So what do you do when you start to feel? When you are actively using and avoiding dealing with an addiction or a relationship conflict we are immune to feeling.
Understanding and coping with feelings reduces your chance of relapse. Following are steps you can take to help you cope with feelings or emotional states. You can use these steps regardless of the specific emotion you are dealing with. It doesn’t matter if you are in full commitment to work with your addiction or if you are struggling with a lost relationship or painful acceptance of a new dilemma.
Step One- Recognize and Label Your Feelings.
Don’t deny your feelings because this can cause you more difficulty in the long run. Even if you feel what you believe is a “negative” or “bad” feeling, remember that it is simply an honest feeling. Feeling an emotion doesn’t mean you have to “act” on it.
I encourage you to keep a written journal; I see this as an instrument that uncovers your patterns.
Step Two – Be Aware Of How Your Feelings Show.
Pay attention to how your feelings show in your body language, physical symptoms, thoughts and your behavior. Use these various clues to raise awareness of your feelings.
For example, pacing and feeling “amped” can indicate one person is angry and another person can be anxious. The feelings show up is endless; learn how feelings show up inside you.
Step Three – Look For Causes of Your Feelings
Feelings are not usually “caused” by other people or events but by how you think your beliefs about feelings play a big role in how you deal with them. To understand why you feel the way you do, look at the connections between what you believe, how you feel, and how you act.
Recognize, Label, Be Aware, and Digging Deeper is a step-by-step way to cope with feelings surrounding your newfound relationship with your emotional intelligence. It’s one thing to feel it’s a whole different job to work with the emotions actively. Trust yourself to go inside and learn a new way to relate with your feelings.
Dr. Ryan Westrum, is a private practicing therapist that specializes in sex addiction, pornography addiction and sexual health. Please contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone him at 952.261.5269.