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Video: Feelings

Most of the time your clients will have no idea what they are feeling and many are actually resisting their feelings.  Join in as Brooke Castillo from The Life Coach School talks about feelings and the fact that when you resist negative feelings, you are resisting positive feelings.  More importantly, learn how to work with clients on feeling their feelings and processing emotion.

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Episode Transcript:

Hi, it's Brooke Castillo from The Life Coach School and in this video I am going to talk to you about feelings.

Now when most clients come to me they think they know all about feelings. They think they feel their feelings, but most of the time your clients will have no idea what they're feeling. In fact, what they will think they're doing when they're feeling is actually resisting feelings.

There's this process that we do where a feeling starts to come up within us and we push against it. Then we say “oh, that must be what that feeling feels like”, when actually what you're feeling when you're doing that is resistance, so all feelings seems to feel the same. When you resist negative feelings you by default are resisting positive feelings.

The same is true for avoiding feelings. Many of my clients will do things in their life in order to avoid feeling. They will overeat. They will over drink. They will over work. They will get busy and distract themselves with some much to do they don't have to feel.

One of the first things we do with all of our clients is introduce them to their feelings and not only what feelings are and how to identify them but also the practice of actually feeling them because many of your clients who are resisting or avoiding feeling their feelings is because they don't think they'll be able to handle them.

We have this idea that feelings will somehow overtake us and that they will drag us into this deep, dark depression or overwhelming rage that we won't be able to control. The way that we try to control ourselves is by avoiding or resisting emotion. This is something that most often starts in childhood especially is the childhood home had created a lot of emotions that a young child was able to make sense of or process, then we will learn at a very young age how to resist or avoid our feelings. Then as adults, we're doing that same practice, and it's causing us a lot of trouble when it's absolutely unnecessary because as an adult we do have the ability to process and feel emotion.

If you think about any emotion in your life, maybe the worst emotion you can imagine ... I usually ask this to my clients. What's the worst emotion you can imagine feeling? They'll say something like humiliation or terror. I tell them to visualize if I had a vial, a medical vial filled with that emotion, and I said, “okay, I'm going to inject you with this emotion, and you're going to experience it for about a minute and then it will go away.” If you were able to know it was coming and you were aware of it, and I injected you with it, you would probably be able to experience it without much drama, resistance, or avoidance. That's what happens when we go on roller coasters. Right?

We experience that terror of being on a roller coaster, but we know that we're safe. We know that we can actually almost enjoy that feeling of that terror. That's what we want to teach our clients to do with any emotion. With any emotion we can teach them, look, you can experience this just like it's being injected and most emotions usually only last a couple minutes when you fully allow them and you experience them. What you notice is they're just vibrations. They can't kill you. In fact, the people that get most into trouble with their emotions, severe depression and severe anxiety, is because they're unable to actually process the emotion all the way through. The resistance to the emotion is what creates so much anxiety.

Now there are medical issues and I'm not pretending to be a doctor or treat them, but I'm just saying if you are a highly functioning person who's avoiding your emotion or resisting your emotion by either doing activities that are causing you typically a lot of trouble because you're avoiding emotion or you're resisting which is creating a lot of unnecessary anxiety and stress in your life. The first thing that we teach our clients is that all emotions are caused by our thoughts. There's something really amazing in just knowing that.

The first thing is you name the emotion and then you remind yourself the reason why I'm feeling this emotion is because of a thought I'm thinking. That really helps with clients understanding that emotions don't just come over us. We're creating them with our mind. Even if we're feeling an emotion like grief because someone has passed away, the grief is caused because of our thoughts about the person that passed away. I'm not suggesting at all that we wouldn't want to feel grief, and in fact, when someone dies, that is the emotion that most of us want to feel, but understanding that it’s something that we're creating with our mind when we're thinking about the loss of that person is really helpful.

The reason why is because it lets us know that we are in control of our emotions. They're not going to take us over. They're not going to kill us. They're not going to drag us into some deep, dark place. It's just an emotion that we're creating by a thought in our mind. The last thing I want to offer you on emotions because it's really important to understand the difference, especially when you're dealing with clients who want to lose weight is the difference between an emotion and a sensation.

Remember all emotions, all feelings, those one words that we use to describe that vibration in our body are caused by our thoughts, so what that means is we have a thought in our brain and then it travels as a vibration through our body. Now, a sensation is an involuntary reaction in our body that travels to the brain in the opposite direction.

For example a sensation would be if you touch something that was hot or if you went outside and it was cold or if you felt physical pain, let's say somebody hurt you or you have a cut or something like that. Those are all sensations. They start in the body and travel as signals to the brain.

The most important distinction of course here, is hunger. True physical hunger is a sensation, and that starts typically in the stomach or feeling light headed in the min, in the head, and then it goes and tells your brain, "Hey, it's time to eat" versus a thought, "Huh, I'd like to eat something right now." That's not the sensation of hunger, but the emotion of hunger. Distinguishing between those two is really important if you're trying to eat food only when you're hungry.

Please remember, when you're dealing with clients the first thing you want to do is introduce them to their feelings, teach them what their feelings are, and then help them practice feeling instead of reacting.

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