Welcome to December, and to kick the month off, I am going to share from my heart about what I am processing through right now in my life as I often do because what I learn from my own personal work becomes material I share to help you along on your growth journey. With the holiday season in full swing, I want to share some tips, so you have a better way to deal with holiday emotions affecting you and decide what you want to do with them.
This week in my Marital Magic six-week course, we are diving into the work of retelling the story we have about our past, and while this is powerful work, it can also bring up a lot of emotions, making us feel a bit “funky.” Knowing this to be true, I created a bonus teaching to complement this work that they are doing and help them better manage their minds and emotions. Then upon further reflection, I realized how much this work was helping me with where I am right now with emotions I am processing and how much it will help you with all that we have in front of us this last month of the year because for many this month can be a dozy as we face:
- Holiday to-do’s
- Year reflections
- Family dynamics
- Already full schedules with all of the toppings poured over the top
- Shoulds, wants, resentments, regrets, frustrations, annoyance, sadness, grief, overwhelm, hopelessness, pain…
To help you out, I. am going to share how to become more emotionally aware and responsible this season to work through this month and create a different experience than in past years. Today I”m going to teach about three different ways we deal with our emotions and the results we get from each. How this will help is a better ability for you to see what is happening, your usual way of dealing with difficult emotions, which will then help bring awareness. With awareness, you can begin to bring intention to what you choose to do with those emotions.
Three ways we deal with emotions
First, I will name them, and then I’ll spend a bit of time on each.
Avoiding your emotions
I think that often when we think of avoiding our emotions, we think we are turning away from them, pretending they’re not there, which is an interesting way of talking about this because of what we talked about two weeks ago on the podcast: Your Response Matters: Bids for Connection. In reality, this IS what we are doing but when we turn away we turn towards something else in an attempt to feel better, basically, we are putting sugary sweet icing on top of a nasty tasting cake. We are trying to make ourselves feel better by diverting our attention towards something we think will make us feel better in the moment and possibly does. Still, in the end, we not only feel worse because we did something that didn’t give us long-term gratification, AND that emotion is still there. That emotion is still lurking there in the shadows waiting for you to do something with it.
This process is also referred to as buffering – you are putting something between you and that uncomfortable emotion, maybe it’s food, maybe it’s liquor, or screen watching, purchasing, sex, and during this season it might be doing: going to another party, getting out to do more shopping, putting up more decorations, what might your flavor be for running from your emotions?
The result avoiding your emotions gets is eating foods we really didn’t want to eat, spending money we really didn’t want to spend, spending time being disconnected instead of connecting with ourselves, and discovering what is going on for us. The other result we get is we don’t deal with the emotion, which ultimately means that it will probably get louder and louder.
Resisting your emotions
We all are familiar with resisting emotions, if you’ve been on a diet or tried to quit a habit then you have probably done a LOT of resisting, and resisting usually leads to either relapse back into that habit you were trying to kick or you may quit the habit but pick up another that doesn’t seem “as harmful.” We could use the example of people who quit smoking but pick up sucking on hard candies or snacking.
Resisting emotions is like overfilling a pressure cooker – have you ever done that? I highly suggest you don’t try it. When you overfill a pressure cooker, the food inside swells as it cooks, and it causes the pressure cooker to explode, and yes, this is what happens to you when you resist. When you resist eventually, you explode, maybe at someone else, maybe by buffering, so the result again is that you end up not moving ahead, feeling like junk, and yes, that emotion on steroids.
Allowing your emotions
This way of dealing with your emotions is often very foreign to most people taking them some time to figure out what it looks like, but I like to describe it as though you are getting to know a new person. You pay attention to it, where it resides in your body, what it feels like, ask it questions, listen to what it might have to say, and you even share with it what you are thinking. It might sound a little cuckoo but trust me, it works.
Now, because this is so foreign, it will feel not very good at first, but the beautiful thing about allowing your emotions is that you appease them for a while. Depending on how familiar this emotion is for you, how often you have resisted and/or avoided it, it will come back, again and again. Then when you think you have done the work of allowing and letting go of this emotion, something comes up that “triggers” that emotion, and it comes back to revisit.
Now, what eventually happens when you continue the process of being aware of how you are reacting to your emotions and switch from avoiding and resisting to allowing you to begin to let go of doing either of the last two, and this in of itself is SO liberating! No more emotional eating is magical! But then what you may notice is how awful you feel when these emotions arise – because you’re not using anything to buffer them away, you’re actually feeling them. Once you realize why you feel like junk, then yay, you recognize you have emotions to process, and I have an episode where I teach you exactly how to do that for yourself! How To Process Those Emotions.
If you want more help learning how to allow your emotions, please join my webinar Allowing Emotions Equals A Happier Holiday. I will help you better understand this process and answer your questions.
I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.