Are you not willing to accept each opportunity to feel good?
If you’re in a rut of feeling bad, the prospect of feeling good all the time might be intimidating. So intimidating, in fact, that you might very well avoid positive feelings altogether and continue feeling down instead.
One study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research suggested that a primary cause of depression was the act of suppressing positive feelings. The positive feelings were there. People just found ways to avoid them.
Suppressing positive feelings? – now that may sound strange. The thing is sometimes we find ourselves in a spiral and land in a rut, and that rut, although unpleasant, can feel strangely comforting in its familiarity.
If this is you, there may be no more important goal than to learn to embrace positive feelings. After all, what are your goals in life if they don’t involve feeling good?
So, imagine feeling your best every single day. What would happen?
Here are some common responses from people in a rut
- It would never last, so why bother?
- I’ll be setting myself up for bad news and disappointment.
- People will expect too much of me.
- It doesn’t feel like me.
- I don’t deserve to feel that good.
And so we manage to talk ourselves out of feeling good. If you think about it, it’s a form of self-sabotage.
Such negative self-talk can, unfortunately, become a habit, and after a while, you may not even notice doing it to yourself! Such an ingrained habit that you might actually need to train yourself to tolerate feeling good!
If that’s what you need to do, then do it. The following steps will help you along the way.
1. Identify the pattern.
This is a pattern – a habit – of avoiding positive feelings. See it as a pattern. In order to reduce feeling rejected, take a mental step back and consider several examples of the pattern over time. The first step to breaking a pattern is to know it is there.
2. Consider how you learned to do this.
When you want to unlearn a habit, sometimes it helps to identify how you learned it in the first place. Where and when did you learn to avoid positive feelings? Have you ever suffered because you expressed positive feelings?
Chances are that regardless of when and how you learned this pattern, it is no longer appropriate for you, right? This is important to understand as you move forward.
3. Reassure yourself.
You need to counteract any of the negative messages above by reassuring yourself. Here are some examples of how to counteract the above-mentioned negative self-talk.
It would never last, so why bother?
I’ll be setting myself up for bad news and disappointment.
People will expect too much of me.
It doesn’t feel like me.
I don’t deserve to feel that good.
Positive experiences can and do last. I can support myself.
Bad news may come, but I can handle it. Until then, it is ok to enjoy myself.
I can manage expectations as they arise.
I am learning to enjoy positive feelings and identify with them, bit by bit.
Good feelings are a natural part of my mind and body. They’re part of life and part of me.
4. Be nice to yourself.
You’re in training now. You’ve identified a pattern and are beginning to reverse it. If you’ve been in the habit of avoiding positive feelings to keep feeling rejected, then it may take some time to retrain yourself. However, you’ll get better and better at this. Be patient with yourself as you learn these new skills.
5. Make it a personal practice.
Don’t expect perfection. Both positive and negative feelings are inevitable. All of us experience a range of emotion and not every day is full of bliss. Don’t expect it to be. Just keep working at and your practice of feeling good will develop.
Follow these simple tips and take the opportunity to feel good, you deserve it.
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Thanks for reading!
Founder: Insights NLP
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