7 Common Mistakes You Make with Your Feelings

Have you ever felt low and didn’t know why you felt that way? Did you make assumptions about it in an attempt to ‘figure it out’? When you came up with an answer, were we right, or was your answer the only thing that made sense so you stopped thinking further? 

Disclaimer- This article is for educational purposes and is based on personal opinions. This article is not a substitute for professional advice, but general guidance. We advise you to always listen to your intuition and always do what is right for you. If you can relate to any of these signs, please do not take this feedback as an attack on your character. This article is meant to be a self-improvement guide for those of you who have been feeling a little stuck.

In today’s article, I will shed light on ‘8 Common Mistakes You Make with Your Feelings’

1. Confusing your feelings for facts- 

Over the years, many of us have come to embrace, love, appreciate, and trust our feelings. And who wants to give up all those wet and fuzzy feelings? The issue is that we often just experience the cold, prickly feelings that are frightening or painful. 

You may think it’s true, feel it’s real, and genuinely believe it’s real, but it’s just a feeling. It’s important to note that, as important as feelings are, they’re not facts. It’s helpful to realize that our feelings aren’t always telling us the truth.

When you suspect that something isn’t quite right, the best thing to do is investigate it. Your feelings will not cooperate if you sit on them, force them down, or attempt to ignore them. Reaching into the feelings and first examining what could be causing them is often the only way out. Combine this with some gentle (not accusatory) questioning of the individual or persons you suspect are the source of the issue. Look for the facts and be willing to consider the possibility that your feelings aren’t right. Getting a second opinion from someone you trust may also be beneficial.

2. Mistake being ‘emotional’ for being ‘weak’-

Letting your guard down isn’t a sign of weakness. In reality, being aware of your emotions and consciously choosing to share them with others can be a sign of power.

It takes a great deal of courage and bravery to allow yourself to feel certain emotions such as a pang of guilt, anger, grief. Feeling down isn’t a sign of weakness it’s a sign of strength. 

Feelings are beautiful, and it’s amazing how quickly you can go from one to the next. Consider them to be a roller coaster with ups and downs, loops, and plenty of opportunities to feel the wind on your face.

3. Assuming that all emotions are permanent-

You may be feeling low because of recent events or other factors. But, if you take a step back and allow yourself to feel low before slowly working your way back up, you’ll notice that negative emotions are always fleeting and that you have control over how long they remain with us and how much they affect us.

For instance, remember how sad you were in second grade because you weren’t allowed to have ice cream after dinner?

4. Labeling your feelings as good or bad-

How many times have you told yourself that being upset about something is bad for you? Perhaps you described happiness as a positive feeling and anger as a negative feeling. 

When we label feelings, we discourage ourselves from fully understanding the emotions that we are experiencing. By not labeling the emotion, you give yourself permission to feel it and understand what’s causing it. 

When you understand the source of the emotion, the trigger, you will learn to control your emotional response, which is the foundation for self-management.

5. Pushing or distracting ourselves from our feelings- 

We tend to treat our physical wounds without hesitation. However, you may deny your emotional scars.

Most of us try to behave as if we aren’t in distress, whether we dismiss our feelings by saying, “I don’t really care,” or outright deny our emotions by saying, “No, I’m not mad.” However, downplaying your feelings will not make them go anywhere.

Many people claim that suppressing their emotional wounds shows mental toughness. In reality, they’re just acting tough.  

Admitting your struggles can be awkward and embarrassing. But, acknowledging the feelings is critical to making the right decisions—and to dealing with psychological distress healthily.

6. Trying to control your feelings-

Most people believe that if they put in enough effort or gain more skills, they could regulate their emotions. But, when you pause to consider it, is this a reasonable goal? No one would ever need therapy or read self-improvement articles like this one if not feeling sad was as easy as turning on the happiness switch! You can’t control your feelings the same way that you can’t control the weather.

Unfortunately, trying to convince yourself to feel differently rarely works out. If you’re having a bad emotional day, one of two things usually happens: you either try to escape or fix the problem. The problem is that trying to avoid negative emotions teaches your brain that they are dangerous. This means that even though you “succeed” in feeling better at the moment, the brain will be fearful the next time the emotion arises, resulting in a double dose of intense emotion.

So, the next time you feel bad or upset, instead of asking, How can I make this feeling go away? Consider this: What can I do regardless of how I’m feeling that will help me?

7. Judging your feelings-

Remember earlier how I said that it makes no sense to try to control your feelings because they aren’t under our direct control?

Another significant implication of this concept is that if you don’t have clear control over your feelings, judging yourself for them is pointless.

Actually, in a legal context, this is something we all know and agree on: Nobody goes to jail because they are furious. When you’ve done something wrong, you’ll be sent to the slammer.

What is the explanation for this? We judge people based on their actions because actions can be controlled. We don’t judge people based on their emotions, though, because they are beyond our influence.

Nonetheless, there are many people who insist on judging themselves as bad or wrong because of a particular emotion.

Judging yourself based on how you’re feeling just adds to your suffering.

You may not like feeling nervous, lonely, angry, or any other negative emotion, but blaming yourself will only make it worse.

Consider this as an alternative: When you’re feeling down, approach yourself as you would a good friend.

References;

Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. (October 16, 2013). Feelings Aren’t Facts. Retrieved April 8, 2021, from

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/emotional-fitness/201310/feelings-aren-t-facts

Nick Wignall (August 10, 2020). 7 Emotional Mistakes Even Smart People Make. Retrieved April 8, 2021, from

Amy Morin (March 27, 2018).3 Emotional Mistakes That Are Limiting Your Happiness (And Your Potential in Life). Retrieved April 8, 2021, from

https://www.inc.com/amy-morin/3-emotional-mistakes-that-are-limiting-your-happiness-and-your-potential-in-life.html

Susan Carstens (October 5, 2010). Stop labeling your emotions as good or bad. Retrieved April 8, 2021, from

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