Wouldn't It Be Easier To Just Feel...?

mom being present with feelings

We spend much of our lives avoiding our own feelings. 

As humans we get creative in finding ways to avoid being uncomfortable.

It might look something like this:

  • You overscroll so you don’t have to face the discomfort of cleaning the kitchen  
  • You overeat so you don’t have to feel bored  
  • You overspend so you don’t have to feel inadequate  
  • You overthink so you don’t have to feel out of control 

When we overdo we don’t take into account the negative results we are creating.  We get temporary relief (dopamine) from our discomfort but inevitably along comes the dreaded consequences of our actions.  As a result, we have added guilt, shame and frustration to our original discomfort.  

Do any of these examples sound like you?

1.  You pick up your phone and begin scrolling to avoid cleaning the kitchen. An hour later you have completed transactions on amazon and athleta.  You feel guilty for spending money and still face the discomfort of cleaning the kitchen.

2.  You don’t want to feel bored so you head to the kitchen and grab a handful of chocolate chips, then another and then another.  You feel good for a minute and then feel shame for eating off plan and tell yourself you will never lose that weight.

3.  Your child is struggling with friends so you overthink scenarios.  You blame the friends, you blame the friends parents', you worry about your child’s ability to keep friends, you worry if you taught them how to be a good friend.  You end up feeling even more out of control in an effort to control your Childs happiness.

These are perfectly human things to think and do. 

However, wouldn’t it be easier if we simply accepted and allowed the negative emotion to begin with?  If we walked into the discomfort of cleaning the kitchen, of feeling bored, of allowing our children to grow the skill of navigating friends.

It's not that hard to change.

The first step is identifying the emotion you are trying to escape.  this takes a little bit of practice. Once you give it a name it becomes much less scary.

The second step is to feel that negative emotion on purpose.  Don't worry, its just a vibration in your body that once allowed only lasts a short time. 

The third step is to have a plan for what you will do on purpose instead of the buffering behavior (read a book instead of eating the chocolate chips).

Could it be that it is in the discomfort that we find freedom? 

It’s certainly worth a try.

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