Stress and its pervasive effect on health is an all too common problem in society today. A fast paced, high pressured, contemporary life and the increased responsibility this brings, coupled with a perceived inability to cope or handle this lifestyle, is possibly the biggest cause of stress and anxiety. Sadly, self-medication, in the form of drugs, alcohol, sex, work, food and gambling are often used to reduce stress and anxiety, but these things rarely deliver positive, life affirming or lasting results. For the most part, they exacerbate the very situation they are trying to remedy, and to varying degrees, they also produce some significantly harmful side effects. The list is endless. Addictions, weight gain or loss, high blood pressure, mental and emotional health issues are the result, but feelings are at the heart of the problem, and those feelings just want to be felt.
It’s usually easy enough to allow yourself to think positive, to be positive or even to feel positive feelings. You let yourself feel excited about a holiday, joy at the birth of a child, or eagerness when you think about your new job. The problem is, all feelings, positive and negative, just want to be felt, and like a jack-in-the-box, if you don’t allow yourself to feel them, they will just keep coming back to be felt. Your feelings spring to life, trying to jump out of the box, but you keep closing the lid on them. Feelings, especially negative feelings, don’t like to be ignored.
If you genuinely want to reduce you stress and anxiety levels, then there are two ways you can do it. One way is to acknowledge to yourself whenever you feel uneasy, afraid or stressed about something. It’s your instincts trying to communicate with you. The uneasiness doesn’t disappear, it goes underground instead. Feelings, such as uneasiness, worries and concerns that have been forced underground can be the cause of mental and emotional tremors, earthquakes and volcanoes! They have a tendency to adversely impact physical health, leaving the land of the living in ruins. The second way to manage stress and anxiety is to enlist the support of someone wiser or qualified to do so. If you are not confident about your ability to feel your feelings on your own, then you might prefer to have a medical professional, a good counsellor or wise friend be your witness and confidant.
If you choose to ignore feelings, then the situations they create in order to be felt will grow worse and worse until you get the message and feel them. Whether it’s your intention or not, if a negative situation keeps repeating itself, then this is your sub-conscious mind manifesting a situation to help you feel those feelings that you have been denying or avoiding. For example, if you choose to ignore your feelings of pressure or anxiety, you will continue to attract the people, events and experiences into your life to make you feel pressured and anxious. Your sub-conscious thoughts and the situations they manifest, and the feelings you feel because of them, are actually trying to help you to create the life that you want. The solution to this is to feel your feelings. Go through the motion of emotion, because feeling is healing. At the beginning of each day, and even if you need to do so at different moments during the day, take a few moments and allow yourself to feel the feelings that you don’t want to feel. Sit with the anger, pain or frustration. Breathe in deeply and then with a big breathe out, release the tension. If you need to, breathe in and out a few times. To avoid hyperventilating, be sure to breath in your own rhythm. Let your feelings rise to the surface, instead of pretending that there’s nothing going on underneath. It’s a fast and effective way to dissipate stress. A sense of relief and tranquillity is the result.
When you allow yourself the time and space to go through the motion of emotions and you sit in the feeling and feel it very deeply, even if it is really uncomfortable, then it will begin to evaporate. You will break the cycle of self-sabotage. The same old negative patterns will stop repeating themselves. When you make a habit of dissipating your feelings, then you will no longer attract the negative situations into your life that make you feel anxious, stressed, pressured or overwhelmed.