At times, I feel like I’m not able to feel my feelings. I used to think that self-control and a lot of willpower were the way to go to deal with difficult emotions. Inhibiting, hiding, or numbing them down allowed me to keep a precarious balance. But, unfortunately, overcontrol comes at a high cost, making one feel disconnected from herself or himself and the others. So, I’ve reverted to trying a new path, acknowledging the 5 steps needed to become more comfortable in my own skin.
Step 1: Stop Resisting
Your feelings are valid. You were taught that being angry made you nasty; that expressing disappointment made you ungrateful; that being sad would make you lose your friends. To me, feeling my feelings started to look shameful, so I tried to numb and hide them. The truth is that my feelings were inconvenient to others. And as a consequence of them not being able to be comfortable in their own skin, they pushed me to feel the same way. But, by doing so, we all deprive ourselves of experiencing the richness of life.
Step 2: Awareness
Feeling your feelings is a guide through life. As the great 17th-century philosopher Spinoza argued, by understanding our emotions, positive and negative, we gain in power and happiness.
Just like the physical painful sensation we feel when we touch something sharp and pointed, negative feelings like anger tell us to move away from something which is preventing us to be happy. Our emotions highlight our state of mind. They encourage us to leave behind anything that doesn’t promote our personal growth.
Step 3: Allow Yourself Your Feelings
We need to reconnect to our feelings through compassion. This is a process. We are going against so many years of conditioning, so we need to persist through the difficulties. Learning to feel our feelings takes time.
But it is possible. We can remove the shame that pushes us to hide and numb our emotions and we can reconnect with what makes us humans.
Step 4: Befriend Your Emotions
Being cut off from feeling our feelings is like trying to sail the oceans without a compass. It’s a recipe for disaster. It’s going through life without knowing ourselves, what we want and what is good for us. As a consequence, we keep stumbling on the same mistakes over and over. Instead of focusing ourselves on fixing them one by one, we should try to create a life that is just right for us. To do so, we need to be comfortable in our own skin and know what our feelings are telling us.
Step 5: Breathe and Meditate
There is a way to reconnect to the way we feel. It’s called meditation. Meditation and mindfulness practices are proven to increase mental sharpness when practiced regularly. This will help us in the journey to self-discovery. Music is extremely helpful in this process. The video down here is an invitation to start feeling your feelings and becoming comfortable in your own skin.