook and as a result, change your feelings. When I ask clients to define what actually happened to them, and when they stick with the facts, their stories are often quite short.
When I ask them what they thought was happening at the time, or what they were afraid might have been happening, their stories become long and complicated and this is often where most of their painful emotions are generated from.
Being able to see the difference often changes how a client feels about what happened and can take a great deal of pain out of the situation.
4. Identify your feelings.
It is important to be able to name what you are feeling and take note of how intense your feelings are on a scale of 1 – 10. When I spoke about Emotional Intelligence and the 5 steps to emotional maturity in the video I did for The Measure Of A Man, I put a lot of weight onto our ability to articulate our feelings and identify their intensity in order to be able to adequately manage them.
What I have learned is that it is when we can name the precise feeling we are experiencing, we know it, and then we almost automatically know what we need in order to soothe ourselves and heal our pain. I cannot stress how powerful this step is if we truly want to move forward and be free of the pain we have been carrying around with us.
If you find yourself bringing things up from the past every time you get upset then there is a good chance you have not yet got this step right and until you are able to name the feeling associated with the event, you will keep bringing it up and going over it again and again.
5. Ask yourself what you need?
The answer to this question will come easier and more quickly if you have correctly identified your feelings, and it might surprise you when you realise what it is that you need to feel better. When the answer comes to you, however, it is important to commit to following through and doing what you need to do in order to heal. Otherwise the pain will grow and it will be compounded by the fact that you didn’t bother to act in your own best interest.
As a counsellor, the best thing I can do for my clients is to ask powerful questions and these are about the most powerful questions I can ask.
I encourage you to print this up and put it somewhere that you can easily find it because it really is a powerful way to process through difficult emotions and you can even use it to help someone you love – a partner, a child, a parent or a friend – to process through their pain.
And finally, if you would like to learn more about emotional intelligence and how you can be happier then you will find heaps more information in my book 6 Keys To Happiness which is available at MJL Publications.
Until next time…
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I look forward to working with you and alongside you while you create your very own Juicy Life in 2016