Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? When people say they want to be more resilient – what they really are saying is “help me stop feeling so bad”, “make this bad feeling go away”, or “how can I get back to feeling ‘normal’ as fast as possible?”
They might turn up to my program or coaching session thinking they want to deal with the situation that caused the bad feeling – but let’s face it – they really want to feel better. After all, if you didn’t mind getting the sack because you were about to quit anyway (and now you’ll get paid out), then you wouldn’t be upset about it. If someone cancels an engagement you didn’t really want to go to then – yay! You don’t have to say “no”. And if that new project gets taken off you that you didn’t really want anyway (it was exciting – but way too much work), you wouldn’t mind.
No, despite what people say what they really want is the boss not to change, or the workload to lessen, or the kids to love them, or the spouse to be nicer to them – what they really want is to feel better. In fact most of what we do in life is in order to feel better/happier/smarter/prettier, etc. ‘Feel‘ being the operative word. So it seems we can get you feeling better – without having to change the world around you (that’s nice, but often out of your control).
Here’s my six steps to dealing with difficult emotions;
- You are experiencing emotions all the time, therefore you are dealing with emotions all the time. You may be conscious or unconscious of them - they still have the same hold on your life. Become conscious of them, and gain control over them.
- The more fully you experience your feelings the more fully you process them and the quicker they pass. Sorry. No easy way around this one. If you want to get rid of a ‘negative’ feeling – feel it! By the way, it’s the reverse with positive feelings – more you feel those – the more of them you have.
- In order to experience an emotion fully, you must feel it in your body. Learn to understand where a feeling happens. I get tension in my jaw and shoulders, worry in my face, and shame in my solar plexus. It’s different for everyone. But you can notice where it happens, how it happens, its speed, temperature, sharpness, color etc. If you have no idea about how to feel emotions in your body – get in touch with me and I will teach you. Do not evaluate your emotions. Do not judge them. Just notice them.
- Once you have experienced them fully they will usually pass quite quickly. Most emotions/feelings pass in under a minute – sometimes a few minutes. Sometimes you need to have a few passes at them until they fully evaporate. For especially deeper entrenched feeling’s – you may need the help of a therapist or coach. It’s worth it.
- If you take this attitude towards life in general, then every experience you have becomes an opportunity to have more equanimity around your emotions. Experiences such as rejection or anger or dislike or hatred or embarrassment become an opportunity to really experience that feeling, learn what it’s like, seek and identify it in the future – and discharge it. Enjoy it, because once you’ve really completely, thoroughly experienced that emotion – it will never have the same hold on you again. It will pass, but more importantly – next time it’ll pass more easily (although you will encounter bigger and bigger emotions). Buddhists have known this for thousands of years – and you too know it in your bones.
If you have no idea of what I’m talking about, and would like to get a really skilled set and enjoy a more relaxed, effective and successful life – get in touch. I do one-on-one coaching, mentoring, and group sessions around resilience, practical (not the theory) emotional intelligence, and dealing with difficult feelings. You will never look back!
Get in touch +61 438 545 607 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org