Throughout the course of the day, we may experience many different kinds of feelings arise in us. These may be caused by the various situations we encounter while going about our day. We may feel impatient, irritated, annoyed, frustrated, angry, upset, sad or a a host of other things. In this video + blog, I will share with you one important key to self-acceptance that comes in really handy when we are experiencing feelings that tend to bring us down.
Below is Episode 006 of the Happiness Forecast. Take a look!
You can get your free Self-Acceptance Worksheet by clicking below.
A Key To Self-Acceptance: You Are Allowed To Feel Like That
As humans, we experience a whole spectrum of feelings in the course of a day, a week, a year or our entire life-time. Feelings tell us a lot about our inner landscape, the inner-world that in turn influences how we experience our outer-world. (We spoke about that in the last episode where I shared how our life is a mirror of our inner-thoughts and feelings). To navigate these feelings, we have to cultivate a sense of equanimity or cool-headedness and deal with them in a calm mental mindset.
The reason for this is: if we are not equanimous about how we feel, if we are not okay about exactly the feelings we are having, we may make the situation worse.
We may make the situation worse and even harder to get out of when we:
1. we make ourselves wrong for feeling that emotion
You know, saying to ourselves that it is wrong to feel such and such feeling. "I should be over it by now!" goes the inner-critic.
2. we may fight the feeling
We may fight the feeling by denying it. We may hide that feeling behind an outward smile or laugh in a strange way to cover it. We may withdraw ourselves from the situation or the person and not know how to communicate clearly. Or we may internally want this feeling to go away.
3. we feel bad for feeling that way
we may feel bad or sad or angry that we feel a certain feeling. We may pity ourselves, thinking "aghh! I am so weak-minded and super sensitive that I feel hurt".
All of these things we do, we do because we don't know how to deal with it. We may not have seen other people around us deal with their feelings in an equanimous and compassionate way. Or we may be so overpowered by the feelings that its effect of us is unmanageable.
And when we do these and other unhelpful things, what may happen is that the feelings get intense or magnified. A downward spiral happens which we may eventually get out of but by the time it is over, we are completely drained and need a vacation from ourselves!
I say this, because I have been there. And I have had many occasions whereI had to implement a new way of dealing with my feelings in order to not get completely sucked by it.
Right now, I'd like to show you a simple key action-step to use in case you experience a feeling that is bringing you down.
When you notice yourself feeling anything that is draining you (whether it is resentment, hurt, greed, envy or those other things I mentioned at the beginning of this article), then just pause. Take a deep breath. And then realize what you are feeling. Try to name it. Sometimes it is not possible to exactly put a finger on what one is feeling. But get as close as possible. You can just begin by realizing, "Oh, I am not feeling good right now." That is a general broad thing that you can easily observe. Then you can get a bit more aware. "I am feeling really uncomfortable with this idea." Or "I am feeling abandoned and hurt by such and such."
Then, tell yourself this key thing:
You are allowed to feel like this!
Yes, you are allowed! Because feelings are feelings. You are experiencing them right now. That's the truth of the moment. Feelings are not wrong. They just are. So you are allowed.
Many times, I have made things even more difficult for myself by not giving myself the permission to just feel how I feel. If I felt not open or generous, I felt bad for not feeling generous. Ah, I should be more generous and giving. At times, I would feel not very patient with somebody. And then I would lament to myself: You shouldn't be so impatient.
Although the message is good, the timing is bad. Of course, one can aspire to be more and more generous and giving. We can encourage ourselves to develop patience. But when we are feeling impatient or ungenerous, that's how we are feeling. The task at that time, is not to give a sermon to ourselves on better ways of being human, rather it is time to be compassionate to ourselves.
Self-compassion is not a topic that we read about so often. I envision a world where even business and niche blogs and books reflect from time to time on the way to be compassionate to ourselves. As they say, "charity begins at home"! When we can learn to develop that compassion towards ourselves, then naturally the fall-out on our environment is obvious. We only give to others what we are able to give to ourselves.
So, how exactly does self-compassion help in this particular situation where we are feeling some draining, negative feeling?
When we can become aware in the middle of a negative feeling that we are in fact having that experience, we can then call attention to that state without judging it as wrong, without wanting it to end or go away, without denying it and without fighting it, without making ourselves bad for feeling it. Instead, we give ourselves the permission to be just the way we are. We are feeling hurt, okay, you are allowed to feel that way. You are feeling impatience, fine, that's how you are feeling right now. I am feeling frustrated with myself. Alright, I am allowed to feel like that.
By giving ourselves the permission to be just the way we are, we are exhibiting deep self-acceptance and true compassion to ourselves.
Then, add this line:
Let's see how long this lasts.
After giving yourself that self-permission, say this: Let's see how long this lasts.
What this does is, it activates a curious mind in us. You look at the feeling with a sense of curiosity which gives a bit of a distance between you and the feeling. The feeling is not you anymore. There's the feeling. And there's you, watching it. You become the witness to what is happening within you. And you see it.
In the end, the emotions and feelings that arise in us, only want to be seen. Each part of us wants to be seen by us. They all want to be acknowledge not denied, shoved deep within us or pushed aside as irrelevant and unimportant. Of course, we are not worshipping these feelings by acknowledging them. We are just not ignoring them or making them bad for what they are.
This is deep inner work that really unravels the tangles that we often find ourselves in. Starting with the feelings as a starting point, we can make deep inroads within our true inner self, to really witness what is and free ourselves from mental anguish and suffering.
All of this becomes easier with meditation, reconnecting with nature and taking ample rest during the day, week, month and through out the year. Training the mind to be calm and equanimous reaps many every day benefits. And of them is the equanimity towards our own feelings and compassion towards ourselves.
Developing compassion towards ourselves takes practice and to help you deepen your understanding of this concept, I have created a worksheet that you can download here for free. It beautifully guides you through the action steps of accepting ourselves. Click below to get your copy.
So, I hope you will take advantage of this simple yet key step to self-acceptance. Remind yourself that it is alright and you are allowed to feel exactly as you are feeling. Then with a curious mind witness it: Let’s see how long this lasts. At first it may not be easy but as you do it every time an unpleasant feeling arises, it starts to show its soothing effects.
Remember, that your Happiness Forecast is looking beautiful, majestic, spectacular because you are taking happiness actions today.
DO LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON SELF-COMPASSION IN GENERAL OR ABOUT THIS ACTION STEP IN A PARTICULAR. I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR WHAT YOUR EXPERIENCE IS LIKE.
May you have a calm and peaceful mind!
PS: If you would like to go deeper into creating habits of happiness and immersing yourself in a mindset shift that leads to increased happiness experience, then come check out my online video program, Happiness Gameplan. It is a six week program with videos shot with beautiful waterfall sharing strategies that can help you change how you think and perceive life so it is more joyful and filled with ease in your day-to-day life. I have used these same strategies to help myself create a life of joy and abundance in the last 8 years. Go over here to learn about the details on what you get in the program.
Photo Credit and thanks for the beautiful image used in the banner of this post and thumbnail for the video goes to Daria Nepriakhina. Thank you for your amazing work!
About Sophia Ojha
Hey there! I am so happy you found us or are revisiting us here on the blog. Welcome! So that's me in the photo and I blog and make videos on the topic of happiness and inner-peace. Click here to learn more about me. Enjoy your stay here at reflectionpond.com