Contrary to popular opinion, our feelings are not there simply to torture us. They actually serve the important purpose of helping us find our way in this complicated world.
Feelings are the equivalent of your own “inner GPS” constantly sending you valuable data to help steer you closer to things that you want – and farther away from the things that you don’t want. Unfortunately, these feelings can sometimes be powerful (like sadness, anger or insecurity) and consequently many people react by trying to numb these sensations (through drugs, alcohol or denial) instead of tuning into their deeper message.
Need an instruction manual on how to use your inner GPS?
First, know that all feelings are temporary. Even when they’re strong and insistent they will eventually go away. In fact, if you pay attention to the message they’re sending, and heed that message, the feelings will dissipate more quickly.
Secondly, you can use Dr. Jonice Webb’s IAAA Method to help decipher the deeper purpose behind your feelings.
- Identify the feeling – Is it sadness, excitement, reluctance…
- Accept it non-judgmentally – All feelings are neutral at their core, not good or bad. Just because anger, fear and sadness aren’t particularly pleasant doesn’t mean they’re the enemy. Begin to see these emotions as simply valuable data that will be needed for upcoming decision making.
- Attribute the feeling – Ask yourself if this feeling reminds of something from your past, is pertaining directly to something happening right now, or is in regards to fear about some future event.
- Act – Finally, how is the emotion moving you to act.
Tuning into your own feelings will allow you to make more authentic decisions in your life by stepping into a greater sense of personal responsibility. I mean, who knows what you want better than you?
*The one caveat here falls under the “Follow your heart – but take your brain with you” category.
For example, if strong feelings of fear are keeping you stuck, is that emotion telling you to give up and hide away – or impressing the need to find a solution for the fear? Your “inner GPS” is designed to steer you towards your ultimate life satisfaction, so if you chose hide away and still aren’t happy – don’t worry, more feelings will come along to coax you out into a new and better way of life.
Wise Counseling, Inc. offers both individual and couples counseling aimed at empowering you to create your greatest quality of life. We also specialize in EMDR Therapy to help you address past trauma – and break free from unhealthy life patterns. Offices in both Fort Myers and Naples. Please allow us to be your partner in wellness.