You need to process those feelings.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Unexplored feelings are like unopened mail.

Emotional Regulation

Managing Feelings
Photo courtesy of Flickr ( istolethetv )

Imagine going into your email and randomly deleting as many emails as possible. That email from a friend – mark it delete.

The email from the electric company and the mortgage company delete those unopened. Can you imagine going along randomly clicking delete without knowing what was in the email?

Some people try to avoid bills by not opening the mail. While that may avoid having to deal with problems for a while, eventually the power gets shut off, or the home goes into foreclosure. Those and many other issues could have been solved just by paying attention to the notices you are getting.

Some people think feelings are to be avoided.

Somewhere along the line, I’m guessing back during the Victorian era; feelings got a bad reputation. In their effort not to be carried away and controlled by feelings, being rational and unemotional was elevated to a virtue. The problem that created was making feelings into our enemies rather than our friends.

Feelings can be valuable sources of information.

It turns out that emotions and feelings can be valuable sources of information. By some estimates, more than half of all your nerve cells are located outside your head. There are nerve cells surrounding your stomach and intestines. They can tell you when you’re hungry or when your intestines are in distress.

Those same nerve cells can also communicate information about dangerous or unpleasant situations. When you say that someone makes you sick to your stomach, there’s truth to that statement. Your nervous system is reacting to that person and preparing to ready you for the flight or fight response.

When we say that someone is a pain in the neck, this is a very tangible sensation. The nerve cells which connect your brain to the muscles in your neck have sent the message to tighten those muscles in preparation for an emergency.

Unpleasant feelings can also motivate you to act.

Loneliness can make you miserable. Loneliness can also tell you that you aren’t getting enough human contact. Humans are inherently social animals. Living in groups increases our chances of survival. Feeling lonely can motivate you to reach out to others and increase your social connections.

Feeling tired both physically and emotionally tired is one of the early signs of burnout. Feeling tired warns you that the energy you are expending exceeds the available resources. Rather than being an interference with what you’re trying to do that feeling of being tired is a warning that you need to attend to your bodies physical and emotional resources.

Trying to avoid feeling unpleasant emotions can harm you.

Many people get themselves into serious trouble by attempting to avoid experiencing unpleasant feelings. Using drugs and alcohol to cope with anger, loneliness, or feeling tired, may anesthetize those feelings in the short term but eventually, those efforts to escape dealing with those feelings results in creating an even larger problem, alcoholism or drug addiction.

You shouldn’t pretend that you don’t feel what you’re feeling.

Ignoring the messages from feelings is the emotional equivalent of taping over the gauges on your car’s dashboard. You can ignore the check engine light, disregard the oil light, and ignore the gas gauge, but if you do, eventually your car will stop running.

Feelings can be like little children clamoring for your attention.

The next time you experience a feeling you’d rather not feel, try treating it like a small child. Initially, you need to listen to that feeling. After you are sure you’ve heard the message, the feeling is giving you, decide what you want to do with it. Sometimes you must deal with it immediately, and other times you can defer action. What you shouldn’t do is try to ignore the message that feeling is trying to give you.

Learning to work cooperatively with your feelings rather than being controlled by them or completely ignoring their messages is a skill you need to develop to have a happy, productive, life.

For more on this topic, take a look at the post about the three processes for making friends with your feelings.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Three David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

SasquatchWandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive? The guests had come to Meditation Mountain to find themselves. Trapped in the Menhirs during a sudden desert storm, two guests move through a porthole in time and encounter long extinct monsters. They want to get back to their own time, but the Sasquatch intends to kill them.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and many other online stores.

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Advertisements

Wonder.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Wonder

Wonder.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Wonder.

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”

― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Choice.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Choice.

Choice.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Choice.

“All your life, you will be faced with a choice. You can choose love or hate…I choose love.”

― Johnny Cash

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

― Steve Jobs

“You can be smart and happy or stupid and miserable. . . it’s your choice”

― Gordon B. Hinckley

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Understanding.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Understanding.

Understanding.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Understanding.

“If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

― Albert Einstein

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

― C.G. Jung

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Thankful.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Thankful

Thankful.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Thankful.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”

― Oprah Winfrey

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”

― Gautama Buddha

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Veteran.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Veteran

Veteran.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Veteran.

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.”

― Abraham Lincoln

“The nicest veterans…the kindest and funniest ones, the ones who hated war the most, were the ones who’d really fought.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

“We all thought Richmond, protected as it was by our splendid fortifications and defended by our army of veterans, could not be taken. Yet Grant turned his face to our Capital, and never turned it away until we had surrendered. Now, I have carefully searched the military records of both ancient and modern history, and have never found Grant’s superior as a general. I doubt that his superior can be found in all history.”

― Robert E. Lee

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration

Wisdom.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Wisdom.

Wisdom.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Wisdom.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt, This is My Story

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”

― Mark Twain

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

― Aristotle

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

― Socrates

It’s amazing the number of wonderful quotes about wisdom. With all these great quotes why does wisdom seem to be in such short supply these days?

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Look at these related posts for more on this topic and other feelings.

Emotions and Feelings.

Inspiration