Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
To experience well-being, peace, love and happiness, you need to be able to feel. Love is a feeling. Joy, peace, happiness, and contentment are all feelings. To experience feelings, you need to allow them to flow through your body. When you are in touch with and can express your feelings, it allows you to be authentic and congruent. Authentic means being real and genuine. Congruent means saying what you feel in the present moment, as opposed to feeling something and saying something else. When you are genuine, people sense it, and you are more likely to connect with them on a deep and meaningful level.
The exception is if you have a reaction and speak based on the resulting feelings. Speaking as a result of a reaction can create confusion and blame. Telling someone your feelings in the heat of the moment without processing your reaction first, does not usually lead to closeness and connection.
The most common way to resist feeling is to keep busy going from one thing to the next, without a break, or time to just be. It is easier to become aware of your feelings when it is still and quiet. If there are any unresolved feelings of hurt from the past, staying busy can be a way to prevent these feelings from surfacing. However, these feelings drive your body anyway, in terms of unconscious patterns and behaviours.
To be in tune with your feelings you need time and space to feel them—rather than drowning them out with business. If unresolved painful feelings come to the surface, it is beneficial to recognise and observe them, rather than having them drive you in a way you may not desire.
When you resist how you feel, tension is created within your body that stops you from flowing energetically. You can even mistakenly identify yourself as the feeling rather than observing the feeling. For example, you may think you are a sad person rather than just having a sad moment, which if you acknowledge and don’t resist, will pass in time.
If you continue to ignore your feelings they can build up as emotional pain, and this can in turn manifest as physical pain in your body. Resistance to what is causing pain. Pain in itself is not a bad thing; it gives you information about yourself. Listen to your pain when it is small, if possible. It may be telling you to take action, make changes, or let go in certain areas of your life.
It is easy to ignore true feelings, wanting to be happy all the time. However, this creates an internal struggle by resisting natural emotions. You can be a happy person yet experience a sad moment. It is better for your health to observe the feeling and let it flow through your body rather than resist it or push it away (known as repression). Once you allow your feeling to flow, you will then return to your natural state of happiness. The amount of time this takes depends on the situation.
It is common to search for a quick fix or instant gratification in relation to happiness—by shopping, taking drugs, drinking alcohol, working, or consuming food. Excess in any of these areas ultimately creates an imbalance and leaves you feeling dissatisfied. Imbalance shows that something needs to be addressed to allow you to return to a natural state of well-being. An instant gratification is a Band-Aid approach to life, rather than being deeply in touch with what makes you truly happy.
The problem arises when you override your true feelings with messages from your head. If done over long periods of time, it can result in alienation or disconnection from how you feel. For example, your body may be feeling tired, telling you to rest, and yet you ignore it, pushing yourself to a point of exhaustion or even illness. It is ideal to be in tune with how you feel, and then you can take the appropriate action to take care of yourself.
Small children are generally in touch with the full range of feelings. They naturally let feelings flow freely through their bodies. If you observe them, they can be sad one minute, happy the next, angry ten minutes later, and then happy again. They do this without any guilt or resistance: that is until they are taught to judge their feelings as good or bad. Accepting a child’s feelings and teaching them to express them in healthy ways, helps them to feel acknowledged and valued.
As a child, you may have been taught that only certain feelings were acceptable and others, such as anger and sadness, were not. As an adult, you may find it difficult to tune in with and express your feelings, in a way that can be heard and respected. Fortunately, these skills can be regained by:
Observe and validate how you feel. Resisting how you feel leads to repression, which is not healthy for your mind or body. If feelings are repressed rather than expressed in a healthy way, they weigh you down energetically. They make you feel heavy and disconnected from your natural state of wellness. Acknowledging your feelings allows you to live your life in a congruent, authentic way. Awareness gives you the ability to choose your response to the feeling consciously, rather than unconsciously reacting to the feeling in a way that you may later regret.
It is a sign of emotional maturity to be able to experience even the most uncomfortable feelings without acting out or reacting to someone else in a way that will hurt them. It is important to learn to sit with the discomfort that some feelings produce until clarity about the appropriate action arrives. Maybe no overt action is necessary. Sometimes feelings arise to teach you something more about yourself.
Feelings allow you tune into yourself and give you valuable information to guide you on your path to well-being and happiness.
To discover more about well-being and happiness see: Bliss Every Day eCourse