Feelings can be overwhelming. When you are in a dark place it can feel like you are stuck there and you are never going to feel better. You try to push yourself through and make it go away as fast as possible so you can get to the good stuff, because no one wants to feel sad or angry.
The problem when you try to push past what you’re feeling is you don’t give yourself permission to have your actual experience. You start focusing so much on how you were told you ‘should’ feel, that you don’t get to have your authentic experience.
The big issue here is that it builds up, and you don’t get to lean on the important people in your life. This can cause a disconnect in your relationships, because you are trying desperately to not feel your feelings and no one around you knows why you aren’t interacting like you usually do.
Meanwhile, you are becoming increasingly aware that trying not to feel your feelings actually only makes the feelings more persistent and harder to deal with. It’s a vicious cycle.
So when you try not to let yourself feel your feelings, you end up distant from the people who love you and want to be able to support you, and overwhelmed by your inability to process your feelings. You end up isolating yourself and berating yourself about how weak and stupid you are, when really you are having a normal experience that doesn’t have to be as bad as it feels right now.
He was your first love and you really thought it would last forever. Sure, you were young, but that doesn’t mean the feelings weren’t real. So when he broke up with you out of nowhere, it felt like the world was caving in. No one seems to understand that it feels like your chest is crushing you. They don’t get that it felt like the whole future you had been preparing yourself for and excitedly working towards was just ripped away from you.
But you don’t want to worry anyone. Your mom has enough on her plate, and you don’t want your friends to get tired of talking to you because you’re such a downer.
So you push it down.
At the time, it felt like the only option you had. Just pretend you’re fine and eventually it will go away; it has to. You put on a brave face, and when your parents ask you how you’re doing you smile and say great as you walk out of the house.
The issue with this is that you can’t keep up that facade forever. Trying to feel a thing you don’t feel just leaves you frustrated and fixated on the very thing you are trying to avoid.
Instead of making you feel better and more normal, you just feel worse even longer.
Feeling like you are broken because you can’t seem to move on can be deeply unsettling. It can cause you to hesitate before confiding in the people around you. It doesn’t feel better when your mom gives you that slightly concerned look or when your best friend starts reaching out less.
It just feels like you’re alone.
If you continue to sit in your feelings without giving them space to unravel and be expressed openly, they’re going to get stronger, and harder to manage. You will notice that you feel alone even when you’re surrounded by people and you might even start getting irritable and angry about things that don’t usually upset you.
Eventually, you wind up in a place where you just tell yourself, “You need to get over your shit, everyone else is happy and you will be, too.” Fake it ‘til you make it, right? But inside you’re frustrated, confused, and so sad. The sadness you are trying to pretend doesn’t exist is making it harder for you to live in the moment and enjoy the good stuff that is happening.
This might just be the worst part of the whole thing. When you don’t give yourself permission to feel your sadness, you will spend so much time pushing it and fighting it down, that you don’t get to experience the other very real feelings of excitement or connection with those who care about you.
Everything positive gets drowned out, because you are fighting an internal struggle.
This is so common, and so unnecessary.
It’s normal to feel conflicting feelings about normal life changes and losses that tend to be swept under the rug by those around you. It’s not only okay for you to have these feelings, but it would be weird if you didn’t, so we need to start talking about it.
Society will tell you to ‘choose’ happiness. You hear all the time that if you feel angry or depressed, it’s because you’re not trying hard enough to be happy. But when we give ourselves permission to feel whatever is there in the moment we can feel closer to the people around us, and get through the emotional turmoil faster. If you learn to accept the sadness as a normal part of the process of living, you will be able to feel more connected to the people who love you, and you’ll be able to feel the good stuff, too.
Keep reading to learn how to give yourself permission to feel the hard shit, so you can feel better faster.
Feeling Frustrated and Invisible?
When you are ashamed of your feelings, it can be really easy to get stuck in trying to push away right now. You can’t really communicate your real experience because you’re too busy fighting it, so you feel like no one really sees you.
At the very least you notice that it takes a really long time to move through these negative feelings, which detracts from your experience of anything positive.
Living this way is exhausting, isolating, and frustrating.
Accepting Your Feelings Can Help You Move On Faster
Although you struggle with feeling invisible and frustrated because you are so busy telling yourself that you aren’t supposed to feel the way you do, you can absolutely learn to accept and process your feelings as they come.
If you are able to give yourself permission to accept your hard feelings, you will be so much more able to move through the feelings faster, and stay connected to the people who love you.
You can allow the pain to move through you instead of getting stuck in you, allowing you to experience the nuanced mix of positive and negative feelings.
You can feel the good stuff and move through the bad stuff more easily.
How to Move On So You Can Feel Better Faster
You really just want to be happy and enjoy life as it comes. But you always seem to get stuck in the hard stuff and it keeps you from being able to live the life you want to live. The key is actually to give yourself permission to feel whatever is there when it is there, so that you can move through it. Although you may believe that if you give in to these negative feelings you might never feel anything else again, you would be surprised what a relief it can be to feel it for a short time.
Then you can come into your moment to moment awareness so that you can feel the next thing.
When you start to follow a simple, step-by-step path, you will start to notice that the negative stuff has less of a hold on you, and you have access to more positive experiences than you realized.
Take a look at these steps to see how you can move through hard feelings faster and more easily.
The Solution is Mindfulness
One of the main reasons you struggle to get past hard feelings, is that you are fighting so hard to not feel it that you are actually making the feeling more intense and constantly re-triggering the thoughts that brought on the negative feelings in the first place. It makes sense that you would be feeling frustrated and stuck, but you don’t always have to feel this way if you can start using mindfulness.
1) Notice the Feeling
The first thing you need to do is notice whatever feeling it is that you are having that you don’t want to have. To be honest with you, this might be one of the hardest things I am asking you to do.
We spend so much of our lives trying to avoid feeling anything negative that we learn to immediately and unconsciously block it out and distract ourselves.
If this is what you are doing, it is going to take some time and practice noticing the feeling when it is there, instead of after you have been fighting with it for a while, making it stronger.
In sessions, I ask my clients to identify what it feels like in their bodies when they feel the negative emotion. We spend a lot of time in our brains trying to logic our way through the feelings, and unfortunately feelings just don’t work that way. It is really important to notice your body sensations that are associated with the anger or sadness.
You will be surprised how much information there is when you start to pay attention. You might notice that your stomach ties up in knots when you are anxious. That your hands make fists, and your shoulders get tense. This will make it much easier to notice your anxiety faster, and then you can do more to take care of yourself.
2) Notice the Resistance and Practice Giving Permission
Try to notice the part of you that is resisting the feeling.
You might notice that it is a script that cycles through your thoughts.
It might sound like someone else, or it might sound like a part of you. There might not be any words at all, but rather a visceral tension or resistance to the experience of the sadness or anger.
Together with my clients I will help them to explore the resistance. We learn how to identify it, where it’s coming from, and what it’s trying to protect them from. The resistance itself likely happens within a matter of seconds, without your conscious knowledge.
If you can learn to recognize the resistance, where it’s coming from and what it is trying to do, you will be able to start giving yourself permission to feel your feelings and interacting with the resistance in a gentle but firm way that gives you space to be exactly as you are in that moment.
The more you resist, the harder the feelings will fight back.
3) Identify What the Need Is and Ways to Meet It
Feelings are messages.
So all that time you’ve been spending trying to push it down or push it away, the feeling is getting stronger and louder because the underlying need you have has not been met. When you touch a hot stove it hurts because your body is trying to tell you that it is not good for you. When you are hungry your body tries to tell you that you need food to be healthy. When you feel angry it is because something is happening that you are not ok with.
When you schedule a session with me I will help you identify which feelings plague you the most, and what that is trying to tell you.
If we have this information we can start to identify what can be done to meet the need.
Now, this might not be something easy or that feels good, and that is something else we can work on in session; deciding how you want to move forward.
If you can know that when you feel angry or sad, it is driving you to meet a need, you get to be so much more empowered in your life and choices.
Being able to move through hard feelings more quickly and easily can give your life back to you. You can finally move through the hard stuff and get to feeling excitement, connection, and happiness again. With me, you can learn to give yourself permission to feel whatever is there in the moment so that you can make empowered decisions about how to support yourself in feeling better and getting your needs met.