Your Emotional Allies: 3 Steps To Be At Ease With Uncomfortable Feelings

    Do you ever feel so mad that you might explode, so afraid that you can’t move, or so sad that you lose all will? When you feel anger, fear, or sadness, it’s natural to want to get away from these supposedly “negative” emotions. From a young age we are encouraged not to express them. People around us want us to cheer up right away, as if there is some danger in experiencing these uncomfortable feelings. After all, we’ve all seen what can happen when these emotions get over-blown and out of control.

    However, what if these emotions are natural responses to life? What if they carry useful information? What if allowing ourselves to feel them is important for our health, well-being, and openness to inner guidance? In this brief article, we’ll explore why it’s important to reframe “negative” emotions as simply “uncomfortable” and how to turn them into allies.

    So, how could anger, fear, and sadness be useful to us?

    Consider that all emotions give you feedback on what is happening both inside and around you. They can alert you to what others are thinking, feeling, and doing and how this might be affecting you. They also give you information about what you are thinking, feeling, and doing and if that’s effective for you or not.

    For example, anger naturally arises when you or someone or something important to you is, or has been, threatened. Anger is a protection response. It alerts you to set boundaries, say “no,” or take protective action—and it provides the energy and adrenaline to do that. At least this is anger’s natural function.

    When we don’t allow ourselves to feel appropriate anger, it can get bottled up inside and come out in inappropriate ways, ways that are damaging and have little to do with protecting something important. In contrast, when we allow ourselves to feel anger, we can ask ourselves questions to discern if there’s an appropriate use for this energy. Then we can take action consciously and purposefully.

    A good question to ask your anger is “Is there anything or anyone that needs to be protected?”

    Fear can also signal the need for action. Often this action is related to potential future consequences. For example, when you have a test coming up, a little fear is an appropriate motivator that gets you studying. When you are afraid you won’t be able to pay the bills, fear might send you forth on a job search. When you are afraid of future health consequences of not losing weight, fear might get you started on a healthy eating plan and exercise.

    A good question to ask fear is “Is there any action I need to take to handle this situation?”

    Sadness arises to help you let something go. Sadness helps you grieve a loss that has happened or let go of something that no longer serves you. This enables you to move on to what will serve you best, now and in the future.

    A good question to ask of sadness is “Is there something I need to let go of?”

    These are all examples of how uncomfortable emotions can be healthy and informative. When you relate to them consciously and purposefully, they can help you navigate your life appropriately and effectively. If you:

    1. Tune into your feelings,

    2. Ask them good questions, and

    3. Take appropriate action,

    your emotions will resolve and dissipate naturally.

    As you practice these three steps again and again, you’ll discover that uncomfortable feelings can be great allies. Instead of avoiding them, you can use them for the information and energy they provide.

    I would love to hear ways that you’ve learned to work with your uncomfortable emotions in the Comments section below. And, if you find this article useful, please share it with your family, friends, and co-workers through the social sharing buttons. Thanks for sharing!

      16 Responses to “Your Emotional Allies: 3 Steps To Be At Ease With Uncomfortable Feelings”

      1. Celine says:

        Thanks Kevin for sharing your findings and solutions.

      2. marilyn says:

        Yes I have had to get in touch with these emotions doing the Franklin Methode teaching course. You find that the real essence of you is in a calm, happy place which no one can touch or take from you and the emotion is the layer above you and just needs expression.

      3. kirubagaran gregory says:

        It is something we could follow immediately at the nick the emotions strike one. but the knowledge about them and ways to change its effect is necessary one which i learned from your blog.

      4. keith p.cooper says:

        To Whom It May Concern,
        Your insigt is a revelation to me.This information is heads and shoulders above the culture and the masses as well.Tell me more.
        Keith P.Cooper

      5. Jim Lentz says:

        It does help to get reinforced that these “negative” feelings are okay to feel & deal with in a productive, positive way (without causing harm to self or others) with awareness & insight to heal the causes (often traumas) that are causing the symptomatic negative feelings. EBT (Emotional Brain Tng) is a therapeutic, systematic, program for negating & eliminating the root, traumatic experiences that were not processed, but were repressed/suppressed & therefore continue to cause symptomatic, negative feelings & behavior.

      6. Ariel Laman says:

        There was a time when I, a single, white, 56 year young female was driving in Los Angeles, CA with only $20 to my name. I had experienced a severe brain injury when hit by a man driving a truck & had not totally healed.

        As I felt fear arising because I didn’t know anyone in L.A. nor could I call someone to ask for money (because my memory was injured from the accident that occurred less than a year earlier), and I didn’t have money to pay for a motel, I realized that as long as I was experiencing fear and allowing this fear to be all I could feel, I couldn’t listen to inner guidance on how I could safely navigate through this labyrinth bounded by high walls of fear.

        When I pulled over to clear my thoughts & return to my inner guidance, I began receiving exactly what I needed. I was guided step-by-step through this labyrinth. One of the most important tools I applied as I journeyed was to stay in the present moment, trusting that everything I needed would be provided.

        I also had to let go of how I thought it was going to be – a space to safe place to sleep for the night before moving on to the San Diego area. As it turned out I was told to continue driving toward San Diego, pulling off when I felt safe for an hour or two.

        I arrived safely in Cardiff By The Sea where I parked & went in search for a bathroom. The next step involved being given enough money to pay for 3 nights lodging from two total strangers (two wonderful, humanitarian gay men) and from there I connected up with the Church of Religious Science.

        My journey hasn’t ended. Now I have a suitable place to live. I am grateful I worked for so many years to qualify for some aid (in order words I paid it forward).

        Now I live in Longmont, CO which, if you’ve been following the news has been inundated with flood waters, I am finding ways to help as I can, remembering what it was like to sleep in my car & depend on the kindness & generosity of others.

        I am finding that being quiet in the midst of so many emotions people are experiencing is allowing me to think of ways I can help.

        Here are two suggestions I have.

        1. Be available to listen to the emotions other people are
        experiencing and go with them to that quiet place where
        the answers they are seeking can surface.
        2. I am making myself available to fill in for one person
        who cannot get to their job & asking their employer to
        either direct deposit the earnings into their checking
        account or maybe sending the money directly to the power
        company or other bill the employee owes. This gives the
        employee time to do cleanup in their homes, or make
        other living arrangements. There are many agencies who
        have collected food, clothing, & temporary shelters. I
        feel working in their place could give them a little
        relief from some fear they may be feeling & help them
        get their feet under them.

      7. Francisco says:

        Hi, Kevin!
        The three steps to take advantage of our emotions are very usefull.
        I have learned it in the books: The Integral Life Practice (in The Shadow Module)with Ken Willber and The Presence Process by Michael Brown.
        Thank you very much!

      8. Brigitte from Brazil says:

        Hello Kevin
        Thank you for all you share so frequently.
        all very practical and useful transformation tools, to return to our inner peaceful and natural state.

        There are quite many tools that seem helpful to allow what ‘Is’ to eventually see it transform. As one wise one said, if something shows up you don’t like, it’s most likely that there is still something in you that needs to be addressed in regards. It turnes out to be a gift, how else will you know…. So, you become present and aware about it, in other words ‘the observer’, that in itself already starts a certain transformation process. Other ways to achieve such transformation, are to put the upcoming emotion into the Light, embrace the little one inside of you that is afraid, lonely, angry etc. The Higher Self takes care of the Lower Self or Personality Self (that part of us that buys into the story at hand). And there is the marvalous EFT ‘Emotional Freedom Technique’. All of these tools bring eventually some kind of change for the better…. and the famous tool of ‘gratitude’> counting ones blessings, shifts the negativity at hand. But all of them requite awareness, observing and watching what is accuring at the moment.
        How grateful I am to all of theses discoveries.
        Thank you!

      9. Hi to all,
        Thanks to all who are sharing insights and techniques with us here this week. Lots of great stuff!


      10. Brenda says:

        Hi Kevin,
        As you know I have been fighting the loss of a ‘special’ friendship that I cherished for some months now. With meditation like these and others things are getting easier, the almost physical hurt is gradually getting less, but how much longer will it take? No, I know you cannot tell me so I must just be patient! But thank you anyhow 🙂

        1. Hi Brenda,
          I encourage you to accept and feel your loss, so you can allow those feelings to resolve and you can welcome what is available for you now in your life.

          Keep up your good practice,

      11. Damien says:

        Agreed.. I use EFT (tapping) every morning when I wake up it really helps to clear any negative vibrations / thought patterns you may have about how you THINK your day is going to be. If you have a clear mind to start the day then you can pretty much tackle ANYTHING that comes your way 🙂 it’s amazing ! Thanks Kevin for sharing this, I think it is very important to understand why you feel negative feelings but from my experience it’s never a good idea to make important decisions from this state.

      12. Susan says:

        I find if I can be third person, step aside and look at what is happening (similar to watching a movie), both when I am fearful and angry, I can get a better look at what is really going on.

      13. Jose says:

        Kevin, I suggest you to read the work of Leslie Greenberg.

      14. Jose says:

        As well Marshall Rosenberg, but in particular Leslie Greenberg.

        1. Hi Jose,
          Thanks for the suggestions.

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