Give yourself permission to feel

There’s power in allowing your feelings, experiencing them and understanding the thoughts causing them. So, give yourself permission to feel.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
permission to feel

I was having a conversation with someone yesterday who was telling me how difficult they are finding things at the moment.

She is finding work is really stressful, it’s busier than ever. And, like many others, she has two young boys at home that she is trying to keep engaged in their schoolwork, while still trying to meet the increasing demands of her work.

She was almost in tears and sharing with me how difficult she is finding things.  That she’s tired from broken sleep most nights and just feels really stressed, anxious and overwhelmed.

Then, she brushed it off and said, “but I’m really grateful I’ve got a job.  I shouldn’t be complaining at all.”

On the surface, a comment like this seems fine. After all, it’s true. There are so many people who have lost their jobs and she is grateful she still has one.

But, deep down, this comment is harmful. Because, what she was doing with that comment was dismissing how she feels. She was telling herself that her feelings don’t matter because there are people worse off than her.

And, because she dismissed how she felt, she then felt bad for being stressed, anxious and overwhelmed, which, in turn, increased her stress, overwhelm and anxiety.

While she (and everyone!) should be practicing gratefulness because it can help reduce overall feelings of anxiety, depression and fear (a practice worth doing all the time, not only now), we all still need to recognise, process and feel our emotions.

Because dismissing them, resisting them or ignoring them doesn’t mean they go away. In fact, it can cause them to build up and feel stronger. Think of trying to hold a beach ball under water – there’s only so long until it explodes through the water and breaks free. It’s the same with your emotions and feelings.

So, give yourself permission to feel. Process what you are feeling.

Let yourself feel afraid.

Let yourself feel sad.

Let yourself feel overwhelmed or vulnerable or stressed.

Label the feeling you are feeling and notice the sensation that it causes in your body.

Then, delve in and uncover the thoughts you are having that are causing that feeling.

There’s power in allowing your feelings, experiencing them and understanding the thoughts causing them. It’s powerful to know your feelings are caused by what you are thinking, not by what is going on in the world.
You can’t change the world. You can’t change the circumstances and you can’t change others. And, when you try to change or control things outside of your control you feel powerless.

You can, however, change your thoughts. There’s power in that.

As soon as you can allow a feeling, label it and understand the thought causing it, you take back your power. You can’t change the world, but you can always change your thoughts. You just need the space to uncover them.

So, give yourself permission to feel.

Read more on how acknowledging your emotions helps here

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Frank & Kristina De-Levi

    Frank & Kristina De-Levi Focus on Achieving Their Work Goals and Finding Family Life Balance

    by Suzie Zeng

    Author Dara Kurtz: Why its so important to give yourself permission to feel all the feelings during this difficult time

    by Yitzi Weiner

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.