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By Jennifer Hollinshead

DIY: How to Feel Your Feelings

The importance of noticing your emotions and giving space for them.

DIY: How to Feel Your Feelings
In counselling, I'm often encouraging people to notice their emotions and give space for them. It can feel... weird. We don't often do this in real life, which is why it can be so helpful to feel your feelings with a counsellor who can help you make sense of them (I know, shameless plug for counselling). But what about when you're not in session? 

An article at Tiny Buddha (an amazing site with wonderful resources on anything wellness) explains how to feel your feelings. The full article is here, and it's totally worth your time. If you don't have time on your hands, here's the Coles Notes version:

  1. Remember why it's important for you to feel your feelings. For some people, the consequences of pushing feelings down or ignoring them can be devastating. Figuring out "Why" you want to feel your feelings is an important part of staying motivated (maybe you want to feel better, stop self-medicating so much, be more authentic, live according to your values etc). 
  2. Learn to listen for messages from your feelings. Maybe the message is to just feel the feeling. Or maybe your feeling will guide you to an action. 
  3. Processing your feelings gives you access to your own inner wisdom and innate creativity.
  4. Recognize if some of your feelings aren't actually yours. We can often absorb feelings from others and not even know it (this is especially true for empathic people).

"Devoting myself to processing my feelings, rather than letting them build up until they drained me, began to shift and transform my life."

Making time and space to feel your feelings is not easy, but can help you be healthier and more in tune with yourself and the world around you. If feeling your feelings is too tough, find a counsellor who can help. 

Thanks for reading and good luck feeling.

(Photo by Nidhil Amen)