You feel overwhelmed by your emotions.
When a negative emotion arises, you feel anxious and you try to avoid it. Accepting the emotion seems impossible to you.
You may be wondering, “How can I accept this sadness that I feel? I hate being sad”! When you hate how you feel, it’s because you are afraid of your feelings.
Behind every emotion hides the lowest one of them – fear.
“You feel fear when your safety or security is being jeopardized. It prompts your ‘flight or fight’ instincts, and that keeps you safe and alive. Stress is one form of fear. Mostly it is the fear that you are not adequate to cope with the responsibilities at hand. Just like anger, stress is self-esteem related.” – Enlightened Feelings.
Negative emotions are annoying but not dangerous. When you start to see them this way, they lose their destructive power over you.
By avoiding a negative emotion, you are avoiding seeing the truth.
Accepting your emotions is the ability to accept the truth of your situation.
The process of accepting emotions and following your feelings
We are all souls who use the physical body. And we are communicating with our non-physical being through emotions.
We came into this life to experience life as it is, to actually feel life. You need to understand your emotions and be at peace whenever they come to you.
When you try to ignore them, you are afraid. You make decisions that cost you life.
When you don`t repress your emotions, they don’t bother you. When you accept how you feel at some point in your life, you let them go and then they are free.
When they are free, when you don’t bind to your feelings, they leave you and are gentler with you the next time they show up.
1. Find the cause of your negative emotion
To find the cause of your negative emotion, you have to find the reason why it showed up and the need that is hidden behind that negative emotion.
I’ll show you how to do that in the example below.
When you’re arguing with your partner, you feel the anger at that moment.
Instead of doing something that you’ll repent later, delve deeper into yourself and search for the reason why you’re doing it.
- To do this, you have to step back and be alone for a while. To find out why you felt that emotion, say this (aloud or silently) to yourself:
“I feel anger at this moment because I need his understanding”, instead of “I am angry because he doesn’t understand me”.
Do you see the difference? In the first sentence, you can feel the emotion and accept it.
Remain in this state of feeling for some time, and you’ll notice that your anger will decrease. When you are ready to face the previous situation, you will go up to your partner and apologize.
That is how you accept responsibility for your life and emotions.
There is no room for ego here. Do what your positive self-says.
The reason for your anger shows you how you should act in a relationship and how you can communicate with your partner without arguing.
You can’t hear each other when you both shout. With anger, your communication will lead to nowhere, and your relationship will weaken.
- In the second sentence, you think that you ARE angry by default because someone didn’t do what you wanted them to do.
You looked into yourself and found that you are the one who needs something to feel a certain way.
What it is that you need, you’ll find the cause of your anger.
- As a child, you have learned from another person, mainly from your parents, that is not nice or helpful to show your feelings.
You have learned that emotions are bad for you and that you are weak if you show your emotions in public. The truth is that you are weak if you hide your emotions because they scare you.
As you grow up, you live in the belief that your emotions can hurt you. You are convinced that you need to deny them, to flee from them or to ignore them.
So the cause of your emotion, the anger in the example above, lies in your past. You were angry every time someone didn’t meet your need for something.
Anger shows up many times later in your life because you were taught that it’s a negative emotion which no one wants to please.
In this case, the cause of your anger is the unmet need for something from your childhood.
To fix the cause of the anger in you, you must meet that need by yourself. Don’t wait for others to do that for you.
If you feel the need for someone to understand you, see if you understand yourself first.
Is what you seek from others, something that you are not able to give yourself in the first place?
Remember that you’ll have to respect yourself if you want others to respect you. You have to give to yourself what you long to get from others.
2. Feel the emotion.
You can’t force yourself to be positive, to smile when you feel like you`d rather cry or be alone.
What you need to do is to remain in that emotion, in that feeling that occurred in you. Allow yourself to feel that feeling. That’s how you accept it and move forward on the emotional scale.
I came across an interesting article on the Internet by Mary Buchowski-Kurus. She, among other things, says this about emotions:
“Under all the anger, rage, hate, and hurt are one emotion – FEAR!
It’s essential to whatever method you choose to realize that you hate, that you are full of rage and anger, and that this is a safe way to begin to accept your anger, your hate, and to own your anger and hate as your own. So often we are too afraid to lose control or just afraid of the intensity of our rage, that we run away from it and ignore it. The more you ignore it, the bigger it gets.
One of the most important things about releasing an emotion is to concentrate on the emotion rather than what caused the emotion. Forget who did what that caused the emotion, forget about the person who did something to you, concentrate on the “I hate” or “I am angry” or “I am so hurt”. It’s the emotion you need to release. Don’t be afraid to feel your feelings. Feeling them means owning them.”
Realizing that some emotion is present in your body, you feel it and accept its presence.
Be aware of how you feel. What kind of sense does it create in your body?
You will then be ready to release that emotion.
3. See the positive side of your negative emotions
You are not your emotions; you are not your thoughts. You are the soul that`s behind them.
The emotions exist for you to experience this life that you live as a human being.
Your non-physical being will always send you negative emotions first; that’s why they are important. Without negative emotions, the positive wouldn’t exist.
Negative emotions are a sign that you are not aligned with your soul. Your soul doesn’t see anything bad that happens to you in the way you see it.
Your soul tells you that you are doing something that is hurting you and it gives you a signal for the same. The emotion shows you what you should do instead.
Negative emotions are in you for some reason which tells you that you need to change your negative belief about negative emotions.
The way you act, your view of life, where your focus is, it all comes out of your negative beliefs about negative emotions.
Those beliefs show up in your everyday life.
You can’t change the way you feel until you change the negative belief about that particular emotion.
If you believe that you are weak if you feel a grief, then your new, positive belief about grief should be – Grief is a human feeling that occurs when you lose someone you loved, for example.
By changing your beliefs, you accept your emotions.
Accepting means allowing your emotions to be what they are without judging them or trying to change them. When you let go of the need to control your emotions, they change.
4. You have to practice to be compassionate instead of indulging in self-pity
A lack of compassion comes from the belief that the emotions you feel are false and you are guilty of feeling them.
Don`t be ashamed of your emotions. Don’t drown in self-pity.
Being compassionate toward yourself is a positive feeling more than self-pity.
Be compassionate toward your sadness, anger, anxiety and your happiness. Know that each emotion is your teacher and that it’ll not stay with you forever.
Emotions come and go.
When you feel happy, you have to accept that you will not always be happy. The same for when you feel sad. Know that you’ll not always be sad.
The acceptance is the same for every emotion that you feel.
5. Learn about yourself from your emotions
You’re constantly learning from your emotions.
Recently I was in a sad mood. I didn’t write (and I love writing).
I wanted to spend time alone rather than in society. That feeling lasted for several days and then it passed.
My emotions had left me alone. I was grateful for their presence in those moments of my life. I felt free for the first time after the sadness was gone.
I felt energetic and livelier for my next move. No, I did not experience enlightenment, but I felt the sheer beauty of my feelings.
Even though I had negative emotions, I lived in the present moment. I`ve slowly gone forward. I did not let my emotions keep me in captivity.
Instead of running away from them, ignoring them, or falling into despair because I’m sad, I accepted and lived with them fully.
I wasn’t practicing any techniques for positivity or trying to erase negativity. I just stayed in the feeling, without fear.
I just existed.
Then I realized that these were my heart’s desires. It wants to feel that emotion and then to let it go.
I learned that I`m here, in this life, to fully experience my emotions and to understand them.
I am at peace and have faith that everything is alright, even when it doesn’t seem that way.
I’ve been an extremely emotional person my whole life. It would be a real loss that still didn’t realize what I should do with so many emotions in me, and why I have them.
What you learn from them is more important than knowing how to get rid of them.
You are afraid of something deep inside you, and the anger is a mask for your fear.
Ask yourself questions about a negative emotion that occurred:
- How do I feel at this moment?
- What triggered this emotion in me?
- What do I need right now?
- How can I fill this need by myself? (If it is a positively oriented one.)
- When was the last time I felt the same way as I’m feeling now?
- How did I cope with emotions in the past?
- What can I do now to make this feeling pass?
6. Listen to your emotions
“What is this emotion trying to tell me”?
Listen to your emotions, and you`ll know what to do next.
Your soul communicates with you through your emotions. When you accept the way you feel, you’ll find the solution faster.
Your emotions are an indicator of the sign where you are on your life path, whether you’re going backward or forward.
Tori Rodriguez, a journalist, and psychotherapist wrote an article three years ago in Scientific American Mind magazine about negative emotions as a key to well-being. I extract the part of the article that shows us one of the ways of accepting emotions:
“Acknowledge how you are feeling without rushing to change your emotional state. Many people find it helpful to breathe slowly and deeply while learning to tolerate strong feelings or to imagine the feelings as floating clouds, as a reminder that they will pass.
If the emotion is overwhelming, you may want to express how you feel in a journal or to another person. The exercise may shift your perspective and bring a sense of closure. If the discomfort lingers, consider taking action. You may want to tell a friend her comment was hurtful or take steps to leave the job that makes you miserable.”
That is why it’s important to listen to your emotions and to follow your feelings, in order to accept them.
By accepting your emotions, it’s less likely to hurt yourself or others. Your emotions don`t want you to hurt yourself or anyone else.
They are your guide to a better self. You only need to listen to your inner voice, which is manifesting as an emotion and a feeling deep inside of you.
Live free with or without your emotions
I hope that you know more about your emotions and feelings after reading this article.
- You’ve found the reason for your emotions
- You’ve learned about yourself from your emotions
- You’ve become aware of your feelings, and you feel your emotions
- You’ve changed your perspective and your negative belief about your emotions
- You’ve found out what your emotions want to tell you
- You know how to listen to your emotions
And if you haven’t figured out all these things, start with something which is the easiest thing for you to do right now.
It took me a long time to accept how I feel, but after I did it, I know that there are no more surprises for me as far as emotions are concerned.
It doesn’t mean that I no longer feel sad or angry or hurt. It means that when I feel that emotion, I let it stay with me because it communicates something with me.
And I always know how to act in my life.
How do you feel when an emotion occurs in you? Do you follow your feelings?
How do you feel at this moment? What is the need that lies behind your current emotion?