Learning How To Sit With Your Feelings

How To Sit With Your Feelings For Emotional Self-Help

Sitting with your feelings fosters emotional healing and enhances your sense of self-awareness.

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In our world, taking the time to sit with our feelings often feels like a luxury we can’t afford.

Yet, understanding and processing our emotions is crucial for maintaining mental health and achieving personal growth.

Many of us are experts at suppressing discomfort or distracting ourselves from emotional pain, but what if we could face our feelings head-on and learn from them?

Sitting with your feelings doesn’t mean wallowing in sadness or anger; rather, it’s acknowledging and understanding emotions without rushing to dismiss them or react impulsively.

This practice can lead to profound insights about our needs, desires, and overall life direction.

It can enhance our resilience, deepen our relationships, and foster a greater sense of peace and contentment.

In this guide, we’ll explore why it’s important to sit with your feelings and how you can do it effectively.

We’ll provide you with practical steps to become more in tune with your inner self.

Ready to get started?

Let’s take a look into the emotional depths together and discover what your feelings are trying to tell you.


The Importance of Sitting with Your Feelings


What ‘Sitting with Your Feelings’ Means


Sitting with your feelings means consciously choosing to acknowledge and reflect on your emotions without immediate judgment or reaction.

This practice involves observing your feelings as they arise, staying present with them, and resisting the urge to suppress or dismiss them.


3 Significant Benefits of Emotional Awareness


1. Increased Emotional Intelligence

By regularly sitting with your feelings, you develop a deeper understanding of your emotional triggers and patterns.

This awareness can improve your interactions with others and your decision-making processes.


2. Enhanced Stress Management

Understanding your emotions can lead to better stress management.

Recognizing what you feel and why allows you to address the root causes of stress and find more effective coping strategies.


3. Deeper Self-Knowledge

This practice fosters a profound connection with your inner self.

It helps you understand what truly matters to you, guiding your life choices and goals.


Possible Barriers to Self-Forgiveness


While the benefits are significant, many individuals struggle with sitting with their feelings due to the following reasons.


  • Discomfort with Vulnerability. Many people are uncomfortable with the vulnerability that comes with facing their emotions head-on.

    That’s understandable – feeling vulnerable is never pleasant.

  • Fear of Overwhelm. There is often a fear that allowing feelings to surface might lead to being overwhelmed by them.
  • Lack of Emotional Education. Many individuals have never been taught how to constructively handle emotions, making it harder to engage with them directly.


How To Prepare to Sit with Your Feelings


To successfully sit with your feelings, it’s essential to create a conducive environment both physically and mentally.

Here’s how you can prepare.


1. Create a Safe Space


Choose a quiet and comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed.

This could be a cozy corner of your room, a peaceful spot in nature, or any place that feels secure.

Make this space emotionally welcoming too.

You might include items that soothe you, such as soft pillows, calming music, a childhood toy, or a favorite scented candle.


2. Start With Mindfulness and Meditation


Begin by practicing mindfulness to center your thoughts.

Focus on your breath, notice the sensations in your body, and pay attention to the sounds around you.

This helps calm your mind and prepares you to engage more deeply with your emotions.

Try guided meditations specifically designed for emotional awareness or healing.

Apps or online videos can be great resources for finding meditation sessions that resonate with you.


3. Set an Intention


Before you start, set a clear intention for your session.

It might be to better understand a specific emotion, to release a lingering feeling, or simply to check in with yourself.

Remind yourself to approach your feelings with gentleness.

Emotional work can be challenging, so it’s important to be patient and kind with yourself as you navigate this process.


4. Keep a Journal Ready


Have a journal handy to jot down any insights, thoughts, or feelings that arise during your reflection.

Writing can help you process your emotions more deeply and track patterns over time.


5. Set Reasonable Limits


Set a reasonable time limit for your reflection, especially if you’re new to this practice.

Starting with just five to ten minutes can prevent feeling overwhelmed.

Decide beforehand how deeply you want to delve into difficult emotions in a single session.

It’s okay to step back if things become too intense.

Now, let’s explore the steps you can take to effectively sit with your feelings, allowing you to engage with and understand your emotions more deeply.


Steps to Sit with Your Feelings


Once you’ve prepared your space and mindset, follow these steps to gently guide your practice of sitting with your feelings.


1. Identify Your Emotions


  • Recognize and Name. Begin by identifying what you’re feeling.

    Try to name your emotions as specifically as possible – instead of just “bad,” discern whether you feel sad, anxious, frustrated, or something else.

  • Accept Fully. Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up without judgment.

    Remember, emotions are not “good” or “bad”; they are signals providing information about your experiences and internal states.


2. Allow Your Feelings to Exist


  • Feel It. Give yourself permission to fully experience your emotions.

    Notice where you feel the emotion in your body – tightness in your chest, a knot in your stomach, or tension in your shoulders, for example.

  • Stay Present. Use deep breathing to help you stay present with uncomfortable feelings.

    Focus on inhaling and exhaling slowly, which can help reduce the intensity of the emotions and prevent overwhelming feelings.


3. Explore Your Feelings


  • Ask Questions. Gently ask yourself questions to understand more about your feelings.

    Why might you be feeling this way?

    What might these emotions be telling you about your needs or desires?

  • It Should Be Curiosity without Criticism. Approach this exploration with a curious, explorative mind rather than one filled with self-criticism.

    This attitude helps you learn from your emotions instead of feeling defeated by them.


4. Journal


  • Write It Down. As you sit with your feelings, jot down your thoughts and emotions. Writing can help clarify what you are feeling and why.

    It also serves as a record of your emotional patterns over time.

  • Reflect. After writing, take a moment to reflect on what you’ve written.

    This can provide further insights and help you connect dots that weren’t initially apparent.


5. Non-Judgmental Acceptance


  • Acknowledge Your Growth. Recognize that taking the time to sit with your feelings is an act of self-care and personal growth.

    Even if the emotions are painful, the act of facing them is a step forward.

    Thank yourself for doing this!

  • Release Judgments. Try to release any negative judgments about yourself related to these emotions.

    Practicing compassion towards yourself is key to emotional healing.


Now, let’s explore how you can use the insights gained from sitting with your feelings to guide personal development and improve your emotional health moving forward.


How To Move Forward After Sitting with Your Feelings


After spending time with your emotions and gaining deeper insights, it’s important to use this understanding constructively.

Here’s how you can apply what you’ve learned to continue nurturing your emotional well-being.


1. Learn from Your Emotions


Utilize the insights gained from your emotional exploration to make informed decisions about changes you may need or want to make in your life.

Whether it’s setting boundaries, changing habits, or addressing unresolved issues, let your emotions guide your actions.

Sometimes, emotions also reveal needs that are not being met or desires that are unfulfilled.

Use this information to adjust your behaviors, relationships, or goals to better align with your emotional health.


2. Make It a Regular Practice


Make sitting with your feelings a regular practice.

Regular emotional check-ins can prevent feelings from building up and becoming overwhelming.

This can be daily, weekly, or as often as you need.

Over time, this practice can help you become more attuned to your emotional state, making it easier to manage stress, resolve conflicts, and pursue authenticity in your personal and professional life.


3. Expand Your Emotional Vocabulary


Continue to expand your emotional vocabulary.

Being able to describe your feelings with more specific words enhances your understanding and communication of your emotional experiences.

This can lead to more effective self-reflection and clearer conversations with others about how you feel.


4. Practice Daily Mindfulness


Integrating mindfulness into your daily routine can reinforce your ability to stay present with your emotions without judgment.

Practices like mindful breathing, yoga, or meditation can help maintain this focus and calmness throughout your day.


5. Seek Support When Needed


If you find certain emotions overwhelming or if they stem from deeper psychological issues, consider seeking support from a mental health professional.

Joining support groups or community resources can also provide additional guidance and companionship on your journey.


6. Embrace Growth and Change


As you change and face new experiences, your emotional landscape will shift.

Embrace this as part of your growth process, and try to remain open to learning and evolving.




Sitting with your feelings can enrich your understanding of yourself and how you relate to the world.

Doing this regularly will help you build a deeper connection with your inner self.

In turn, it fosters your resilience, empathy, and emotional clarity in your daily life.

Each step you take to understand and accept your feelings is a step towards a more mindful, compassionate, and fulfilling life.

Thank yourself for taking time – and bravery – to do that!

Co-authors at ShineSheets.com

"We love to research problems, examine studies, analyze solutions, and share with you ideas that make life healthier. You can learn about us and our editorial standards here. Have suggestions or feedback to share? Send us a message!."

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