I get a lot of questions about processing feelings. This is a deep question because much of it depends on the magnitude of those feelings. For example, if you’ve been exposed to your best friend dying versus a bad haircut, your feelings and the processing of your feelings will be handled differently. And yet, there is an ingrained way that we have all learned to process feelings.
Let’s remember that our thoughts are what happens 24/7 within your mind. Skillfully controlling those thoughts is what can lead to a stress-free, balanced, and happy life. Uncontrolled feelings can lead to no end of unhappiness. We may think our feeling control us but there is a part of us that can rise above feelings.
The Objective Mind is The Observer – Welcome This Guide!
Yes, we have a mind that is capable of achieving an objective viewpoint. What is an objective viewpoint? It’s the ability to pull yourself up from yourself and look down at your life, circumstances, and your feelings. It allows you to process your feelings in a way that can not be done if you believe you ARE your feelings. We are not our feelings, but SO much more.
Some people think this reflective thinking can only be done during meditation but it can be done anytime. We have a mind that is creative. So use your imagination and pull yourself up and out of those feelings. Look down on your life as if it belongs to someone else. Then assess the situation objectively.
Where Does it All Start?
Learning to process your feelings begins in your family of origin. Consequently, if you’re parents were mature and capable of talking through things that created strong feelings then you’ll have a much better chance of doing the same. If however, you are like most of us your parents lacked the maturity to some extent.
So if you need help because your parents or guardians were lacking (which we all dealt with) try the following helpful hints to more successfully, and productively process your feelings.
- Be an observer (use that objective mind)
- Cultivate a realistic perspective
- Write down all facts of a situation (if needed) , proof, add, delete it (if it is not a fact but only an assumption, judgement or just your interpretation)
- Then, jot down all your feelings about the facts attached to this situation
- Write down how any other person or persons (if pertinent) might interpret you and your actions regarding this situation… be honest with yourself right now without judgement
- Do you know your desired outcome? What about anyone else’s desired outcome? Don’t assume you know what the other person wants.
- Remain flexible and compromising. Honestly and fairly assess everything and everyone involved
- If these feelings involve another person speak with them. Really listen to their side of the story. This usually clears up any misunderstandings.
In addition, here’s more advice to help you process your feelings:
- Make an Emotionally Intelligent decision to accept something as is or to take productive and positive action.
- Give yourself the smart flexibility to shift your plan based on what keeps being revealed what makes most sense.
- Make fewer personal plans regarding other people. You’ll save yourself a lot of unhappiness and anxiety.
- Create attainable, do-able action steps when problem solving, trying to reach new goals, or conquer projects.
- Don’t unrealistically overload yourself with new tasks. Accept yourself too. If your action steps are too ambitious, unrealistic, and difficult it will only frustrate and sabotage your efforts. Don’t fall into this ditch.
- Assess your process and the result outcomes….be flexible to “Tweak” when necessary
- Use your mind creatively and with imagination.
- See your life objectively so that the sting of life fades. We all deal with issues. It’s learning to deal with them that allows us to grow. Don’t wish your life was perfect, then you wouldn’t have the opportunity to deal with things that can help you mature.
Use all of these skills and more to positively transform parts of your life and relationships. You can learn to process your feelings and see the world anew! Be patient with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Begin with small do-able and realistic shifts and steps. Stay consistent and Never, Ever Give Up!