Own your feelings, Don’t Let Them Own You
Let me borrow the words of Dr. Martin Seligman, noted expert in positive psychology, “The powerful link between emotional outlook and physical health is no secret. The data has grown year after year, and it’s become a scientific certainty.”
Emotional freedom, as scientists now know, is one of the paths to health and wellness. “When it comes to our health,” says Seligman, “there are essentially four things under our control: the decision not to smoke, a commitment to exercise, the quality of our diet, and our level of optimism. And optimism is at least as beneficial as the others.” Scientists don’t yet fully understand the biological mechanisms at work, but they know that negative feelings like stress, sadness, and worry cause a spike in the hormone cortisol, which in turn suppresses the immune system.
And optimism is a mindset that is a fruit of being free from hidden, negative feelings that adversely affect our attitude and our body. The truth is we don’t have a control over our environment. What people will say to us and what people, especially our loved ones, will do. We cannot control our emotional response. There are plenty of stimuli that bring out such emotions like anger, shame, pain, guilt, anxiety. They are natural, human responses. What we can control however is WHAT WE DO with these emotions. Sometimes, we deny them by suppressing these emotions as if they don’t exist.
But emotions are energies. They follow the rules of thermodynamics – they cannot be created nor destroyed, they can be stored, used, or transformed. If you deny emotions, they don’t go away. They are stored in the body, and affecting our immune systems and our organs, causing some illnesses and diseases. Migraine, for example, is a sign of stored anxieties and anger.
The best way to begin our emotional freedom is to own our feelings i.e. “What I am feeling right now is ANGER. And this is MY ANGER, not theirs.” The moment you own your feelings, then you can do something about them. Once you own them, they cease to own you.
The website of Lance Armstrong Foundation has a list of all the important reasons why it is beneficial to own our feelings. All of them are valid. But for me, the best reasons are your health and your happiness!
So, how about you? What feelings do you find difficult to accept or own?