Feeling Bad: Why am I doing everything right but I still feel so bad? You know everything about genus scenarios, you have long been familiar with your limiting beliefs, you see how and when your defenses work, and even learned how to bypass them. You resist criticism and don’t let other people’s opinions lead you astray. You live your life, do not gossip, do not judge, you know for sure that every person around is worthy of happiness and love.
You let go of relationships that did not make you happy, cut off contacts with people from the past with whom nothing connects you. You understand that courageous people are those who act in spite of fear and have learned to move forward in spite of doubt. You have identified your true goals, created a supportive environment, are productive at work, you are doing well with time management.
And inside … Inside is a black hole, which is growing every day. There is pain inside and a dumb question: why am I doing everything so right, but I still feel so bad?
Sound familiar? Then let’s figure out together what this unknown rubbish is and whether it is possible to somehow cope with it.
Many of our life principles, understandings and ideas have been with us for so long that we do not even doubt: they are, they are ours, they are part of us. And we do not notice that these principles and understandings continue to live in the field of logic. We think that this is exactly what we feel. But they have not yet been appropriated, not lived through, not felt. They remain intellectual constructs, which we assess as correct, sound, important, but which have not yet been built into our core.
And every time we come across the scope of one of these constructs, this is what actually happens inside.
Algorithm of Response to Complex Situations
Step 1. Irritant. A situation in which previously (?) We experienced traumatic emotions and experiences.
Step 2. Actually, the experience of these emotions. Yes, yes, they have not gone anywhere yet, but they slip by in a split second, and we do not have time to realize them.
Step 3. Identification. “Oh, exactly, this is the same irritant that hurt me so much before! Somewhere there was a suitable logic scheme.”
Step 4. Search in the card index. We find and bring to light a correct, logical, harmonious, very balanced and humane explanation of how we should feel in this situation.
Step 5. Repetition of the logical chain, internal dialogue, argumentation of “correct” experiences.
Step 6. Agreeing with the chosen scheme, acting in accordance with it.
Step 7. Calm down.
And, it would seem, is still good, the result is satisfactory! And my soul is still … somehow alarming. And still no strength and no, despite …
What is Wrong with This Algorithm?
Knowing what is right is not the same as being in tune with your feelings. The actions are correct, the results are joyful, and the feelings are lost along the way.
This means that every time we expend energy to block them, and instead of living these feelings and letting them go, we go through the circle over and over again and lose energy at each stage, every time, at every stage. And there are a million such situations every day! Small or significant, everything requires attention, the choice of an algorithm, an internal dialogue, demands to push deeply true feelings and do the “right thing.”
It is not surprising that by the end of the day one feels tired, and a suspicion of the injustice of life is ripening in the soul. Still, such correct thoughts, words and actions, but where is happiness? Bonus – neurotic clamps in the body and psychosomatics.
The greater the gap between what we think of ourselves and what we actually feel, the more energy is spent on constantly bridging this gap. Knowing and feeling are not the same thing.
Why Do We Not Know What is Happening?
Take a moment aside from the text and answer the question: what are you feeling now?
I’ll give you a couple of minutes. Do not hurry!
Well, How Did You Manage to Answer?
Perhaps not right away. Perhaps he is a novelty for you. Someone was probably perplexed by this question.
About a year ago, I realized that I practically didn’t feel anything. Well, that is, some emotions, of course, arose, but if they were classified as inappropriate, I immediately connected an urgent response team: logic. She laid out what had happened on the shelves, quickly classified the unpleasant inside, calculated it and put it in the right daddy.
So much so that you even stop noticing. And at some point, you understand: I don’t even feel that I don’t feel anything! For example, to the question: “What do you feel?” I could answer: “I think this is it.” I think I can feel it!!! Listen up!
There are many reasons why we block our own emotions. I will list a few of the most common ones.
Feeling Bad? Ban on Emotions
“Don’t whine, you’re a boy”, “don’t turn around, you’re a girl”, “don’t become limp”, “don’t be angry” – we have heard all this more than once in childhood and continue to listen every day. Many of us, at a tender age, were faced with a lack of interest in our feelings. Many parents were only concerned with facts and achievements. “How are you doing with your studies?”, “Did you do your homework?”, “Did you finish your lunch?” Got five, did it, finished it – well done. Didn’t get it, didn’t do it, didn’t finish it – not great. Oh, are you also sad, scared, anxious, or generally tasteless? Don’t whine, you’re a boy, and sit on the chair straight, you’re a girl.
Growing up, we return to the world what we received from him in childhood. Others return it to us. Emotions are not interesting, there is no space for them, there is no place where they will be accepted, considered, where we would be allowed to be with them, without waiting for facts and results.
The Cult of Positive Psychology
I have already written more than once that positive psychology is a good thing. But they twisted it a lot, taking from it only the word “positive”. As a result, we are expected to be in a manic phase for life: joyful, excited, full of energy and ideas. In extreme cases, they are peaceful and grateful. Only emotions in the conditionally positive part of the emotional spectrum are officially allowed and receive approval: joy, pleasure, admiration, gratitude, etc.
Although emotions are not divided into good and bad, and we all know this from books, in fact, the world around us broadcasts something completely different to us: if you are angry, angry, experiencing aggression, you are a bad person. If these feelings arise towards loved ones, then you are absolutely a fiend of hell.
Emotions Go Wild
Sometimes we are faced with such vivid manifestations of our “negative” emotions that we become afraid of the consequences. We do not know what to do with such strong emotions, and we choose to block them so as not to become dangerous for ourselves and others.
And, it would seem, there are no emotions – no problems. But a ban on a part of feelings and emotions, in fact, means a ban on feeling in principle. Just as there is no shadow without light, so one cannot rise to the heights of bliss without knowing the bottom of disappointment. They abandoned the “dark side” – the light side also faded. This is called apathy.
And the problem is not just “insensitivity.” Someone has to pay for this whole party. That is, we are pouring energy into it fairly. And the return we get is not at all what we would like. We do everything right, act rationally, move towards goals, but there is no joy, there is only fatigue and longing. The icing on the cake may be the insight that the goal is not ours at all, we do not need it, because how can you feel a response to the goal in yourself if you are tense with feelings?
So How Do You Feel Now?
Take your time, mentally run all over your body. Is there a tension somewhere, a clamp? Perhaps in the throat, in the chest, in the stomach… There are often hidden unnoticed feelings that are not splashed out. It’s amazing how difficult it can be to find them. I am far from always able to answer this question.
Feeling Bad – Where to Run and What to Do?
If you google “how to connect with your feelings”, you will see many articles about how to connect with your husband and revive feelings, how to connect with a child … Relationships are something that happens between people. Feelings are always about interaction.
Is It So?
In my opinion, no. Feelings are only yours. They arise in you, and other people have, well, perhaps an indirect relationship to this. How you feel, how you live it, and what you do with it is your personal story. And you will have to deal with this yourself. But, of course, help here also does not hurt! Just let her be qualified.
I will gently nudge you towards helping practitioners and looking for your specialist. Careful, professional, just the way you need it. Someone to whom you can gradually trust and open up. With whom together, in a safe space, you can see your feelings, learn to recognize them and be in them. And then gradually let go.
For those who are not yet ready to work with a specialist or do not consider it necessary, I have also prepared some simple recommendations. These are harmless practices that will work if you take them seriously and give them time.
If you are a fan of endless to-do lists, busy schedules and multitasking, I have so-so news for you. In trying to grasp life more tightly, you may well deny yourself the depth of your experience. Try to give yourself more “air” so you can get a feel for what is happening. Concentrate on the sensations and be what you are doing, down with multitasking and frantic pace.
If you get used to leaving layers between what occupies your brain, slowing down and listening to yourself, maybe one day, before issuing a prepared algorithm in response to a difficult situation, you can stop and ask yourself: my love, what are you feeling now?
Virtuality has become a part of our life. Many are engaged in intellectual work, work from home and do not touch real things with their hands. And do not forget about marketing health-pressure, according to which the body should only be perfect or dead… Feelings are manifested by sensations in the body, but we have lost the habit of hearing it, which means that we do not know anything about feelings either.
Massage, sauna, yoga, dancing and, of course, sports are things lying on the surface that help to remember that you are also the body. I know that motivating yourself can be difficult. I am personally helped by the thought that I am not doing this for weight loss or some parameters. I do this in order to be more harmonious not outwardly, but in general, in order to have strength and enthusiasm for what I love.
If you are a lover of sports for the sake of bodily perfection, try adding this aspect too, turning to sports and procedures that will not give you an obvious external result, but will allow you to feel your body as much as possible in the process.
And for swinging, try starting small: consciously touch your body. Don’t just put cream on your feet after a shower, feel what is happening at that moment. Choose fabrics that are pleasant for you to wear, notice if your sweater “bites”, and the seam from the T-shirt digs into the side … It only seems nonsense and only seems simple.
Set multiple alarms that will ring at different times of the day and ask yourself the question: How am I feeling right now? Where the alarm clock catches you, ask there! Make it a good habit. Soon, you will think about this question much more often than the alarm clock rings, which means you will listen to yourself more often.
Feeling Bad? Name It Out Loud
Berne Brown recommends vocalizing your feelings of shame as the most effective tool for dealing with it. Name a monster and it will disappear. This works great with any “monsters”, because first they must be recognized and discerned in oneself.
Sharing feelings with those we trust is a positive experience. There are emotions, they are expressed, but nothing terrible has happened. This means that they can be seen, recognized, named and released. And all will be well.
Knowledgeable is Armed
It is often difficult for us to understand what exactly is happening to us, because we have not formed this vocabulary. We do not know the name of what we feel. If you find it difficult to find an answer right off the bat, rely on basic emotions: sadness, fear, anger, or joy. Probably some of this. And then there are complex, combined emotions that consist of several basic emotions.
If you are used to acting through the mind, then use this to your advantage: learn more about emotions. What they are, how they arise, why are they needed. For example, here is a selection of books on the topic. I also like Natalia children’s book “The ABC of Emotions”. You may find it easier to recognize what exactly is happening to you.
I will not be too lazy to remind you once again: if you recognize yourself in this text, do not be alarmed. What is happening to you is normal. And your fear is also normal. You don’t have to hide it, there is no shame here. However, if you are ashamed, this is also normal. And you don’t have to do it alone.
No, it’s not easy. And not fast. You have been building your effective system for many years, it will not fall in a second. But it will become easier for you, I know that for sure. No, I feel! And I’m almost not afraid to go deeper. Are you with me?