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The Way to Deal With Feelings is to Feel

Dear Integral Meditators,

Our relationship to our feelings is one of the dominant factors that determines our quality of life. The article below offers a few mindful pointers for how we can develop a good long term relationship to the way we feel, even in the face challenging and difficult emotions.

Yours in the spirit of deep feeling,


The Way to Deal With Feelings is to Feel

One of the great keys to mindful living, to dealing with stress and to being at home with yourself in life is to know how to deal with your feelings. To deal with your feelings effectively means understanding that feelings seek resolution primarily by being felt. Whenever we deny our feelings, whenever we refuse to accept them, whenever we resist experiencing them, then they cannot find resolution.
Conversely, whenever we acknowledge, accept and consciously experience a feeling or emotion, its energetic force can be naturally discharged and thus it can find resolution and we can move on from it.

It is the same with all feelings and emotions:

  • The solution to anger you feel begins by accepting the reality that you are angry (who me?), and proceeding from there
  • The resolution to the emotion you feel when you have fallen in love with someone begins by acknowledging and allowing yourself to feel that love
  • The solution to the anxiety that you feel about the uncertainty surrounding your business begins by accepting and experiencing that anxiety without denying or repressing it

Accepting a feeling is more than intellectual acknowledgment
Sometimes we can intellectually acknowledge that we have a feeling without actually accepting it experientially. Intellectual recognition alone is not enough to process a feeling, it has to be accepted experientially and truly felt.

Entering more deeply into the moment through feeling
Think of a situation in your life right now that is causing stress, anxiety or inner discomfort.  Notice how as soon as the uncomfortable feelings start to arise, your mind will start to get busy trying to find a way of ‘solving’ the situation; trying to think its way out of the problem.  Now what I want you to do is deliberately stop trying to solve the issue mentally and instead just focus on acknowledging, accepting and experiencing the feelings and emotions that you have. Simply sit with them, be aware of them, allow yourself to feel them and breathe with them, without trying to change them.
Sometimes (not always, but sometimes) when we are able to truly accept the way we feel, we discover that the problem we thought we had was not really a problem. The genuine and deep acceptance of the feelings makes the circumstances we find ourselves in actually perfectly ok.

Related Article: The Absence of Resolution

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© Toby Ouvry 2015, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

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