Feelings matter. Our emotions give us valuable information about ourselves and our perceptions of our environment. Failing to acknowledge and appreciate feelings means missing out on important ques about what we need and want. It often seems easier to push aside our feelings and forge ahead with the demands of the day, our life, and our responsibilities. This may be practical in the short term, but deep feelings of grief, anger, abandonment and a whole host of other uncomfortable feelings need to be honored and appropriately expressed in order to be a well adjusted person. Choosing to ignore feelings often leads to tension, stress, addiction, eating disorders, and worse.
Learning to tolerate uncomfortable feelings is the beginning of emotional maturity. So, how exactly does one “sit with their feelings” you might ask? This involves a willingness to honor our inner selves, our heartfelt emotions, needs and desires. To be open to listening to the feelings and allowing oneself to express uncomfortable feelings. Further, the expression of these feelings can be done in many ways: talking with a therapist, talking with a close friend or family, journaling, writing letters (that may or may not ever be sent), identifying where one feels the emotion ~ stomach? heart? shoulders? Beating on a pillow, painting, drawing, dancing, etc.
In our fast paced, accomplishment driven society, it can seem indulgent and silly to waste time on such trivial matters as feelings. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Our authentic self, with all of our God given gifts and talents, blooms only when we are holistically integrating our feelings into our awareness and honoring the soul. So, slow down and listen to your heart. It is a wise investment of time and energy to acknowledge, accept and express our feelings. This leads to greater self awareness, confidence and ability to cope with life’s inevitable ups and downs. Including helping yourself with an eating disorder.
Last reviewed: By Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on March 16, 2012
Article Contributed by: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC
Article Published: May 3, 2011
Page last updated: June 12, 2012
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com, Eating Disorder Treatment Resources