5 Ways to Stop Avoiding Painful Feelings
Let’s start with why we run away from painful feelings. It’s because they hurt! The last thing we need, especially with a busy lifestyle, is to interrupt our day with a moment of sadness, a burst of anger, or even a broken heart.
We then tap into the mechanisms used to avoid painful feelings—social distractions, alcohol, one night stands, unhealthy eating, substance abuse, impulsive behaviors, or tantrum-throwing. Maybe these are more extreme, but whatever it is, we avoid the hurt. The more we avoid pain, the more we internalize a type of suffering that needs to be addressed.
We are emotional beings, so avoiding hurt, long term is not possible. Let’s discover the benefits of facing hurt head-on.
If a friend or family member does something wrong like lashed out at you, stood you up, or lied to you instead of intellectualizing the emotion or calling out the act, sit with how you feel. Perhaps sad or angry? Say it. Tell a friend. Vulnerability is beautiful.
Of course, we’re not saying “REACT!!”. When we respond rather than react, it shows growth. But, the response starts with you. You’re in a situation, and you’ve been hurt. You tell yourself—”eh, it doesn’t matter anyway,” and “oh, I don’t care, I’m fine.” We say these things to one, ignore, two, cheer ourselves up, and three, validate that we haven’t experienced hurt. In this instance, you’re teaching yourself you are the enemy and not the wrongdoing.
Instead of trying to control the emotions, allow the feelings. When you accept living with difficult emotions, you can then feel whole and direct that energy into more productive outlets—things you can control.
Make that list! We’re at the start of a new month and so ask yourself, what can you control? How about wellness planning, passion projects, people you allow in your life, places you go, things you listen to, or read.
Who or what have you allowed in your life to disrupt your foundation, focus, or peace. Go ahead, think on this one a bit. Better to face the truth than avoid it. To the core of who we are, personal values matter. If there are people, situations, or patterns taking you out of alignment with who you are—let…that…go. Your future self with thank you.
Writing to yourself is a time of goodness, which brings me to why we named this new wellness platform, Sunset Hour. It’s because the sunset represents a literal end to the day. So, take your seat, for the best show of the day, and write about your emotional experiences. By doing so, you create more self-awareness while facing everything you need to feel.
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