Feelings are one of those things that we all have and discuss, but also something we know little about in life. Feelings are demonstrated and felt differently from culture to culture and person to person. While some may find a hug comforting, others may feel it is intrusive. A good movie may make one person cry happy tears while another reacts with a giant smile. We often let our emotions control our decisions and this does not always work out favorably.
When in active addiction feelings are often dulled or nonexistent. Life becomes about the next fix, hit, or drink and how to obtain that next one. If we do not learn to handle these feelings appropriately the result can be depression, stress, and anxiety. This can be accomplished in a number of ways and you must find what works for your individual situation. Some of the basics will be discussed in the remainder of this article.
In order to control emotions we must first identify them. This may sound simple, but often emotions are not felt in a singular manner. This means you may be scared and angry at the same time or happy and sad over the same situation. Being able to identify the emotions you are feeling, no matter how many can allow you to control those same emotions and handle the feelings appropriately. Once the emotions are identified then we may begin to control them accordingly.
Feelings as Part of Recovery -When in an emotional situation give yourself a time out to truly understand what you are feeling at that moment. If you are afraid then identify the source of fear. Are old thoughts and reactions taking over? Is the situation actually scary or just uncomfortable? Is the situation dangerous to your health and well being? Once you take a moment to think it through the situation may not be as scary or dangerous as originally assessed. The same is true of positive emotions such as excitement or happiness. Are you truly happy or simply reacting to others? You must take control of your own feelings.
As you learn to identify your emotions then you can also learn to control them. Just because the body reacts in fear does not mean a situation is dangerous. Sometimes fear is a learned response to a given stimuli. Some people are afraid of clowns, but the clown itself is not necessarily scary, the fear is learned from a previous bad experience. When in recovery we must learn not to fear or react to something simply because it was once a negative in life. Instead we must find the positive. For example, many addicts have spent time in jail due to their addiction or related behaviors. For many jail becomes a negative, but for those who have learned to control their emotions can see jail as a positive or a turning point that led to recovery.
Feelings as Part of Recovery – The choice is truly your own. How will you choose to react today? What emotions will be allowed to come forward? Choose wisely.
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