Exploring the Relationship with Your Emotional Self
If you’re like so many of our community members, workshop participants, and therapy clients, you may feel rather uncomfortable with all of the intense and constant emotions you experience. From overwhelmed to sad to lonely to excited, sometimes it can feel like a tsunami of unbearable emotions is headed your way and you just want to run and hide…with food.
At one time in your life, disconnecting from your Emotional Self was likely a psychological “survival strategy” that helped protect you from feeling painful or overwhelming emotions that you didn’t have the tools to effectively manage. And while this subconscious strategy may have helped you back then when you were younger, it’s very likely hurting you in your life today. Being disconnected from your Emotional Self can look like avoidance, anxiety, anger, depression, dismissiveness, and distraction; and all of this can lead to a life that feels chaotic, meaningless, shame-filled, unfulfilling, inauthentic, and/or out-of-control.
Through our signature approach, “The Deeper Work,” you can explore WHY you needed to disconnect from your beautiful Emotional Self. By exploring things like family-of-origin dysfunction, hard-wired emotional sensitivity, and trauma/abuse experiences, you can understand why disconnecting from your emotions was truly necessary to your psychological survival at one time in life; this can lead to a powerful reduction in shame and help you see that there is truly nothing wrong with you.
Once you’ve identified ~ and resolved ~ the WHY, you are now ready to learn HOW to re-connect with your Emotional Self in a way that supports your healing and recovery…and a full-filled Life!
Re-Connecting with Your Emotional Self
When you begin to feel an emotion, what do you do? Do you minimize it, telling your Self you shouldn’t feel that way or that something is wrong with you for feeling that way, and then try to get as far away from the feeling with busy-ness and food? Or do you non-judgmentally accept the emotion and listen to what it is telling you about your Self and your needs?
If the former is your go-to experience, you are not alone! Far too often, people are not taught as younger people what to do with all of these feelings, and by the time you’re an adult you are feeling so much with few skills for effectively navigating through these emotions.
To re-connect with your Emotional Self and no longer depend on food for your emotional regulation, you must begin the soulful journey of getting to know all of your feelings without judgment or dismissiveness, and eventually develop the ability to identify the needs that go along with all of these feelings and then lovingly step in in support of your Emotional Self and get those needs met. This is what we call Intuitive Feeling ©.
What is Intuitive Feeling?
Our bodies are naturally designed to breathe, pump blood, and heal cuts and bruises. Our bodies are also naturally designed to feel emotions and have needs. And anytime we interfere with these natural processes, our body will be out-of-balance.
Intuitive Feeling is a gentle, peaceful, and regulated way of experiencing our emotions. It is embracing of all aspects of your Emotional Self without judgment, ridicule, or shame, which helps you to no longer deny your feelings and then have them come out “sideways” vis-a-vis binge eating, anger outbursts, depression, or chronic avoidance and distraction. In short, Intuitive Feeling ends your psyche’s need for food to comfort and regulate your Emotional Self!
Mirroring the principles of Intuitive Eating developed by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, Intuitive Feeling embraces the following key principles:
- Dismissing and denying your feelings is never the answer. This only sets you up for the emotions to come out later in bigger, overwhelming ways…driving you back to the fridge in search of food to give you temporary comfort and relief.
- Embrace your Emotional Self whenever a feeling arises, even when this may be inconvenient or undesirable.
- Give yourself unconditional permission to feel all feelings. There is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” feeling. Some may be more pleasant and others more unpleasant, but they are all valuable in their own right.
- When emotionally activated, commit to feeling whatever you are feeling, not what you think you “should” feel or what will make others happy or comfortable.
From happiness to sadness, anger to gratitude, Intuitive Feeling is an emotionally healthy, Self-respecting way of experiencing your emotions that creates space for all feelings to exist in your life. As a result, Intuitive Feelers are confident in their abilities to feel the full range of their emotions and meet their needs in psychologically healthy, fulfilling ways.
At TheHealthyWeighOut, it is our mission to support each client in breaking away from the “emotional dieting” mentality and embracing the calm approach of Intuitive Feeling. Learning to listen to, trust, and respond to your Emotional Self is a HUGE step towards sustainable recovery from emotional and binge eating.