Have you got a part of you that causes you some issues? A behaviour or a response that you just wish would go away? A reaction or a feeling that you hate about yourself? That perhaps you’re even ashamed of or feel guilty about?

This may be any feeling, that you feel just doesn’t align with who you are and how you want to be. Here are a couple of examples that I see a lot in my clinical practice.

Perhaps you feel really anxious and that fear and anxiety makes you feel physically and mentally drained? Perhaps those feelings prevent you from doing things that you know would bring you joy.

Or perhaps you wish you were more patient and didn’t lose your temper so often.

Maybe you get incredibly frustrated when you can’t quite do something.

These are just a few examples. They may apply to you; they may not. Most of us have feelings that from time to time we’d rather would just go away!

For me, personally, I used to have a tendency for impatience around my children (who can relate?) leading too easily to anger, especially when tired. I used to get angry at myself for being angry! But I realised that way of being, was sucking so much energy and joy out of me; simply exacerbating the situation. So I shifted my perspective. I put down my fight gloves and looked beyond the anger. I saw it for what it is; a sign, a communication. It was telling me something.

For me, when my patience wears thin and anger appears, it’s a sign that I need to look after myself a bit more. Sleep more, exercise more, relax more. Fill my own cup, so I can better serve others. This mindset shift not only allows my energy to flow more easily; it actually increases my patience. There’s less fight or flight in my nervous system; making my mind (and home) a far more peaceful place to be.

So often when we are anxious, angry, frustrated or any other state of mind that we perceive as negative, we do not value that part of us. We actively dislike it. We battle against it. We try to squash it, ignore it, fight against it. It is like an internal tug of war; all of which takes a lot of energy and heightens our stress response.

It is completely natural and understandable to feel that way – who wants to feel anxious or angry? Who would actively choose to feel like that?  But by actively disliking it and rallying against that feeling, you are depleting yourself further; ultimately giving even more power to that part of you that you would actually love to change.

So what if you tried it from a different perspective.

I’m not saying you have to love or even like that part of you.

But what if you saw it from the perspective of curiosity?

What does this emotion, this reaction, this feeling want? What is it trying to tell me? 

Taking some time to pause and reflect on what lies behind your feeling, gives the feeling the chance to dissipate slightly in the moment. Long term, with acknowledgement, thought and perhaps a change in thinking or behaviour, the previously unwanted way of feeling drops away as ultimately it has been heard; it has fulfilled its purpose.

If you have emotions that you would like to explore, get in touch, I would love to work with you.

29th January 2024