How to Become More Able to Identify and Experience Your Feelings
For the most part, the majority of people are not aware of the spectrum of feelings happening for them throughout their lives. For example you may feel or live in anger most of the time, missing out on the spectrum of feelings that are a part of being human. You may keep your aliveness in check by pulling inside yourself, encapsulating your feeling, or numbing out. Identifying your feelings makes you more alive and aware. It is a way of furthering your growth and development.
Keeping a daily journal may help you identify your feelings, what happened to you during the day and how it made you feel. You can use your journal to identify both the wins and losses you experienced in your life to learn to celebrate or grieve them. Listening and responding to others will help you identify your own feelings in order to journal about them. Sometimes reading about others’ life histories similar to yours can also help you use their emotional expression as models for your own.
Steps to Get in Touch with Your Feelings.
Step 1: In your journal, identify what obstacles currently keep you out of touch with your feelings. Once you distinguish the obstacles, describe specific events from your past where you used these styles of behavior and how they helped you survive those events. Then, looking at your current life, describe for yourself how these survival techniques are no longer productive for you.
Step 2: Once you have identified the obstacles to being in touch with your feelings, record in your journal what messages you have given yourself in the past to keep you from identifying, experiencing or expressing your feelings.
Step 3: After you have identified the negative messages you have given yourself to keep you out of touch with your feelings, in your journal identify healthy self-affirmations which will encourage you to identify, experience, and express your feelings on a daily basis.
Step 4: Use your affirmations for getting in touch with your feelings on a daily basis, and, for the next thirty days, keep a “feelings log” in your journal, using the following directions:
Feelings Log Directions
1. In your journal on a daily basis for the next thirty days, record feelings you are experiencing.
2. For each day, record distinct parts of the day for which you are identifying feelings, for example:
a. Morning: rising and breakfast
b. Morning: at work (school, home)
c. Afternoon: lunch time
d. Afternoon: back at job (school, home)
e. Early Evening: on way home
f. Evening: dinner
g. Later: evening
h. Pre-Retiring to bed
3. For each part of the day identify the following:
a. What I was feeling
b. The stimulus for the feeling
c. What, if anything, I did as a result of this feeling
d. How others reacted to what I did
4. To help you identify the feelings experienced, use the list of feeling words.
Step 5: If after thirty days of keeping a “feelings log” you are still not better able to get in touch with your feelings, return to Step 1 and begin again.
Use the following affirmations to help you identify and label your feelings:
1. It is healthy to feel my feelings.
2. There is no such thing as a right or wrong feeling—all feelings are OK.
3. It is OK to feel what I am feeling now.
4. No one can take what I am currently feeling away from me. I have a right to feel my feelings.
5. No one can judge me wrongly for feeling the feelings I experience in my life.
6. It is OK to have negative feelings and to identify and express them freely.
7. I am feeling feelings every second of my waking hours.
8. Identifying and expressing my feelings makes me a real and authentic human being.
9. No one can deny me my feelings.
10. No one can tell me how I should be feeling.
11. No one has the right to make me feel bad or guilty for the feelings I am feeling. I am more alive and vigorous when I am in touch with my feelings.
12. I have a right to have my feelings be visible, seen and heard by others.
13. I will no longer hide my feelings and emotions from myself and the others in my life.
14. I deserve to give and receive honest feedback about my feelings toward persons, places, things, and events in my life.
15. I deserve to have my feelings listened to by others.
16. I choose to feel my feelings, be they positive or negative, so that I cease being numb to my life.
17. I have the right to experience the grief and mourning emotions which I will feel as I face the losses in my life.
18. I will heal and grow as I become more in touch with my feelings.
19. I will “grow down” more as I open myself up to get in touch with my feelings.
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