TODAY’s bite-sized WISDOM:
In my experience, people quite often confuse feelings and thoughts. When I ask a client “What do you feel?”, I might hear a response like this back “I feel that he treated me unfairly. He should have done this and that differently”. That description, while legitimate, is our thought.
A feeling can usually be described by one word: scared, anxious, joyful, happy, jealous or content.
If you are not used to identifying feelings, it can be a challenge at first. But it does get easier with a little practice. It’s good to use a feeling reference at first to help you match up your feelings to your experiences.
Once you nail your feeling, try to look at it without any judgment or evaluation regardless of whether it’s a pleasant or unpleasant feeling.
Simply notice and say “I feel X feeling”. You might also experience more than one feeling at a time. For example, you might feel angry and guilty. Again, embrace both of the feelings without dismissing one or the other. Just simply notice and acknowledge them.
Knowing what we feel is important because once we are clear about our feelings, we can examine them and act in the most appropriate manner on them; instead of sweeping them under the rug, only to be surprised by them an inopportune moment.
To help you with the practice, in this video, I will guide you through a quick feelings check-in exercise to help identify your current feelings.
Please share with me in the comments below what was it like for you to do today’s feelings exercise? What’s your relationship with your feelings and how you would like to change it? I would love to hear from you!