Whether we have an addiction to dieting, binging, work, drinking or drugs; Or if we act out by getting angry, it is widely known that our emotions and feelings are underneath it all.
We all don’t like to feel unpleasant emotions. It’s easier to stuff them down with food, or raise our adrenaline with other things, which kind of helps us escape the pain. Those behaviors actually change brain chemistry, temporarily, until the feelings resurface (which they will).
This week I did an experiment with myself. I was feeling very down and when I am in that state, I usually try to find a new diet or approach to eating, (which I find extremely exciting). It is an escape and sends my adrenaline way up. It also distracts me.
This time I said no to that. I even said no to tapping. I chose to stay in pain and feel my feelings. No suppression. No escape. Just felt the feelings. To my surprise, it wasn’t all that bad! The next day I woke up much happier, with my usual sunny outlook.
My feelings were fully felt, had their say, and moved on. It is amazing.
I am starting to believe it can be less painful, and less complicated to feel than to suppress and deal with the aftermath and drama.
In my research to help clients with anger, binging and other destructive behaviors, that is always the advice from the experts like Marianne Williamson and Gene Monterastelli; Identify your feelings.
The list goes on. I agree that many feelings take time and can be helped with tapping. But, even tapping is so much more effective when we can be really specific and identify our feelings.
So next time you feel like running away from a painful emotion; stop, identify and feel. (It’s like stop, drop and roll at a fire, and just as scary). Try to be courageous; it is never as bad as we think it will be.
Before you binge and eat your feelings, please ask, “What’s eating you?”.