By feeling it. Fully. And relaxing with it.
The fear is that if we allow uncomfortable feelings to be felt, we may increase them and become overwhelmed by them. However this is not the case, and I have much experience of seeing my own discomfort dissipate naturally when I relax and allow those feelings.
Feelings don’t hang around indefinitely when we allow them, they move on. But they need the space to do that. By trying to ignore, replace, rationalise or suppress them they get stuck.
This method of dealing with uncomfortable feelings keeps coming back to me in different forms, and yesterday a Dzogchen Buddhist approach appeared in the form of a 10 minute guided talk that is amazingly effective.
I had some low level background anxiety yesterday. I was in the park waiting for my uncle for 10 mins, so hardly a high pressure situation. But I noticed I was feeling a little closed up inside (not loose, free and spontaneous) and had a slight tightness in my chest, and so I put this on as I waited on a park bench.
He talks us through dropping out of the head into the body and to feel. Let the feelings be as they are. And relax with the discomfort.
And with the kind accompaniment of his calm voice and confidence encouragement, it isn’t so scary as just being with the uncomfortable feelings alone.
So here is the talk on YouTube, it is by Tsoknyi Rinpoche
This is me right afterwards, and proof it works 🙂
this sounds absolutely heavenly! cant wait to try it!
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It seems counterintuitive but this approach has been extremely effective for me for navigating through feeling states. I have a sense that is one of the reasons why talking therapy works, people have space to feel and express the feelings so the dam bursts and the feelings can flow again.
I wouldn’t be confident recommending to someone who has PTSD or a lot of trauma, especially unaddressed trauma. Any thoughts on that?
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“Feelings don’t hang around indefinitely when we allow them, they move on. But they need the space to do that. By trying to ignore, replace, rationalise or suppress them they get stuck.”
Yes! staying with our feelings, and seeing that they don’t destroy as, and that they eventually ebb and change, is the best way to release ourselves from the fear of experiencing intense, negative emotions.
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