Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Are All Feelings "Healthy"? Always?

A conversation in a coffeehouse has me wanting to wax a bit about feelings. To set the mood, how about a "classic song" -Feelings :)  We get mixed messages about how to deal with our feelings. Some believe feelings just "exist" and that we must accept them and cherish them.  According to this logic, our feelings are guides that teach us about life; we need to "lean into them," experience them, and accept them as part of who we are.

Yes, I whole heatedly agree. And Yes, I totally and utterly disagree.

Let me explain.

The above approach or attitude about feelings assumes that all feelings are the same, and all that feelings are helpful, healthy, and serve us well. Yet, we all know from personal experience that this is just not the case. Must of us know that some feeling states do not serve us well, and do not help our functioning, goals or relationships. For examples, extreme rage and fear usually lead to difficult outcomes for us. 

Two years ago, during the summer of 2015, I wrote a series of posts that explore a variety of ways to alter self downing and anxiety; two emotional states (cognitive/emotional, actually) that interfere with our writing and performance. In these posts, you can explore how to alter your feelings to better serve your needs.

Feeling can be changed by our perspective, attitudes, and beliefs. In fact, our thinking is the largest determinant of our feelings. That is good news, as our thinking is something that we can directly control.

Yes, accept your feelings- they are part of your humanity. Yet, when your feelings are not working for you, when they are getting in the way of your dreams, your goals, and your writing, make changing a feeling one of your goals.

Then set about finding out how to do so. Julio will understand. 

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