Whether you made resolutions for this year or not, whether you broke one already or not, your feelings about how you want and expect this next phase of your life to play out are real and emerging.

Whether those feelings are joyful, depressed or any variety in between, the truth is that they are all okay. Yes, all feelings are okay. It’s what you do with them that will either make your life a nice journey forward or hurt you and those around you. It’s all about how you stop those feelings from wrecking you!

The trick is to manage the feelings you are aware of. If you haven’t heard of managing feelings, you’re in for a treat because you can learn to manage them in a healthy way. And you can teach others to manage theirs equally effectively.

Here’s Step 1: Talk about the situation that is forging those feelings to a confidant or even out loud to yourself. If you don’t let feelings out, they actually get bigger. And I’m pretty sure you don’t want them any bigger than they already are.

Talk them out and hear your own voice saying out loud why you are feeling as you are. Maybe you had an argument and your significant other is being difficult. Maybe your kids are fidgety and reckless with school being out and they can’t amuse themselves. Maybe you are feeling sad because you are suddenly alone from all the festivity or maybe you always felt alone and can’t stand that others are having a good time.  I don’t know why you are feeling as you are. But truthfully, you must let it out. Name it. What is it? Anger, embarrassment, shame, even joy and love? You want another scare? If you don’t let them out, they will begin to hurt you from the inside out in silly forms like disease! Seriously!

Step 2: Be honest about whatever is happening around you that is triggering your feelings. Ask yourself, what is the hardest part of your situation that feels the worst? Maybe it’s because you don’t trust you can reconcile this time. Or that your inner chatter is running rampant that “nobody listens to you and never will.” Or someone isn’t feeling good in your household and you don’t think they will get better. Accept that feeling. It is always okay to feel your feelings no matter what you were told in the past or by whom. Say out loud, “It’s okay to feel ____.”

Step 3: Note that one of the reasons you don’t want to show or talk about your feelings is because you may be afraid of them. You see, most of us are actually afraid of how we feel about things and want to push them away. But they don’t go away. They may recede for an afternoon, but then by evening, there they are again. Bigger and badder and stronger than before. So now that you can name it, accept it, go ahead and express it the way it deserves to be expressed. Go through the fear of having the feelings and believe it or not, saying these things out loud releases them.

If you can’t talk them out to someone, or don’t want to talk them out to yourself, write it down. Or cry, or draw or sing or dance or run outside, or stomp your feet. Just take an action to express the feelings.

Step 4: Congratulations. Good for you to be willing to put a plan for managing in place! Yes, a plan for management, because this next step is the best one of all. Find something to help take care of yourself in a healthy way. No, don’t grab a glass of wine or a toke! Stop it. or, who am I to say, no! Go ahead and have that glass of wine. As long as it doesn’t depress you into another and another. Remember, this is a healthy gift you are giving yourself. What do you need right now to take care of yourself? Surf the net? Chat with a friend? A smile, a hug, a nap, a bath, a pedicure, manicure or just a nice cup of coffee or tea? Go ahead and give yourself a special gift of attention.

The four steps above make miracles. They allow you to be you and give yourself the respect you deserve. You might be thinking, really, that’s it?

If I’m being totally honest, yes, really.

Just like you learned to manage time and activities, you just learned how to manage feelings. Managing feeling is one of the most important skills everyone should learn. When I hear people, especially mothers, asking their children to change their attitudes, I cringe. yes, of course, but how? What they should be teaching them is to manage their feelings and explain the how. It’s a simple 4 step process and takes moments to do.

When we become confident managing feelings, we increase healthier self-esteem. When self-esteem is raised, you feel better. That’s why it’s important to learn this tact and teach it to those in your circles of influence.

To sum up, your feelings are okay and you can manage them in a healthy way.

Have a wonderful new year and chat soon,

Great job today!

Patricia

P.S. I just created this new website auntisays.com which will become my new advice column for adults of all ages (particularly if you have an unruly inner child). I’m excited about it and its inception is due to the book I am currently writing, Aunti Says… Ignore Everybody! Stay tuned! In the mean time feel free to check it out and please do leave a comment!

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