Have you ever wondered how some people seem to exude a certain kind of confidence and warmth about themselves in comparison to you?
If so, this article is for you, as it’s exactly in learning how to feel comfortable with emotions that you too can exude this same kind of confidence and warmth with others regardless of whether you consider yourself introverted or extroverted.
Fear is the number one reason why you don’t feel comfortable with your emotions.
Fear you’ll be judged and fear you’ll be criticised for having them.
Similarly to how you unknowingly and subconsciously judge and criticise them to mean ‘there is something wrong with you’ when you have them because you were socially conditioned to believe this from your family, society, the media etc.
But your fear of your emotions (albeit subconscious) is exactly what’s standing in your way of living a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life.
And that’s why today I’m focusing more on:
-why you need to feel comfortable with emotions
-how you can tell you don’t feel comfortable with them; and
-am answering some common questions asked when it comes to feeling uncomfortable with emotions.
So let’s dive in.
Why do you need to feel comfortable with emotions?
Before I begin let’s start with the WHY behind needing to feel comfortable with emotions.
This is because without understanding the WHY behind your emotions, you’ll have no incentive to work on becoming more comfortable with your emotions.
And by in product, with your very own vulnerabilities.
1) They are the spice of life
Not to quote the spice girls or anything, but without emotions, (both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’) you wouldn’t get very far.
Because in their very own unique and special way, they each add up to something really important and valuable in our lives.
What good are negative emotions?
Negative emotions are good because after all, as I say in my post HOW TO LEARN LIFE (NOW YOU’RE A “FULLY-FLEDGED” ADULT)? life is a spiritual playground full of lessons for you to learn so you can reach your fullest and highest potential.
In addition, (and you’ve probably heard this one before), you can’t appreciate the positive emotions without experiencing the negative ones too.
You need the contrast.
But at the same time, you also can’t learn to stay away from the stove without experiencing negative emotions.
In other words, learn to recognise what…
- Activities; and
…don’t make you feel good so you can steer clear of them and/or set boundaries with (and around) them.
Why? So you can avoid living an unhappy and dissatisfying life.
Why are positive emotions good?
Positive emotions, on the other hand, are good because you can’t live in a state of negative emotions for too long, otherwise, it will start to wreak havoc in your body.
Mainly because negative emotions, as Dr Joe Dispenza says, are a record of the past and ignite the stress hormone cortisol, in you.
Therefore, you need positive emotions to balance out the negative emotions.
In other words, (like I said earlier), you need the contrast.
What good are positive and negative emotions together?
The combination of both positive and negative emotions, therefore, helps us to form and build strong relationships with others.
So if you haven’t got very far in your chosen career or in your life more generally, that’s probably the reason why.
You’re disconnected from your emotions as I talk more about in my post UNHAPPY WITH LIFE? 5 REASON WHY AND HOW PSYCHOTHERAPY CAN HELP.
So you can’t express yourself in a way that fosters connection with others but rather disconnects you from them.
And re-enforces your already existing belief ‘you’re not good enough’ and worthy enough of love and belonging, as Brene Brown talks about in her Ted Talk on vulnerability here.
Why you disconnect from your emotions?
Yes, you disconnect from your emotions because you fear them.
But the question then becomes how did you ‘LEARN’ to fear your emotions in the first place.
And that answer usually comes from the family you were brought up in.
As they too likely felt uncomfortable with fully experiencing and feeling their emotions.
As a result, dismissing your own and teaching you to do the same.
But this was then reinforced by other institutions, such as, the media, the school you went to, the culture you live in etc.
Unlearning and re-learning to become comfortable with your emotions
That doesn’t mean, however, you can’t learn how to feel comfortable with your emotions just because you didn’t learn them as a child.
That excuse doesn’t wash with anyone, least of all you, because on a deep subconscious level you know you’re cheating yourself by not facing up to the truth of the reality.
In other words, that change is possible for you if you dedicate yourself and your life to it.
And you can’t even blame it on ignorance any longer because I’m literally giving you the tools, advice and guidance needed to change yourself and your life.
Sure it will take more time, patience, practice and perseverance than were you to have learnt to feel safe experiencing your emotions as a child.
But you aren’t alone in this.
So many other people around the world are struggling with this too, they just don’t know it.
And, you can’t see it because it’s not visible to the human eye (until that is, you get trained in noticing it in yourself working with a Counselling Psychotherapist overtime, that you can witness and have compassion for it in others).
And sure, it’s likely you’ll learn different things to me and in different ways to how I’ve learnt them working with a Counselling Psychotherapist since you’ll have different experiences and you’re on your very own personal journey, which sadly no one else (other than your therapist) can go on with you.
Since they wouldn’t understand it, no matter how hard you tried to explain it to them.
But what would be worse, in my opinion, is never learning to feel safe fully experiencing and expressing your emotions period.
Since it would mean living and/or continuing to live a life of smaller significance than what you truly know you’re capable of deep inside.
And I don’t know about you, but that scares me more than going through the process with a Counselling Psychotherapist.
Learn more >>> EVER BEEN BULLIED? 4 REASONS WHY THERAPY IS IMPORTANT
2) The unseen link between you and others
I used to look at others connecting with one another and I didn’t get it.
I didn’t get what it was about them that was so different to me and why they seemed so capable of connecting with one another, yet I felt I couldn’t experience that same connection.
Instead, I felt ‘I needed to fake it till I made it’.
And maybe, you feel like that.
But that sadly doesn’t work with emotions.
And having worked with a Counselling Psychotherapist over time, I have been able to realise that it’s your emotions, which connect you to others, that I was “missing”.
I say “missing”, but I wasn’t really missing them, they were present within me all along, I just didn’t have access to them because I pushed them down so much, pretending they weren’t there.
And that’s actually the reason why learning to feel comfortable with your emotions is possible because all your emotions are still present within you, they just might currently be hiding from you.
So will take more time to uncover.
3) They allow you to be open and honest with others
In addition, I learnt, it’s only through being open, honest and vulnerable with yourself about your emotions that you can do the same with others in order to experience a closer connection with them.
Because in seeking to understand your own emotions, you also seek to understand the emotions of others.
And in doing that, you instantly feel more warmth and love towards the people around you.
4) They create a shared experience
The reason they connect us to one another and they instantly make you feel more warmth and love towards those around you is because each emotion creates a shared experience with another person.
Sure, it’s likely we’ll experience different emotions at different times with one another. But that doesn’t change the fact that we’ll each experience the same emotions at some point within our lives.
And if you can’t see yourself in another through the emotions you’re (and they) are experiencing, you’ll lose out on a moment that would otherwise connect you and bring you closer to them.
5) Your emotions are what allow you to feel safe in your body
When we feel unsafe identifying, feeling and expressing our emotions to ourselves first, we automatically disconnect ourselves from others.
Therefore, resulting in us pushing people away.
Why? because we’re more focused on running away from our feelings than addressing them.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Since with daily meditation and mindfulness practice over years’, alongside working with a Counselling Psychotherapist, you can begin to feel safer in your body and thus, with your emotions.
How can you tell you’re uncomfortable with your emotions?
Now we’ve looked at the ‘WHY’ (i.e. your incentive for getting comfortable with your emotions), let’s look at how you can actually tell if you’re uncomfortable with emotions.
1) When an emotion arises (either positive or negative) you push it away
What do I mean by pushing it away? I mean you use distraction methods like watching too many TV shows or browsing the internet and using your phone a lot as I talk about in my post HOW DO I GET RID OF MINDLESS SCROLLING TO GET MY LIFE BACK?.
Or you’re always on the go and doing something, never standing still for too long to gather your thoughts and feelings.
Why do you do this? because you believe the positive emotions won’t last forever, and well the negative emotions, that’s not too hard to guess why you’d want to push them away, because they’re unpleasant and nobody really wants to necessarily feel them.
2) You fill every spare minute of your time keeping yourself “busy”
Why do you do this? Because you believe that being “busy” means you’re an interesting person and not being busy makes you a boring person, which isn’t true at all.
You just haven’t been trained to see yourself from your true human essence, which is that your ‘being’ is enough in itself.
So you don’t have to do or be anything else than who you are being right now in this present moment.
3) You struggle to express how you’re really feeling
Why do you do this? Because you numb your emotions believing that feeling your emotions are bad and that you aren’t supposed to be having certain feelings because they’re wrong and no one else seems to have them.
But the only reason you believe/think others don’t have the specific feelings and emotions you’re having is because you haven’t been trained to see them within yourself.
Therefore, you can’t see them in others either, which makes you feel like you’re the only one who experiences bad days and bad times.
4) When confronted with the truth (i.e. tough love), you run
Why do you do this? You haven’t been trained to listen to the truth, instead, you’ve been shielded from it your whole life because it was thought that this is what was best for you growing up.
But this is no longer relevant to you and your life. You’ve grown. Therefore, you are now fully capable of being confronted with the truth.
It just might take you a little longer to feel comfortable with hearing it.
5) You get defensive when someone opposes or challenges your perspective
Why do you do this? You believe someone opposing or ‘challenging’ your ‘perspective’ is an attack on who you are as a person. And therefore, are reinforcing your ingrained belief you aren’t good enough.
How can I stop being afraid of feelings?
So now you know ‘Why’ it’s important to feel comfortable with emotions and how you can specifically tell if you’re uncomfortable with your emotions, let’s take a look at how you can stop being afraid of feelings.
1) Confront them
Like a school or driving test, you’ve got to confront your feelings.
Which includes your fears, worries and insecurities about who you are as a person and your life, which the majority of the time aren’t conscious but subconscious.
Otherwise, as I said above, you’ll never be able to live the life you know in your heart you were truly meant for and deserve to be living.
It may be a long road ahead, one that might take your entire remaining life to accomplish, but it’s a road worth taking if at the end of it you’re going to experience greater connection, love and support in your life.
Malcolm Gladwell, bestselling author of ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’ says it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master any skill.
And the same goes when it comes to becoming comfortable with your emotions when you feel afraid of them.
But you can’t just practice with anybody when you’ve been out of practice for so long because they’ll not be equipped with the knowledge and know-how to be able to help you deal with them and support you through them.
And you’ll simply feel like they’re judging you.
So, your only choice is to practice with someone who themselves is well versed in supporting people to articulate and express their challenging emotions so they can overcome them.
That is, working with a Counselling Psychotherapist.
What’s the benefit of not being afraid of your feelings? A better understanding of yourself
Part of finding the real you and thus, knowing the real you, is in being able to identify and understand your feelings and emotions.
And in knowing what your fears, doubts and insecurities are so you can better manage them when they arise.
As opposed to pretending you don’t have them so they control you when they arise, rather than the other way around.
Therefore, without this, it’s literally impossible to know who the real you is or to feel confident in who you are as a person because you’re ignoring a really important part of yourself that’s detrimental to your health and wellbeing, and for that matter, survival.
And so, is one of the many benefits of getting comfortable with emotions.
But you can’t trust your own mind in interpreting what your feeling and emotions mean because if you aren’t living the life you want to be living, your mind and your own interpretations of them is likely what got you into the mess you might be finding yourself in now.
That is an unhappy and dissatisfying life to the one you expected to be living.
How to feel comfortable with emotions to live a happier life? Working with a Counselling Psychotherapist
The reason working with a Counselling Psychotherapist is also really beneficial other than giving you the space and practice needed to feel comfortable with your emotions is they support you in understanding your feelings.
This is important because without understanding your feelings and why and where they’re arising from, you’ll feel a sense of loss, like that I talked about earlier (i.e. something is missing within you).
So you’ll not be able to feel at peace with who you are and who you are not.
Therefore, stopping you from being able to change yourself and your life just like you I know you want to.
Why can’t I talk about my feelings without crying?
I used to wonder about this question all the time because I just didn’t get why this kept happening to me. But I’ve since discovered the reason is that firstly you bottle your feelings up, rather than fully feel them and question them as to what they’re about when they arise.
Therefore, when you’re talking to someone about something important to you and perhaps you haven’t spoken about before, or for a very long time, your feelings catch you off guard and by surprise.
But also because you’ve subconsciously learnt to believe there’s something wrong with you for having certain feelings so you automatically judge yourself when you have them.
How to stop crying when talking about your feelings?
So, to overcome this, you need to first become comfortable identifying and expressing your feelings with somebody (i.e. a Counselling Psychotherapist) and to become aware in your body of the feelings and sensations arising.
As well as, learn to repeat affirmations over again, feeling them within your body, when this feeling of self-pity does arise.
Since in practising this with just one person, you simultaneously are practising it with everybody else in the world.
But to really understand what I mean by that, you really have to engage with the process of working with a Counselling Psychotherapist over a long period of time (usually years).
Why am I so afraid to express my feelings?
The reason you’re so afraid to express your feelings is that you’re scared of getting hurt through being judged and criticised by others and so in the process like maybe you’ve been before.
But also because you haven’t learnt how to understand your feelings so you can express your feelings in a way, which helps you to foster connection with others.
Instead, you feel overwhelmed by the feelings that arise.
How can I stop having negative emotions?
As I mentioned earlier, we need both positive and negative emotions to live and lead a happier and healthier life. Therefore, you can’t stop having negative thoughts because negative emotions have their place in our lives just as much as positive emotions do.
However, what you can do, is learn to work through them with a Counselling Psychotherapist because at the end of the day that’s all you can do.
You can’t go around them no matter how much you want and have learnt to do.
You can only go through them.
Summary: How to feel comfortable with emotions to live a happier life?
So there you have it, how to feel comfortable with emotions to live a happier life.
Work with a Counselling Psychotherapist over a long period of time to confront your negative feelings head on through practising talking about your emotions with someone who will help you to understand them and give you the advice, guidance, recommendations needed.
Since in doing so, you’ll also become comfortable talking about your emotions with others too so you can foster better connections with them.
Now over to you…
In the comments section below, let me know…
What you struggle with when it comes to your emotions and would like to know the answer to? What, if anything, was beneficial to you in this post? and whether you’d be interested in working with a Counselling Psychotherapist, as a result.
In the meantime, don’t forget to subscribe to my email newsletter below to stay in the know on how working with a Counselling Psychotherapist can change your life.