4 Tips to Getting All The Feels
I try to stay hip and happening. I really do. I pay attention to “what the kids are saying” and I even admit to looking stuff up on urban dictionary sometimes to get the punchline. But recently, I have encountered the phrase “all the feels” and it has got me thinking.
According to Urban Dictionary, “all the feels” is a phrase used to describe a song that makes you feel good; or having good vibes.
But to me, experiencing all the feels could refer to any emotion: good or bad. If I am having all the feels about losing my job, for example, it means I am welcoming and experiencing the wide range of emotions associated with this experience….happy, sad, angry, scared, nervous, relieved, excited.
And I really love that because it is so true.
Are You Experiencing All the Feels?
When I ask people “how are you feeling about that”, I notice that it gives them pause as they look internally to check their emotion meter. They report an unexpected list...scared, angry, happy, relieved, discouraged and excited. Emotions that wouldn’t normally travel together in logical packs are all there. They have all the feels...the good, the bad and the ugly.
Logical brain, less emotional and more categorical, is not comfortable with all the feels, especially when they may seem internally contradictory. I imagine my logical brain as a stern rules-oriented librarian much like Mrs. Sullivan, my elementary school librarian with readers sitting at the end of her nose and a single finger in front of her lips whispering, “shhhhh” while looking at me sternly. Wouldn’t logical brain love that? If you would could just take those emotions and “shhhhh” them away to a place where they couldn’t make trouble.
So what happens when we get all the feels? How do we manage it especially when it might set off logical alarms in our brain that reject or judge this strange conglomeration of emotion?
How Do We Experience All The Feels?
We welcome it. What??? Yes. You got it. Welcome it. Experience all the feels. Let them rush through you like a wave. How? Glad you asked, here are my tips.
Reflect. Begin by asking yourself simply, “What emotion is coming up right now? Fear? Sadness? Anger? Disappointment?” Taking a pause and giving yourself the moment of space to check your internal meter is really important. Sometimes the rush of conflicting emotion can be so logically contradictory that it is hard to know what the heck you are feeling without an intentional moment of focused reflection.
It’s temporary. While experiencing the feels, recognize that, like all things, this is temporary. Emotions come sometimes in such a powerful rush that it seems like they will never weaken or end. However, the truth is that they will change and pass in time. As you are in the flush of emotion, take a moment and remind yourself, “this is emotion and it is temporary.” It may not feel like it even as you tell yourself this but if you continue to repeat it, your brain will begin to hear and process it on a deeper and less conscious level.
Meditate. Here is a very personal reason why meditation has helped me. Part of the experience of meditation is allowing you to simply experience your own mind wherever it may be in that moment. Over time, you become increasingly familiar with your interior thoughts, just as you might become more familiar with your living room each time you sit in it. As you become more comfortable with your internal living room and these your thoughts, , the couch gets more cushion-y, the rug friendly and furry and your thoughts are less jagged, jarring or unsettling. I think of meditation as practice for experiencing all the feels. When I am comfortable and familiar with my environment, I am more comfortable with all the feels from the perspective of the comfy well-worn couch in my mind.
Seek support. You are not an emotional superhero. None of us are. We do NOT have to lift the car off of the baby or get all the feels alone. Find a therapist who can help you process individually or if you crave a tribe, find a group of other people who are working through all their feels too. Emotions are a powerful natural phenomenon in our minds and energetic bodies and they will race through us with the power of a hurricane or tornado or tsunami, if we let them. Give yourself permission to experience all the feels supported by others.
But 4 Tips doesn’t mean that getting all the feels is an easy or straightforward process. It also isn’t a process that ends. Life is about experiencing all feels all the time until we cease feeling at all. Our work is figuring out how to build into our lives techniques for getting all the feels in ways that don’t hijack our day, week, month or year. My tips are intended to get you thinking about what tools you might include in your own routine for assistance and to remind you that we are here to help!
If you are struggling to establish or maintain a meditation routine, join us for our meditation groups.
XO - Annee