Understanding Your Emotions & Feelings
In this free course, you will explore beginning a way to unearth long-buried feelings.
Many of us avoid feeling our feelings because we worry that feeling them will be more painful than just pretending they don’t exist. Or we assume they’ll simply skulk away (and stay away permanently).
However, according to therapist and author Tina Gilbertson, LPC, in her book Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings By Letting Yourself Have Them, “You let feelings ‘go’ by feeling them fully. Once they’re felt, they can leave.”
Of course, feeling painful feelings can be just that: painful. So it’s totally understandable that we want to avoid them. As Gilbertson writes, avoiding pain is natural.
“It’s the main reason, for example, that we don’t willingly bend our knees or elbows backward. Pain is Nature’s way of warning us about things that are not good for us.”
Emotional pain, she writes, is like physical pain: It warns us that something is wrong. It communicates what’s important to us, how our lives are going and whether we need to change course.
“But the pain itself is not wrong; it’s only the messenger. When we refuse to (w)allow in our emotional pain, we’re not avoiding trouble, we’re shooting the messenger who’s bringing news of trouble. And if we shoot the messenger, it’s not going to keep delivering clear messages.”
Check out the video and referenced worksheets below.