SECRETS OF A SOCIAL WORKER

Find peace. Find happiness. Find yourself.

Tag: feelings (page 1 of 2)

Feeling Into Your Thinking

Feelings…Feelings, feelings, feelings! We are full of ‘em. Every single thought we have has a feeling attached to it. Often times those feelings are emotions we stuff deep down instead of dealing with them…And there’s a huge myth out there that goes something like this; if we avoid our feelings they don’t exist and they will eventually disappear.
We avoid circumstances (people, places, situations, conversations) that bring about emotional reactions we don’t wish to experience. We ‘avoid’ with the assumption that the feelings associated with the circumstances will go away. The fear associated with feelings, and inability to handle the feelings, seems to be easier to deal with if we try to forget their existence in our minds. Instead, if we feel into the fear and face the emotion, we can diminish the fear and understand the emotion; thus, removing the need to avoid. This also allows us space to understand ourselves better and live life more freely rather than by what we think we should be doing.
Feeling into the fear allows us to better recognize and work through our emotion and be more honest with ourselves. We are so fearful of feeling. We would rather not know the outcome or avoid having to come face to face with making difficult decisions. What we forget is that our emotions tell us so much about ourselves and what we want and need to do. And we also forget that these emotions don’t just leave us alone. If they are unresolved, they will continue to build, nag us and give us this feeling of ‘what if’…
It’s okay to feel what you are feeling. But when our feelings are different from where we want them to be, we don’t want them to exist.

No matter what thoughts we may have, whether we want them to exist or not, your life can still bring you joy. It doesn’t matter which path you meander on, no one can take away who you are. Facing and owning your feelings is a part of life’s purpose. And the best part? No matter the emotional turmoil and confusion and no matter where life brings you, you can always have joy. That’s because no one can take away your self worth, your love, your happiness, your mindset, your journey. These things have and will always be yours. Knowing that is what makes life worth living.
Typically problems arise because of how we think about these things. There is so much self pressure to retain things a certain way that we focus more on thinking about controlling these things (self worth, love, happiness, mindset, journey) based on where we think we should be, rather than listening to our inner wisdom and emotional responses. We are constantly in a state of avoiding thoughts and honest conversations with ourselves about where we are at internally. We are scared. We don’t want to complicate things. And we forget that we already own all of these wonderful things that have and will always be ours. Regardless of our feelings, we can still have self worth, love, happiness, a healthy mindset, and our journey. So what is there to fear when the things we fear most are ours to have if we want them? It goes back to this myth that if we keep our feelings stuffed deep down, we can avoid them and just keep on our current path of comfort and deal with the floating thoughts of ‘what if’. Avoiding our emotions tricks us into thinking our feelings have dissipated when actually, they are waiting to rise to the surface to be dealt with later.
We pay so much attention to ‘controlling’ our thoughts, thus ‘controlling’ and hiding our emotions. But who wants to hide? Who wants to cover up who they really are? Who doesn’t want to learn about themselves? The obsession we have with control causes us to avoid listening to our gut and our inner guidance. But it’s this inner guidance and wisdom that is where we come from, and without it you would not exist as your unique self.

Recommendations:
Give yourself time, but not too much…
Time can be related to avoidance. There’s a balance between giving yourself time to understand and process your feelings, and then deciding what to do about them. If we wait too long to take action, we start resonating too much which can cause more fear, anxiety, and even anger. We don’t want our feelings to eat up our energy. Coming to terms with our feelings is supposed to be a healing, uplifting, and refreshing experience, even though it can feel scary.
Also give yourself time after coming to terms and acting on those feelings to let the dust settle and see how things effortlessly blossom thereafter.

Allow plenty of space for silence…
We forget how noisy our world is. Nothing has been more powerful in my life than giving myself space for thought. No music, no background noise, no one else around…
Let yourself experience those floating thoughts that come through, and do so without any distraction. I feel so refreshed after spending time in complete silence, and it has helped me get to know myself. There is no greater feeling than looking forward to silence and the experiences of your own thoughts. Enjoy times of silence, and be your own best friend!

Journal and meditate…
I know I know, I always get a few eyerolls here. BUT, hear me out…Just take the time to write and process through the feelings we do not even realize are there. This is where I take moments to pause and focus on the feelings I forget about because I am so busy thinking about everything else. Journaling is a great way to understand pieces of you that you didn’t know existed, and adding meditation helps to let go of everything aside from what’s in front of you right now. Take the time to stay present rather than stress over all the thoughts we have flying through our mind each day.
Let yourself go here; don’t control what comes through the pen or what emotions come up when you meditate. It’s your time to give back to yourself, and you owe it to yourself to have that quality time. 

Be honest with yourself…
Spending more time in silence, journaling, coming to terms with your emotions, etc. cannot happen if you don’t let go. Being honest with yourself is huge. Feel into the confusion, those fears, hesitations, conflicts, and questions. If you can’t be honest with yourself, how do you expect to move forward and enjoy every aspect of your life? Let your guard down with yourself, it’ll be okay.

Understand that your thoughts are just thoughts
Thoughts drive our feelings, so taking a hard look at how your thoughts affect your feelings is crucial. Sometimes if we change our thoughts and perspective on a situation, our emotions change, too. Our thoughts are what drives our perception of the world and how we feel about it. And just because we think a thought, that does not mean we agree to it or believe it. Thoughts can just come and go, and we do not need to feel into every fleeting thought in our mind.

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking ~

-keep shining

Similar blogs:
It’s Okay, Guilt, Control, Failing, Self Forgiveness

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Finding Peace Through Pain

The entire concept and culture around emotional pain completely fascinates me. We hurt a lot as humans; it’s a part of our growth and resiliency while we venture through life. And most of the pain we deal with day to day is our thoughts. What is fascinating to me is that we choose to let pain burden us, and because of that we experience things like confusion, irritability, difficulty concentrating, fear, anxiety, anger, rejection, humiliation, perceived failure, mood swings, guilt, shame, and self-blame (to name a few)…And to add to this long list, pain causes us to mentally rewind time, replay situations, ruminate,  and wish for different outcomes. AKA-we are constantly and subjectively experiencing mental suffering. And do you know the worst part is? It’s addicting…

It’s easy for our minds to focus on and discuss the negative; what isn’t going well, what hurts, what upsets us, what we don’t like. Our minds are hardwired to have a stronger focus on and easier pull towards pain rather than happiness and optimism. It’s engrained into our cultures and entangled  in our every day life to focus on negativity…It’s contagious to experience pain because it helps us relate to others and gives us something to talk about.  We are motivated by pain and negativity, and we gravitate towards focusing on others’ pain and negativity more so than what is going well in their lives.

I am constantly being asked how I manage pain from my personal life experiences as well as the secondary trauma I acquire from helping those that have endured horrific pain. I did not realize how much pain could gradually seep into my life until working in a career filled with it. That being said, I have come to live by a few very important rules regarding pain and how I ensure it doesn’t control me…

  • First and foremost – every painful, broken piece of us doesn’t need to be analyzed, collected, or remembered… Some pieces need to stay lost because they don’t belong to us, they happened to us. Let the pieces go. Move forward, and do not hold onto these things. Do not claim the pain, just understand that it was an experience. And as hard as it is, do not tie emotion to it. It just is, and let it be just that.
  • Change your beliefs about the pain. We cannot experience love, humility, positivity without an understanding of gratitude. And without any pain, we would fail to see how great life can truly be. How can you look at the painful experience as a learning curve, or a helpful step in the right direction? What positives can come out of this pain? How can you change the belief about the purpose of the pain to help it motivate you?
  • Do not run away from pain, allow yourself to feel everything. Be present with your feelings, allow whatever it is that wants to come up to do so. Do not be embarrassed; purge the emotion. This is how we move forward, otherwise we stuff things deep inside to be dealt with later, on top of all the other pain we try to avoid. Embrace what you need to feel; it helps to understand and accept the pain… A very good tool for this is meditation.
  • Slow down. We cannot allow ourselves to feel if we are constantly going at a pace of 100 miles an hour. Give yourself time to breathe, and figure out how to move forward with these painful experiences. I am guilty of purposefully going 100 miles an hour so I do not have time to ruminate on pain… It’s how I distract myself, and it is not healthy. Take time to be with yourself, and work through the pain before it gets stuffed deep down to come up later. And trust me, it will come up later.
  • When you are right in the muck of your pain, ask yourself if there’s any piece of this that you can control. If the answer is no, you cannot control or change anything about this, then learn to let it go after you process through it. *Meditation is super helpful here also*. We cannot hold onto pain that serves us no purpose. If we can’t make any positive changes, and if the situation is not in our control, we must move on and move forward.  What other option do we really have?
  • And lastly – how can you make your pain a part of you? Always remind yourself to use pain to your advantage. Remind yourself that pain makes you who you are, and it has helped to develop you into your current self…Your soulful, resilient self. And isn’t that a beautiful thing?


You are never more than one thought away from peace~

-keep shining

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To Feel It All Is To Be Alive

We are supposed to feel…
Emotions are meant to awaken us.

We are supposed to
love
and hate
and cry
and laugh.

That’s the point.
To feel it all is to be human.

We are supposed to be destroyed.
Pick up the pieces over and over again.

Don’t avoid it,
don’t remove it.

Accept the pain when you’re broken.
Know that you’re going to make mistakes.

We grieve,
we get angry.

But it’s only then that we recognize how good life can be when it’s really good.

To feel it all is be to alive. 

 

-keep shining

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Happy Things Thursday

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1. Random smiles from strangers.

2. Adopting a pet.

3. Coming home to a package on your doorstep you forgot you ordered.

4. The smell of Subway.

5. Finding gift cards you forgot you had stashed away.

6. Dog kisses.

7. Refurbishing old furniture.

8. The tummy tickling feeling in your gut when driving down a steep hill.

9. Good hair days.

10. Getting your rental deposit money back after moving out of a rental property.

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-keep shining

Relationships with a Capital R

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There are very few things in life that are more important than relationships. That is because relationships are the basis of our lives. They help define who we are, make us whole, and are the most crucial way in which we function as a society. Relationships are how we learn about ourselves and those around us. Without them, we are missing out on a major part of our ongoing development. And, honestly, relationships just make us happy. They reassure us of who we are and motivate us to become better people.

Below are some ‘Relationship Rules’, as I like to call them, that I want to share with you.

<3 Loyalty and Respect are not updates to a relationship, they are a requirement to a relationship
 YES! Write this one down, people!
As I am sure most of us do, I often get frustrated with myself when I recall the unfortunate things I put up with in my former relationships- whether boyfriends, friends, coworkers, etc.. However, if it weren’t for those unhealthy happenings in my relationships I would have never learned to speak up for myself the way I do now. I would not nearly be as confident in or as happy with the person I am today if it weren’t for a lot of what I experienced in my former relationships. We can all look back and find things we learned from those who we allowed to treat us poorly, no matter how unfortunate or icky those memories may be. But, that is why Loyalty and Respect are a must in every relationship you encounter and find value in. These two traits are invaluable and will get you very far in life.  I cannot express enough on the importance of Loyalty and Respect. If you have these two things in your relationships, you are on a happy and healthy track. And if we are loyal and respectful, others will gravitate towards us and be much more likely to display the same in return.

<3 Far too many people are looking for the right person instead of being the right person
 On our wedding day, my husband and I had a reading in our ceremony that we fell in love with. The last line of it states, “it is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner”. I will never forget that line. It is a good reminder to let our guards down in order to love those around us, and look in the mirror rather than point fingers. We all want so badly to be understood, but we forget to be understandingBeing the right person helps to hold ourselves accountable in our relationships. We can only expect from our partner what we are providing in return. It is equal give and take that makes the world go ’round!

<3 Tell people how you feel
Feelings are gooooooood! And men, even better when you can express your feelings confidently (aka- it is okay to cry!). We are all entitled to our own feelings, express them! It feels so good to not build everything up inside. Your feelings matter and may make a huge difference in your or someone else’s life if you learn to express them. It is so good to practice being honest with ourselves and others. We feel a certain way for a reason, own it. Be open to exploring why you feel a certain way to help learn more about yourself. The more we understand our reactions, triggers, and emotions, the happier and more knowledgable we become, and the more relief we feel by expressing ourselves. It also helps to understand the emotions and reactions of others around us.  Not to mention we will be more satisfied and comfortable in our relationships.

<3 Be prepared for disappointment
My mother always told me that everyone in my life will disappoint me at some time or another, and I have remembered this throughout the years. It helps to prepare me for the moments when people do disappoint me in my life. No matter how close we think we are in some relationships, people will always hurt and disappoint us. And there will be times where we will hurt and disappoint others, too. No one is perfect and people make mistakes. The mistakes that are made is what can be hurtful at times, and it is up to us to decide whether the disappointment is worth mending in that relationship, or moving on with our lives. Some friendships are in our lives for a short time and are not meant to last forever, and that is okay. However, it is also up to us to forgive those who have disappointed us to help us practice humility and acceptance of others.
The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.  Bob Marley

<3 What people think of you is none of your business
Oh how accurate this is! Nothing is more stressful, hurtful, or frustrating than hearing the negative things people have said about us. But honestly, what is the point of caring? You know who you are, that is what matters. Any why put ourselves through the hurt of having to know what people have said about us? Other people’s opinions and statements are not our business, even if they are about us. People are all entitled to their thoughts and opinions. And you know what? There is nothing we can do about that. Let’s all try to focus more on the areas of life we can control rather than worrying about others’ thoughts and opinions, which we will never be able to manipulate.

<3 You don’t need 2 million friends
It seems to me that the older people get, the more they value having just a few really close friends. Having a ton of friends is exhausting, and it takes a lot of time! Personally, I enjoy having a small friend circle as I can better focus on the relationships that mean the most to me. I can spend more time with those who are equally invested in my friendship as I am in theirs. These are the people that are less apt to hurt us and more able to be trusted. I find so much more value in my friendships as my circle gets smaller, and I am so grateful for that.

And when it comes to relationships, actions speak louder than words, people!

-keep shining

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