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Emotions Are Not For Stuffing!

How many of you have signed this contract?:

I, ____ will do whatever it takes not to feel my feelings. I am sure that emotions are the most dangerous things in the world. To win the war against my feelings, I am willing to live a life that it limited. I will never be my whole self. I will avoid my feelings by drinking, using, sleeping, having excessive amounts of sex, gambling, cutting, eating, watching tv and so on as much as possible, the more the better.

Feeling my feelings will surely kill me. So I will give up most of my life rather than let my feelings exist.

How many of you have experienced a significant loss?

We talk about loss since loss brings up emotions. When you try to cope with old losses, you may feel angry, sad, stressed or fearful. You may feel helpless, lonely or betrayed.

The goal with feelings is to help you accept or tolerate your feelings. Trying to change, decrease, control, or avoid feelings can lead to addictive behaviors or other types of self -sabotaging behaviors.

False beliefs about emotions:

· If I let myself grieve, I will be sad forever

· If I let myself be sad, I will become depressed and suicidal

· I won’t be able to stand losing this good thing. I have to get rid of it now.

· If I tell others how I feel, they will use it against me.

· If I tell others how I feel, they will think I am week

· Mood swings come and go with no warning

· If I take the time to feel this feeling. it will mean putting my entire life on hold

· Other people don’t feel this way. There must be something wrong with me.

· Only an immature person would get so emotional.

· Anxiety is not a natural response; I have to get rid of it

· A good, strong, healthy person would not feel this way.

· If someone else is having a different emotional reaction that I am, my emotional reaction is wrong.

· If I let myself feel this pain, it will kill me

· A strong person is fearless

· Letting myself feel bad would mean falling to pieces, being a total mess, or wallowing in self pity

· Good people don’t get angry

· Being an adult means not getting carried away by emotions’ I am supposed to be rational

· If I had better self-esteem I would not be nervous

· Having emotions means I am a drama queen

· If I feel this emotion, I will lose all self-control

· Emotions like anger, hurt and fear are destructive and dangerous

· Feelings can come out of now where

· I am stupid for feeling this way. I should just suck it up.

Here are Some Real Facts About Feelings

· Feelings often come about when changes are taking place. When you rethink, redo, reorganize or rearrange, feelings just happen

· If feelings are ignored, they don’t just go away. Feelings stick around and take other shapes. Often they do damage to your physical and mental health. Denying feelings robs you of your joy.

· Often your feelings come in disguises. You can mislabel your emotions.

· If you do not learn to accept and express your feelings honestly and appropriately, you may be tempted to use the temporary, ineffective and damaging alternative of mood altering drugs

· The feelings you experience belong to you. Your feelings may be influenced by others, but your feelings are solely your responsibility

· No matter how strong they may be at first, feelings can change.

· It is important to recognize and accept feelings.

· Four big feelings when recovering from trauma, addiction or any other mental health issue: Shame, grief, anger, and fear.

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