How are you doing today? How are you doing in this moment? What's the feeling? Do you feel it anywhere in your body?
Is it stress and tension in your shoulders?
Is it joy felt in your bones?
Is it sad and heavy in your entire body?
Is it fear in the pit of your stomach?
Is it peace felt in your chest?
It's important to check in with ourselves to see where we are at and how our bodies choose to express feelings. Paying attention to our emotions and feelings is not only a way to take care of our health, but emotions can also draw our attention to areas that need some care. In the same way that a grumbling stomach may signal the need for food or water, feelings of sadness or anger may indicate that our emotions need some attention and soothing.
If we are too busy getting caught up in life’s demands or the needs of others, we can end up neglecting ourselves. This can be detrimental to our well-being and growth, even as adults. When we avoid our own emotions and do not allow them to be expressed in healthy ways, we are unable to hold a space for them. As a result, we may end up dismissing, deflecting, or showing defensiveness and reactivity towards others in order to avoid uncomfortable feelings
For instance, if we are uncomfortable being assertive or resolving conflict, we may end up “ghosting” or cutting people out of our lives to avoid difficult conversations. If we feel a deep sense of shame or unworthiness, we may belittle or shame others in an effort to combat these uncomfortable feelings we hold for ourselves.
If we are not aware of how we feel, or feel uncomfortable feeling those emotions, it also becomes difficult for us to articulate to others what we feel and what we need. We’re also at risk of numbing out, using substances, online shopping, social media, toxic relationships, busyness, or other avoidance strategies to keep from feeling our feelings.
I encourage you to check in with yourself regularly! Check in with your mental health and well-being and see how are you doing each day, in still moments and in chaotic moments. Emotions give us information about our well-being -- it’s to our advantage to use that data effectively .
Feelings naturally come and go. If you find that they are sticking around for a long time or keep popping up over and over, this may be an indication that some deeper work needs to be done. You can talk to a psychologist or another health professional to help you sort through some of those persistent emotions and cope with them more effectively.