“If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart…”
― Pema Chödrön,
A Slave To Not Feeling Our Feelings
You’ve conditioned yourself. Maybe the world is just too big when you are sensitive. It feels safer to not be vulnerable and put yourself out there or for your vulnerabilities to be used against you. It’s an overwhelming prospect.
Why do you think we have emotions anyways? Wouldn’t live be simpler without them?
Yes, simple and boring, and then we eventually wouldn’t be safe either. Emotions exist to keep us safe and alive. It’s how we live! We carry so many fears about being hurt, we learned to toughen up and act like grown ups but here now we now have a complete lack of compassion towards our feelings. We fear that if we feel that it will be too much to handle, that there will be no end to it. Instead of facing and dealing with these feelings, they fester and become anxiety stuck beneath the surface and there to stay to keep us safe at all times. We wear a coat of armor which protects us from being harmed and it ends us harming us.
The Pitfall With Not Feeling Your Feelings
When we don’t feel our feelings, that’s when we create a host of pain and problems for ourselves. Problems like perfectionism, striving for impossible goals and standards, feeling lonely and out of sync with everyone around us, doing things we ‘should’ do versus things we want to do, feeling numb as a guard to feeling too much, feeling high strung and on alert, feeling like we are on a never-ending quest, being out of touch with our instincts so as not to overthink, and many other tiresome feelings.
When we don’t pay attention to our feelings, we put things we want way, way back, at the very end of our list of priorities and we never get to it. This is why we need to build a bridge back to our hearts and to pay attention to ourselves. When we become more aware, we can know when it’s time to rely on emotions and not our logic. We have to feel our feelings again and let them drive your actions as you build up your instincts and trust in yourself.
The Only Way Out Is Through (what movie is that from?)
“A feeling is not bottomless. once felt all the way through, a great peace greets you there”
― Alanis Morissette
Ultimately facing your feelings, in whatever way you choose, I’m sure you would agree, is the only way to get unstuck. It is the definition of getting unstuck, to take action. Just keep reminding yourself of this because it is the way to your true self, to knowing what you want and to go after what you want. It should all sync up. Going towards your fears is the significant step to go through to the other side. It takes bravery but it’s ultimately applying compassion towards your anxiety so you can open up to the messages your heart is trying to tell you through your feelings and symptoms.
We want to move towards our feelings and the fears we have been avoiding, but we don’t want to just put ourselves out there in an unsafe way, if that is possible.
Allow Your Emotions To Motivate Your Actions Again
Why Feeling Your Feelings Puts You In Control
You want to be around people but you don’t want to be around people. We are walking contradictions aren’t we? Someone asks if we want to do something and we say ‘no’ instinctively when sometimes the answer can and should be ‘yes’.
Don’t get me wrong, if you are an introvert like me, you also really need that downtime to yourself, but don’t devalue your time with others. Don’t keep your eyes to the ground to avoid a conversation. We have paid too much attention to the cues that make us believe that social interactions are dangerous. Social phobia should not be running the show any more. We need people but we have to break out from being stuck in a horrible cycle. You are pulled towards being social by your needs, but social anxiety pushes you in the opposite direction.
By Staying Away From Our Phobias, We Become More Phobic Of What We Stay Away From
Your wiring tells you that you need to run away but avoiding our fears and problems only masks the problem and contributes to it actually getting worse. Your body reacts when you try to go towards what you fear. You don’t put your hand on a hot stove or walk towards that lion.
I see shows all the time like Intervention and My 600 pound life and so many times, these people are using drugs or food to mask their feelings, to mask their traumas. As soon as they start journaling or getting in touch with who they really are, they start to heal. I find it fascinating and the same concept applies here. It’s like we’ve taken that crime scene tape and quarantined dealing with our fears and we are just trying to stay away by relying too much on our brains. Your emotions read this and if you have said it’s dangerous, your instincts will go along for the ride and do whatever possible to keep you off that ledge. Your brain tells you it knows better than you and knows what to do to keep you safe.
By Facing Our Phobias, We Can Reduce Or Eliminate Our Them
You can train your brain though. Think about those people who do amazing feats, who go towards what you and I would fear. Jumping off diving boards and doing incredible things that seem impossible. I have heard there is a gene for this but a majority of people have trained themselves to do certain things until they are not scary anymore. When you are going along for the ride, your emotional brain says sure, ok, maybe this isn’t going to kill me, maybe this can even be fun. Our primal instincts again are just trying to keep us safe but we can train this part of our brain through action and experience.
Avoiding things that are dangerous is a good idea but sometimes staying away initiates a belief that you are and should be afraid of something. In our case…people!
How Can I Face My Fears So I Don’t Fear Them?
I’m a fan of trying multiple types of therapies. Of course, go see a real doctors and experts on this matter because I’m not a doctor, but these are my current thoughts:
- I have heard that Cognitive Behavior Therapy where you can be systematically desensitized to your fears and I think it might be a great idea to see a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy is another great solution to look into. I’ve heard these are among the best therapies for shyness and social anxiety and I want to explore them in more depth down the road.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is something else to consider trying which can have some immediate results and I will be revisiting this later as well.
- Hypnotherapy is another potentially powerful treatment and there is a program here that I’d recommend. One benefit is that you aren’t physically subject to your fears right away. If you are afraid of spiders, you don’t need to face that spider right away. Hypnosis offers you a way of processing the thoughts as if they were real when they are not. I have bought many of these hypnosis downloads over the years but there is a 10 step program specific to shyness and social anxiety that I’d like to tell you about. [I do make a commission if you buy anything from this site]
10 Steps to Feel Your Feelings and Overcome Social Anxiety Through Hypnosis
A website called Hypnosis Downloads offers great hypnosis downloads you can get one at a time or through package deals. You can sign up for a monthly membership which is something I did. The 10 steps to overcome social anxiety course is a gentle way of replacing the horrible, closed, panicky feeling with happy, open, and fun feelings. You can improve your social skills internally and then externally in real life. You can improve your expectations when it comes to socializing and meeting new people and that generates more positive thinking and results. Here are the 10 steps:
2) Overcoming Social Phobia: No longer being ultra self conscious by training your brain to switch off its social anxiety response.
3) Being Yourself Socially: Losing the mask and expressing yourself more naturally in conversations.
4) Making Eye Contact: Unconsciously know how to use the right amount of eye contact and other non verbal signals to show your interest in others.
5) Meeting People: Getting back into the habit of meeting people and enjoying healthy relationships with them.
6) Conversation Starters: Starting conversations successfully by building rapport and creating a positive first impression.
7) Mastering Small Talk: Small talk paves the way for big talk and helps you through difficult social occasions.
8) Expressing Your Opinion: Leaving the frustration and powerlessness of not expressing your opinion behind and start being better understood and appreciated as people listen to what you have to say.
9) Speaking in Groups: Stepping out of the shadows and into the conversation by making regular, valuable contributions to group discussions.
10) I’m OK, You’re OK: A useful model of how people interact, to ensure you communicate on the right level.
The Beauty of Hypnosis Towards Treating Your Fears
You don’t have to torture yourself to overcome your fears. If you are afraid to commit yourself to something socially unpleasant, social anxiety is a great way to try things out before the real event. Instead of throwing yourselves to the wolves, you can experience a situation in your mind using hypnosis. This is a place where you can feel comfortable and relaxed to face things you have been putting off. Once you are relaxed, you can feel like yourself and you can invite the things you fear to this safe space.
Rewire false connections in a safe environment. Once you experience the social events that make you uncomfortable in this safe space, it opens up the connection for it actually feeling more safe to you in reality. If you are afraid to eat out by yourself, it is something you can experience while in hypnosis before you set foot out your door. It’s similar to cognitive behavior therapy in that you are experiencing that which scares you and going more towards it and becoming less afraid of the experience within a safe environment that you control, while fully relaxed.
Have more authentic fun as yourself. We are talking more about what a person just believes, we are actually going to believe it. They you go out there are do it and feel less uncomfortable and out of place. You might even enjoy yourself a little bit. And this opens you up to more and more moments like this.
How You Can Understand and Enjoy Your Feelings
Your feelings and thoughts can be at odds. You can fully believe something is good for you and still fearfully flee from it. You can fully believe something (or someone) is bad for you but still be emotionally driven towards it (or them). Cognitive approaches to dealing with fears can unstick our conditioned thinking. Our fears aren’t driven so much by “faulty thinking” as by primitive emotional conditioning geared towards survival. Again, your brain is trying to keep you safe. It is much easier to access and modify these causes through hypnosis than through relying more on that rational brains of ours and trying to reason with it.
The hypnosis downloads can be a possible option for you to build a new positive blueprint in your subconscious so you can respond to your social fears with calmness and feel in sync socially as your new positive normal. I’ve seen amazing results through these hypnosis downloads.
I go to the sauna room. It’s my excuse for going to the gym every day, even if I’m just walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes while reading or listening to positive music or podcasts and drink my water for the day. I’ll go back and forth between meditation and hypnosis for 20-30 minutes. I don’t know if I’m getting better or worse results doing these in the sauna room, but I know it’s better than not doing it at all. I look forward to it every day and by combining a bunch of positive habits, each reinforces the other. Habits and balance are important to managing your anxiety too.
Set them up in a way that works for you, maybe a morning routine is your answer or your lunch break. I’ve noticed increasing confidence and caring less what others think and I will be testing and reviewing these ten topics addressed here and offer what I learn. By facing your feelings safely, you will feel more optimistic and confident and that will bring about positive change and how others in turn respond to you. It’s time to enjoy being in the moment and being with other people. Good luck to you and subscribe for more!
- Giphy. “Spock GIFs – Find & Share on GIPHY.” GIPHY. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2017. <http://giphy.com/search/spock/>.
- “Passing in the Middle of the Rock with a Wing Suit. • R/gifs.” Reddit. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2017. <http://www.reddit.com/r/gifs/comments/3oqne1/passing_in_the_middle_of_the_rock_with_a_wing_suit/>.
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