It’s the first episode of the 7th season/year of the podcast! Dr. Liz kicks it off with talking about feelings – that they’re all ok and what to do with the ones you don’t particularly want. She talks about several flags that means you’re invalidating your feelings and give ideas about what to do instead.
About Dr. Liz
Winner of numerous awards including Top 100 Moms in Business, Dr. Liz provides psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and hypnosis to people wanting a fast, easy way to transform all around the world. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and has special certification in Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy. Specialty areas include Anxiety, Insomnia, and Deeper Emotional Healing.
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Listened to in over 140 countries, Hypnotize Me is the podcast about hypnosis, transformation, and healing. Certified hypnotherapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Dr. Liz Bonet, discusses hypnosis and interviews professionals doing transformational work
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HM256 What do I do with these Feelings
Hey everyone, Dr. Liz here. It’s the start of the seventh year of Hypnotize Me. I can’t believe I’m here. Like when I started I thought, oh, I’ll do a year or two. That’s it. But I’ve done actually six years now of the podcast. Started really early in the podcast world in terms of timeline, and here we are at year seven and I’m going to keep going.
So hopefully you’ll keep listening and thank you to all of you who have listened for so many years or find it. I don’t know what you’re searching for when you find it, but somehow you find it. You keep listening and you reach out to me. I love hearing from you. Sometimes people email me, and sometimes people schedule a free consultation, which you can do over at my website.
Sometimes I work with some of you, which is fantastic. It’s a really, really wonderful way to work with people from all over the world, actually, not just the US but all over the world, and some of the results I’ve seen. Are just truly incredible. I went to breakfast with my husband this morning and we were talking about my practice, um, and a case that I worked with recently who had pretty much constant outbreaks for herpes, even with medication.
These were pretty much unremitting is what we call those. They just don’t go away, and it’s so painful. And she had found my episode about hypnosis for herpes, so we began working together. Within two sessions, the outbreak stopped and she hadn’t had an outbreak in like weeks. That just makes me feel so gratified in what I do, but that is not the focus of today’s episode.
Actually. The focus is about feeling your feelings. Or not feeling your feelings. Just knowing that all of your feelings are okay. So many times we get told as children are just given the messages implicitly that our feelings are not okay. I think there’s been quite a bit of education in the last, I don’t know, 10 years or so, about not seeing some feelings as negative or something like that.
Like anger’s not negative. There’s nothing wrong with anger. It’s really what you do with the anger that’s important. But on the regular, I still get people in my office who really struggle with feeling like all of their feelings are okay. They’ll have a feeling and then feel guilty about having that feeling or feel like something’s wrong with them for having that feeling, even when they’re going through really difficult situations.
And I think sometimes that comes from not knowing what to do with the feeling like, okay, I’m angry about what’s going on. The guilt comes right up. . And now what do I do? And that’s part of our work too, is figuring out what to do with those feelings, because that’s individual for everybody. What feels comfortable to do with those feelings?
What feels right? So let me give you a more specific example here. My ex-husband recently broke up with a very long-time girlfriend who he has an almost two-year-old with, and he sent me a text for some advice. It was Couch’s advice for the toddler. Really it was advice about his ex. Now, my immediate feeling was really anger, like really.
He did some of the same things to me after we divorced that he was saying he was doing to his ex, and we divorced in 2009, separated in 2008. So it’s been quite a long time since then. And then I begin to look at that anger and think, well, this could be good. Like he’s asking me for advice, like, what am I so upset about?
When you find yourself asking, what am I so upset about? That is a flag for you to immediately say. All of my feelings are okay, , all of my feelings are okay. I am upset. I don’t quite know why yet, but it’s okay that I’m upset. That statement. What am I so upset about? Is really invalidating yourself and your feelings.
Or if someone else says it to you, it’s invalidating what you’re feeling. So catch it. Catch it when it happens. So I immediately caught it and thought, okay, I am feeling angry, and so I’m just going to sit on this. I’m going to pause. I’m not going to write back until I really feel clear about what the best answer is for him, and I’ve handled my feelings.
So that’s a real concrete example of going through that. And so I just sat with those feelings and talked to my current husband, about them and thought of different ways I could respond and then chose a way that felt good to me, which in my case was setting a boundary like, Hey, why don’t you talk to your best friend about this?
He probably knows more about it than I do, you know? Um, because I don’t really want to get involved in that relationship with his ex. I have not been involved the entire time, and I don’t plan to get involved at this point. So for me, it was a boundary issue. Like I understand he was struggling and wanting some advice, and I have compassion for that.
And compassion came after I worked through the anger feelings. But even so, it’s a boundary issue for me, and that that was a way for me to set the boundary, like, Hey, not doing this. Ask your best friend , because that’s really who you should have asked in the first place. I know that’s a should statement.
Let me change that too. That’s who I would’ve preferred for you to ask in the first place.
Should is another flag. We’ve got two flags going here when you’re feeling like, I shouldn’t be feeling this way, or someone else shouldn’t be doing something, or, I should be doing something. It is a flag for you to change the language around that and see what fits better.
I would prefer that so-and-so do X. I would, I would like to do X. I want to be able to do such and such. I wish even try. I wish. I wish I didn’t have to be feeling this way. That one’s okay. It’s an acknowledgment of the feeling. Yeah. I wish I could feel differently, but I don’t. Okay. So acknowledge the reality of it, but I don’t, I do feel this way.
It’s uncomfortable, it sucks. It may not feel great, but I do feel this way. How I would like to feel is you can come up with the feeling and see if you can find the action to go with that. So let’s go back to the case. My ex-husband, I can change the should too. I would’ve preferred it. I preferred he hadn’t asked me that question or I wish he hadn’t asked me.
So the action I want is a boundary. So that’s what I did. I set a boundary. So you can use that as a path forward. If a should pops up, then you can say, I wish. And if that’s what I wish, how do I get there in a way that feels good to you. And depending on the relationship, you can put different elements of that into your response.
Anger’s a big one that people feel like is not okay. Sadness often comes up. Guilt is really interesting. So some people feel like I shouldn’t feel guilty. So a feeling will happen. Then guilt about that feeling will happen and then. A should around the guilt. Okay, so, oh my gosh, my therapist told me I should work on not feeling guilty.
Right? So we break that down. It’s like original feeling was perhaps wanting to go do something alone without your partner, without kids along. Just some, let’s say alone time. Just throwing an example out here, the guilt comes up of, oh, I should want to be with my partner and kids every minute that I can.
Which in my mind is not reasonable. People need different levels of alone time and recuperation and gathering energy, and sometimes that’s alone time. Sometimes that’s with other people like friends or going out and doing something, um, socially, that type of thing. Then we look at the should about feeling guilty.
So there’s some kind of value or rule going on that feels like it’s getting broken. So let’s say if you have the unreasonable expectation, unreasonable in my purview, expectation of always wanting to be with your partner or your kiddos. Then when you have a thought or a feeling that violates that you’re going to feel guilty, that’s so guilt is, or violating our values brings us back in alignment with them.
So we can either come back in alignment with them and feel better about ourselves, or we can really look at that expectation of ourself and see if it is reasonable, see if it still fits us, see if it maybe needs tweaking or changing. And this is all within a reasonable context. People, right? We’re not saying like, I have the value of honesty and I’m going to tweak that so that dishonesty is okay.
We’re not saying that. We’re saying, all right, if you’re feeling burned out, stretched. Not having enough energy and you have this value, perhaps we can look at bringing more balance into that. So we’re not giving up the value of spending time with your kiddos or your spouse or your partner. We’re just looking at can it have a little more balance so that you feel better about yourself so that you do feel okay spending some time away from them, however, you choose to spend that.
So that’s just a concrete example, but you can look at guilt in all kinds of ways and do that. I’ve talked about guilt, anger, sadness that comes up. Sometimes people feel bad for happiness. I think that would’ve been me about, I don’t know, five, six, maybe 10 years ago. I have a neighbor that I’ve had a lot of conflict with.
I actually love the owner of this townhouse. I’m in a townhouse community, a very close friend of mine became a roommate of hers, and then the friend and I had a falling out. Now, luckily, the relationship with the owner was protected because I think we both have really good boundaries and we weren’t really going to get in between what happened with me and the friend.
But the other day a moving truck pulled up and they were loading stuff in and I sent my husband out to see what was going on. And he’s like, why? Why don’t you just go ask? And I said, because they would see the joy on my face if she was really moving. Now, I think 10 years before I would’ve felt guilty for that.
I shouldn’t feel happy that someone who used to be a really close friend is moving. But nowadays it’s like, all right, I’m not going to do something that’s hurtful. Like go ask them if they’re moving and then show how happy I am about that. Because in my mind, that might be hurtful to them but I am going to feel okay for the feelings.
Like of course. Of course. I feel happy that this is someone who I don’t really have to deal with anymore and that’s going to make my life just a little bit easier. Like, yeah, what’s not happy about that? I think the Dr. Liz who’s like 20 years younger would’ve felt really guilty for that. Like you should love and appreciate all people.
I grew up in a household that emphasized peace and love for everyone. In diversity, far before diversity was ever a thing. I think that that’s because my parents were, uh, missionaries for 10 years and lived abroad for over a decade in several different countries, there was always this appreciation for differences in my household, so I would’ve held that value and felt like this bumped up against that value.
I mean, I did so much work around her, and appreciating what she did add to my life when we were close, and also opening my heart too. Uh, forgiveness, willingness to forgive, and that did happen. So we came to like an amicable piece, let’s say, but also this acknowledgment in myself of nothing wrong with feeling happy, that I don’t have to face the reminder of that painful part of my life almost every day.
That’s an example. I think, of the happiness one, when sometimes people can feel. guilty or bad again, not accepting of their own feelings of happiness when something happens. All right, we’ve covered a couple of different feelings here. We’ve covered my main point. All of your feelings are okay, truly.
So when you start to feel like they’re not, work through that process and change the language around them. Look at your values, see what’s going on. So that you feel better about yourself, truly knowing everything you feel is okay. I am okay. That’s the deeper message. You are okay. Everything you feel is okay and you are okay.
It’s what we do with those feelings that I think are even more important. Early in my career, I was a specialist in perinatal mood disorder, so that’s prenatal and postpartum depression, anxiety. A common feeling that moms would have is of wanting to escape. They’d plan for this baby, they’d have this baby, and then be like, oh my God, I want to escape.
And then feel really bad about themselves for even having that thought or the feeling. The feeling is really overwhelming. Behind that, like I’m overwhelmed and I just want to leave and have some time to myself. I had severe postpartum depression with both my children and my escape fantasy was to go to Canada and be a librarian. In a very quiet place.
Babies are loud, like super loud, and super demanding, and I’m very sensitive to noise and oof. I just had a pretty severe case. There are lots of factors that went into that both times, but that was the escape fantasy for me.
And so I would work with these moms and say, those feelings are okay.
They’re actually telling you that perhaps you do need some time off for you. Do you need some help? Or you do need a little bit of a break and you’re not leaving, you’re not abandoning the child like you are here. You’re staying even though it’s really, really difficult. So let’s look at that. That’s a difference between having the feeling, don’t feel bad for the feeling, and then the action.
And hey, maybe you’re listening to this and you are a mom who left because you couldn’t handle the baby. Have compassion for yourself. Very common feeling, and I’m hoping at some point you worked through that or maybe you have worked through it already. I’m getting off on a little bit of a tangent here.
My point here is that all of your feelings are okay. Your feelings matter. They are code. They are information for something you need or want or that you wish for. So listen to them. Do away with the guilt, do away with the shoulds because those often lead to, um, unproductive actions like numbing or overeating or drug use, sometimes alcohol, I don’t know, addictive type of stuff.
Wanting to escape those feelings if you knew the feelings were okay and it was okay to look at them and work through them and then decide what you want to do with them. That’s a whole different process. Yeah. Healthier process than trying to just escape. Hey, it’s okay to escape them too. I just did a video recently about, um, not feeling your feelings,
I know it’s a really funny thing for a therapist to say, but sometimes it’s not a great time to feel your feelings. Either you have to deal with something or you just don’t feel strong enough or something like that. That video recommends. I’m going to give you the summary here cause it’s a pretty quick video anyway that you, um, detach from the situation.
If you can distract yourself in some kind of healthy way and decompress. And then you can look at the feelings later and say, all right, it’s okay that I’m feeling this. It’s okay that I distracted myself from them, and now let me look at them and see what I can do with them and see what they’re telling me about my life, about myself, about what I need or what.
So it’s not always needs, sometimes what we want, and that’s okay too. All right, people, I’m going to wrap up here. I hope that you are having a decent holiday season. Some of you that’s happier and for some of you, it’s just getting through. But I do hope that you are helping.
Be and safe peace.
I hope you truly enjoyed today’s episode. Remember that you can get free hypnosis downloads over at my website, dr Liz hypnosis.com, D R L I Z hypnosis.com. I work all over the world doing hypnosis. So if you’re interested in working with me, please schedule a free consultation over at my website and we’ll see what your goals are and if I can be of service to you in helping you reach them.
Finally, if you’d like today’s episode, please subscribe to the podcast or tell a friend. That way, more and more people learn about the power of hypnosis. All right, everyone have a wonderful week. Peace. This podcast is not mental health treatment, nor should it replace mental health treatment. If you need therapy or hypnotherapy, please seek treatment from a trained professional.