Pivotal Apps - Pivotal - adj ‘of crucial importance’
It’s healthy to feel and express your feelings
One of the fundamental aspects of emotional well-being is acknowledging that it's perfectly okay to recognize, experience, express, and engage with our feelings. Many have never been taught how to effectively acknowledge and process our emotions. Our human experience is a gift from God, and it naturally involves a wide range of emotions. Suppressing, downplaying, denying, judging, criticizing, bottling up, avoiding, or medicating to cope with our emotions is counterproductive in both the short and long term. These practices only add to our stress and anxiety levels and lead to unhealthy responses and behaviors with alcohol, pornography, food and many other forms of relief.
To truly embrace the full life that God has intended for us, we must be willing to explore and experience the entire spectrum of human emotions. The secret to help arresting this cycle of behavior is - ‘just feel the feelings’.
Here are simple steps to help you on this journey:
Step 1: Awareness - notice the feeling.
Take a deep breath in and out to center yourself. Then, turn inward and ask, "What feelings am I experiencing right now?" Pay attention to any physical sensations that you're experiencing. For example, you might be able to discern anger due to a tight sensation in your chest, or notice fear because of a jittery feeling in your hands or legs.
Step 2: Say it out loud.
Putting your emotions into words makes them easier to manage. How would you describe your emotional experience right now: annoyance, anger, envy, fear, disgust, disappointment, sadness, grief or something else? The more specific, the better. Describe the feeling out loud with a phrase like, "I am experiencing disappointment right now and feel really sad, and am hurting”.
Step 3: Acceptance.
Growing up, many of us were taught to suppress, ignore or hide our emotions. So as an adult, your first instinct might still be to minimize, ignore or stuff them. You may think, "It's wrong to feel that emotion." Research has found that suppressing our emotions can have negative consequences for both physical and mental well-being. Instead, we want to accept it. This emotion is offering you the opportunity to make a different, healthier choice. Vocalizing the feeling is an important way to minimize the power over the emotion and release the ensuing stress or need for relief.
Step 4: Be with the feeling.
Once you've acknowledged the emotion, embrace it and allow yourself to fully immerse in the feeling. Neurologists and experts propose that the physical sensation of an emotion typically endures for approximately 90 seconds. Make a commitment to remain with the emotion for this minute-and-a-half duration, providing it with your undivided focus. Otherwise, there is a risk of lingering emotions, such as enduring resentment and bitterness.
Step 5: Stay with the feeling until it changes.
At a certain point, you will notice that the feeling has changed. You might now feel calmer, like a storm has passed. You also might notice another feeling emerging in its place. This is a sign that you allowed yourself to fully experience the emotion. If the emotions persist, you can use breathing techniques to the 5-4-3-2-1 technique (see appendix).
Step 6: Reflect on the belief.
Research has shown that we have thousands of thoughts per day and the majority of them are negative. Being able to pause and reflect provides you the time to determine the source of the feeling. For example you may feel like an interaction with a coworker was really troubling because s/he was overbearing, and as you reflect on it you recall that you were bullied as a child and this brings up hurt filled memories and contributes tot he potency of the feeling.
Pivotal apps are provided as tools and techniques to help change the trajectory of negative and destructive thinking, habits, routines and behaviors. We have afflictions that lead us to unhealthy behaviors as adults to overcome lingering emotional wounds that were forged in the crucible of childhood experience. These apps are a resource to help you live life, grow and strengthen your emotional resilience, humility and vulnerability.
The 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique
Have you ever experienced it? That constriction in your chest, a relentless loop of thoughts racing through your mind? This sensation, known as anxiety, is surprisingly common and can affect people from all walks of life. It can be disconcerting and uncomfortable, often striking without warning. So, why do so many of us grapple with this distressing feeling? The reality is that most people never acquire the skills to cope with it.
As discussed in the previous section, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can assist in understanding the root causes of anxiety, allowing for their gradual elimination. However, there are occasions when you require an immediate remedy for emotional overwhelm. In such instances, the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique emerges as a valuable tool. This approach aims to provide a diverting and playful distraction to reduce stress, anxiety, and manage intense emotions. Here's how it functions: