Would you like to feel deep joy, the kind that once ignited will not go away? If you are willing to sit in misery you can feel that, do you still want it? Are you open and willing to allow sensations, and emotions to really feel deep joy?
I want to explore allowing and tolerating feelings, and “buffering,” or avoiding feelings. Emotions and sensations are how our body and brain talk to each other. Our brain does not know if something is real or imagined; what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch is real and then our body has an emotional response to those “real life” sensations. It is important to understand that our brains are hard-wired to seek safety and comfort, as it tries to avoid pain and discomfort. Our brains will always want to offer us solutions that feel warm, cozy, and familiar. Memories play a vital role in assisting our brains to relate past experiences and those emotions and sensations to new experiences.
How do you know when you are avoiding a Feeling? Instead of sitting and being still to allow it, your inventive mind gives you the option to do something else, something that you might find familiar, a habit you have formed that gives you comfort, even if it’s temporary. Examples of distractions that your brain might give you are going for a walk, working out at the gym, eating comfort food, calling someone, drinking, smoking, cleaning, watching tv, getting on social media, and reading a book.
You might be asking, “Now, Angela, what’s the harm in cleaning or working out at the gym if something is bothering me?” Avoiding or buffering your emotions with distractions is not useful, even though you think you are being productive. Unresolved and uncomfortable Emotions want to be processed since that is how the brain and body communicate. If you feel the joy you embrace it and cherish it, so I am suggesting that if you embrace the uncomfortable emotions, they too will pass and be only a memory.
When a circumstance occurs and you have a thought about it, feelings arise, and it’s a feeling that you do not want to process. So, you choose your distraction of choice—anything to avoid processing what you are feeling. You are not building tolerance or awareness of that emotion instead you are doing what I call buffering with action, so you don’t process and allow the feelings to pass through your body. Once you begin and allow emotions rather than buffer them, self-awareness becomes sharper and you find yourself not reacting, but responding to life. Building up tolerance takes practice.
Once awakened to how your brain works, you get to choose how you want to pivot from this moment forward. Stopping and questioning your reasoning might be a good place to start. Is this real? What are the facts? Getting to the root cause and not putting on the band-aid could heal your soul on a much deeper level, causing you to begin to experience that deep joy life offers us…if we are willing and open to taking it.