Written by Geraldine Muteka


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3 Apr, 2023

On our wellness journey our relationship with our feelings play a critical role. The
way we see our feelings plays a big role in how we relate to our feelings.
We have classified feelings as negative or positive depending on our experience of
that feeling. For example, anger may be viewed as a negative feeling, whilst happy
may be viewed as a positive feeling.

We sometimes consider feelings as unnecessary. We may not see the need to talk
about them or even “feel” feeling or on the opposite end, feelings may be our compass. Our frame of reference for making decisions.
Our experiences of feelings are as diverse as we are.
The truth about feelings is that they are messengers and that there are no bad
or good feelings. Feelings come with a message and our role is to receive the message and then
decide how to respond. There is space between our feelings and our response.
We don’t always utilise this space effectively. For example: hitting your child because
you are angry at your child or buying an overpriced item that you don’t need
because you feel happy about news you received.

One of the ways we can learn to expand that space between feeling and action, is to
simply sit with the feeling. What this means is that you do not take any action related
to that feeling whilst you are still experiencing the feeling at an intense or
overwhelming level.
During this period of not acting on the feeling, it can be helpful to engage in
supportive activities to keep you present and aware of the feeling without the
overwhelm of wanting to act.

Supportive activities include but are not limited to:

  • intentional breathing,
  • listening to music,
  • talking to yourself (in healthy ways, which includes recognising that you are experiencing the feeling),
  • talking to a trusted person (without ruminating on the issue),
  • moving your body in ways that feel good for you.

Sitting with the feeling can be uncomfortable, especially if it is a new practice. Stay
with it. It has the wonderful reward of bringing you to a point where you can truly see
the deeper message of the feeling and then enabling you to take a decision when
you are fully present.
Try starting with feelings that you are relatively comfortable with. When you
experience the feeling, wait before you act. Sit with the feeling, tell yourself that you
are experiencing this feeling and then engage in an action that is not a direct action
to this feeling. Explore the feeling a little bit, by asking questions about the feeling to
yourself. After some time make the decision regarding the feeling and then act.

Finally, the most amazing thing about feelings is that when you take the time to sit
with it, you will learn a lot about yourself.

Yours in wellness,


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