I Don't Want To Feel This Way Anymore
The number one question I'm asked about emotions is “How can I stop feeling anxious/sad/angry/frustrated?”
The short answer, that nobody wants to hear, is you can’t. And if you try not to feel the so-called “bad” or “negative” emotions, you’re going to suffer even more over the long haul. By resisting our emotions we set ourselves up for depression and anxiety.
But WAIT! Don't leave!
That’s not the whole story and it does NOT MEAN WE ARE DOOMED to feel bad all the time. It simply means “negative” emotions are unavoidable at some point. And if you are struggling with ongoing depression or anxiety you can feel better. Yes, you can.
Let’s get really real: You need to feel the uncomfortable emotions sometimes.
Anger, fear, sadness, and frustration serve a purpose. These emotions are both signposts and warnings. They let us know something is wrong, either in our environment, in our thinking, or both. They help us make changes to protect ourselves or others, find solutions to problems, and, heck, they help us identify the problems in the first place.
****If any of these negative emotions have become chronic for you it's time to act. It's time to find out what's really going on. Go see your doctor, a therapist, talk to a trusted friend or loved one and get help immediately.****
Feelings like sadness and frustration also allow us to process experiences. When a loved one dies, for example, sadness and anger can be part of how we cope, how we learn from the experience, how we let go. These are natural and good things to feel. In fact, if we don’t allow ourselves to feel these things at the appropriate times, they won’t go away.
When we deny our sadness either by pushing it down or by insisting we shouldn't feel that way, we only create more suffering, more sadness, deeper pain. Why? Because ignored emotions do NOT go away. The get buried where they fester.
At the heart of much of our suffering is the idea that we shouldn’t feel certain ways. We may have received the message that disappointment is a bad thing when our parents, in their well-intentioned way, rushed in to “save” us with ice cream or some other quick salve when we lost a little league game or couldn’t go to the amusement park.
As very young children, we learned from the adults in our lives how to react to emotional states and if your mom gasped and clutched at her throat when you were sad over losing the game…well, you know. It made things worse. We learned that disappointment was something to be avoided or covered up…often times with food.
So I’m going to give you a gift by saying emphatically that It’s okay to feel disappointed, and it’s okay to feel anxious, sad, or frustrated. As Ekhart Tolle says, make room for the emotion, sit with it for a time, and then…let it go.
You’re off the hook.
Next time you feel something uncomfortable just feel it.
AND it is totally okay to comfort yourself. Try a little aromatherapy. Some wonderful essential oils that may help with processing negative emotions are:
- Lavender - Insecure, stressed, blocked
- Wild Orange - Tense, overly serious
- Lemon - Tired, unfocused, depleted
- Peppermint - Pessimistic, ashamed, fatigued
- Clary Sage - Limited, blocked, confused,
- Spikenard - Ungrateful
- Geranium - Grief, broken hearted
- Helichrysum - Hopeless, traumatized, wounded
- Juniper Berry - Fear, nightmares
- Lime - Despair
- Thyme - Anger
- Ylang Ylang - sadness
- Cilantro - Worry
To learn more about how to use essential oils to manage your emotional well-being, follow me on Facebook and join my essential oils group. An awesome reference book is Emotions and Essential Oils. (Note: I am an Amazon affiliate associate. When you click on this link and buy the book I get a few cents. If you don't like that, no problem. You can Google the book and bypass my affiliate link.)
Sometimes, however, it’s hard to let go of these types of emotions. Do you struggle with ongoing and/or re-occurring worry, stress, fear, anxiety, or sadness? I highly recommend talking to your doctor or a mental health professional in this case.
In my next blog post, I’ll talk about chronic negative emotional responses and some ways to change them.
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