Lisa Ludovici is a medical support hypnosis practitioner who talked with us about how hypnotherapy can help relieve chronic illness, pain, and anxiety in a previous video. Lisa is back to talk about how negative emotions can have a bad ripple effect on our physical and mental health. We have all experienced stress and a wide range of feelings since the COVID-19 pandemic started. This is true for every person across the world. These emotions are normal and prove to us that we are human beings.
There is no such thing as “bad feelings.” We’ve all probably said, thought, or been told that what we are feeling is bad. However, there are no bad feelings; there are only misunderstood feelings. As human beings, we deal with emotions that we don’t understand by labeling emotions as bad or wrong, running away from it, or stopping it. We deal with our emotions this way because we are taught to stop feeling our emotions at a young age.
Young children don’t know how to verbally express that they are feeling frustration, so it often comes out as a “tantrum.” While we know the feeling of frustration, this emotion feels new to a young child. Thus, when hormones (cortisol) come out and makes them feel uncomfortable, it causes distress. They needs something, but they can’t communicate what they need. They shift to fight-or-flight mode in the form of a “tantrum” because getting the chemicals/hormones out will make them feel much better. As adults, we don’t make any movement in response to our feelings, so all the cortisol goes back into our body. We start gaining weight especially in our abdomen because that is where cortisol goes and settles. That is why it is physically damaging to suppress feelings and emotions.
You may have experienced or witnessed someone saying, “Don’t shout at me,” or “Stop crying.” These are natural human expressions and cues to stop feeling in order to suppress feelings. As an adult, when we see someone crying, we tend to say, “No, don’t cry,” but this person should cry. Crying is an emotional expression and it is what the crying person needs.
Lisa shares, “Our feelings are nature’s built-in guidance system.” Feelings let us know that our needs are not being met. Suppressing and repressing our feelings teaches us how to not feel. Although we may feel better because the negative feelings have gone away, it actually creates a lot of problems. What we need to do is learn about our feelings and learn how to feel them. Lisa guides us through an uncomfortable experience like she does with her patients to show us how we can alter the neural pathways to our brain to change how we feel. I’ve learned that it is ok to sit in discomfort as we feel, learn, and identify our feelings. Once we have named whatever it is we are feeling, we can work to change it.
If you have not watched this video with Lisa, I encourage you to click on the link above and experience a guided uncomfortable experience. It is important to be able to feel discomfort and work with it. When faced with uncomfortable feelings, you want to identify your needs and then figure out how to get those needs from yourself. It is a strength to be able to provide for ourselves emotionally, so always look internally.
“When we allow ourselves to feel the feelings, know that we can change them, and then take action… that is emotional fitness.”