We all get frustrated by our feelings sometimes.
We wake up in the morning with the best of intentions to care for ourselves well through the day and commit to being in a great mood. Then one small thing goes wrong and we get frustrated and bent out of shape. Then we get frustrated and bent out of shape, that we’re frustrated and bent out of shape.
It’s a cycle that keeps us feeling stuck and frustrated… and waking up with each new morning with high hopes for a better day… until inevitably a (normal) difficult emotion shows up again.
What we’re forgetting to do when this happens is to slow down, pause, and check in with ourselves when these difficult feelings do come up. To check in with what those feelings might be telling us…
Instead of getting frustrated at ourselves for feeling angry, anxious, or sad (none of which are actually “bad” feelings) what if we were to befriend our feelings in a way where we begin to communicate with them? Might sound a little “woo-woo,” but if you struggle with daily frustration, go with me here for a moment… To ask our feelings what’s up? To ask them what needs to be paid attention to?
For example: “Hey anxiety… I notice you’re hanging out today. What’s up? Is everything okay? Does something need to be paid attention to? Is one of my boundaries being crossed? Do I feel threatened? Do I need a day with no big to-do’s? What’s up? What do you need? Let’s find a way to get it for you.”
Side note: If your brain falls to the place of “Yeah, I’d love a day off, but I can’t do that so obviously I’m screwed.” STOP right there. THAT thought is going to keep you stuck and frustrated. Remember, those of us who are hanging around these pages are WILLING to move away from the black and white mentality. The all or nothing mindset. If you can’t take a full day off, what’s the next best thing you CAN do to honor your needs? Start THERE.
If we were to befriend our feelings and WELCOME a full range of emotion in our lives (hint: since we’re human we’re going to have a full range of emotion ANYWAY, whether we welcome them or not) then…
Would this help us to not feel so frustrated when difficult emotions come up?
Would this help us to not push our feelings away, using food?
Would this help us to not judge ourselves so deeply, for feeling like we can never get it together and have a perfectly good day?
Would this help us to set our expectations correctly each day, knowing that we are human, that challenges will come up, and at the very same time trust that we will be able to get through them?
I think so…
Befriending my feelings and not pushing them away or judging myself for having them is something that has helped me so much in my journey toward self-compassion.
When we let go of our judgments and frustrations, we are able to step back, see the big picture, bring ourselves to CALM, and assess what’s going on, without judgment. From there we can make choices and take action in ways that change how we feel.
Something else I have recently found very helpful is to recognize that *our thoughts/feelings do not have to match up exactly with our actions.*
An example/proof of this in your own life might be this: Do you ever wake up in the morning and not want to go to work? Do you get up and go to work anyways?
This is proof that you can feel a certain way, and still act in a way that will ultimately benefit you.
When we’re acting in a way that ultimately benefits us we’re not only caring for our current state of mind, we are also caring for future selves.
We’re making the choice, regardless of how we feel that will benefit ourselves.
So the next time difficult emotions come up for you, pause and ask your emotions what they are up to? What are they trying to get you to pay attention to?
What choice can you make that would honor your current state of mind and your future self… so that ultimately your actions added will benefit you.
Sometimes when I talk about things like this you might be thinking… Ah, so true, but easier said than done. Yep! Exactly! Which is again, why we’re not aiming for perfect, even here. Sometimes you will get frustrated that you’re frustrated. Sometimes your emotions WILL overwhelm you. That’s okay. We’re aiming for any improvement here. NOT perfection.
Now that you’re aware of this, my hope and prayer for you is that you will experience any degree of improvement from reading this post, and that that will bless you.
Thank you so much for being here today and reading this post. I would love to hear your reflections. Share them with me in the comments below! Have a wonderful Thursday, and for those of you who are heading into the weekend (hello, my Australian people) have a wonderful weekend as well.
I’ll see you back here next week, and if you’re hanging out on Instagram, I’d love it if you came and followed along with me @paigeschmidt. Say hi so I can connect with you. 🙂