I Avoid Feeling My Feelings By… favorite_border

Yoga Girl Daily - April 7th 2020

Author: Rachel Brathen

Topics: Tune-In Tuesday, Self-Love, Healing

Links: Apple Podcasts / Spotify

About the Episode

We are moving through a period of collective loss; loss of routine, loss of social interaction, and maybe even some losses we cannot begin to cope with right now.

When you are having trouble coping, what do you initially reach for? What are some ways you avoid feeling your feelings?

Tune in as Rachel shares the slippery slopes we find ourselves on, and what to do instead.

Ultimately, we need to find ways to process our feelings so we aren’t constantly avoiding, and we need to acknowledge that we are doing the best we can.


[00:34] Welcome to Yoga Girl Daily and happy Tuesday! Today I have a topic in mind for our Tune-In Tuesday that might shake things up a little bit. We are in such a weird time of our lives right now. For as long as we live, we will think about time as before and after Corona. There has been such a huge change, huge shift in all of our lives right now and many of us are struggling in ways that are hard to explain. Now, whether or not you have had physical loss or material loss in your life, so perhaps financial loss or even the loss of a loved one recently, we are all experiencing a collective sense of loss, loss of our regular life, loss of our routines, loss of social interaction. So, whatever we are going through in this moment, we are all feeling so much. I feel like collectively we're all tapping into a very vulnerable place right now, which actually is beautiful. It's also overwhelming and hard, but beautiful.

[01:46] Now for today's contemplation or today's self-inquiry, I want to take a moment to bring some awareness to the ways in which we avoid feeling our feelings. And this is something that everybody does. It's absolutely human, very natural thing to do, especially during times when we feel overwhelmed. If there's too many things happening at the same time, we all have some sort of coping mechanisms that we sometimes turn to when we feel like life is too much, right? When we have a day where I just can't feel all of these feelings right now, it's too much. Maybe I don't feel supported enough. Maybe I don't have time to actually feel and express what's inside. Maybe I don't want to go there because what I'm feeling is too hard, right? I feel sad, but I don't want to be sad. I'm angry, but I don't know how to process or how to actually constructively be angry.

[02:41] So we turn to other things, right? And the reason I want to bring our awareness to this in today's practice is, I think for many of us we might find ourselves in that slippery slope or in that very challenging place where we turn toward those coping mechanisms more than we normally do. So what are some ways that you escape feeling your feelings? What is that go-to? How do you normally avoid feeling your feelings and are you doing that thing more now than you normally do? Let's take a moment to close the eyes. I avoid feeling my feelings by… Feeling into that inquiry right now. I avoid feeling my feelings by… What is that thing that you turn to? That gut instinct, that think that place you just go to immediately instead of feeling? For some of us, it's getting absolutely absorbed and swallowed up into work.

[03:47] Right? If I stay really, really busy, if I go 180 miles per hour, then I don't have to be quiet or still enough, so will be harder for me to feel, right? It's really hard to feel if we go, go, go all day long. For some of us, maybe we turn to substances. Yeah, we eat. If we emotionally eat our feelings instead, maybe we're eating way more sugar than we normally do. Maybe we find ourselves turning toward foods that we know aren't serving our greater good. Perhaps we drink. Maybe we're drinking a lot more wine or alcohol now than we normally do. Perhaps we turn to drugs of some sort. For some of us, the best way to not feel our feelings is to get really into other people's lives, right? Maybe you find yourself immersed in gossip or drama right now that isn't actually yours.

[04:40] What is that way that you avoid feeling your feelings? Take a moment just to get a little clearer around that and then being totally truthful and honest with yourself. Are you doing that thing more these days than you normally are? If the answer to that is yes, well, congratulations. It means you're a human being. Absolutely normal because we are all feeling much more collectively than we normally do. But I want to take today to identify these things so that we can give ourselves a moment every time a big feeling comes our way and we find ourselves reaching for more work. We're trying to stay busier or reaching for that glass of wine or for that bag of chips or for Netflix or whatever it is that we go for. Before we disappear down that less conscious road that we can drop into the practice of giving ourselves a moment to feel.

[05:41] So noticing when you reach for that thing that you use to avoid your feelings, taking a breath there, feeling your feet on the earth, coming back to your body. And then finding that difference between, Hey, am I reaching the bag of chips right now because I'm actually hungry or I'm enjoying them, or am I reaching for that bag of chips right now because I don't want to feel. So learning how to become a little more present with our inner world and the moment we actually give ourselves just that space to recognize that, Hey, I'm feeling sad, or, Hey, I'm overwhelmed. Perhaps there's something else we can do. So we don't reach for that thing every single time. But that actually sometimes maybe we pick up the phone and we call a friend and we say, Hey, I need to vent about something. Or maybe we ask for help. Maybe we go into our bedroom, close the door, and give ourselves a moment to cry. So finding ways to process our feelings so that we're not spending all day avoiding. You can journal on this topic today if you like. Meditate on it, see what comes your way, and to know that you are doing the best you can.

[06:53] Thank you so much for practicing with me today. Yoga Girl Daily will be back tomorrow.