Emotional acceptance

By Dave Henning / May 3, 2024

“Emotional acceptance can be a particularly powerful strategy of emotional regulation — it can help you feel better, partly because you don’t perpetuate your negative emotions.  The goal shouldn’t be to get rid of or stifle all emotions.  It’s to try to have them to the right degree and in the right context and to recover more quickly afterward.”- Dr. Brett Ford, Psychology Today interview

Jennifer Allen concludes Chapter 10 of Untangle Your Emotions with Parts 2-4 of her approach to feeling a feeling.

Part 2: Give Yourself Permission.  In this part, you heal parts of you that have never been healed.  Hence, after you pause and sink into the feeling you’re feeling, give yourself permission to feel that feeling at its fullest.  Above all, accept the feeling exactly as it is.  And quiet that judgmental part of you — and feel anyway!

Part 3: Look Back.  Next, Jennifer asks you to look back at the Big Four feelings and their nuances.  Then think of a recent time you strongly reacted to that feeling. Most significantly, think back to the first time you felt that feeling.  Because with the perspective of your past, you can take those feelings along as you do what you need to do.

Part 4: Persist.  Rather than fight against that feeling, persist with it.  As a result, you let that feeling be what it already is.  For the healthy recognition of emotion in and of itself reduces stress.  Therefore, Jennifer boldly proclaims: If we would just express our authentic emotions instead of looking for a way out of that expression, we could potentially bypass the stress response all together and just get on with our lives.

In conclusion, Jennifer exhorts, let God, your ideal companion, replace your shame and exhaustion with His delight and strength.  Work with your emotions to grow your faith.  Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you into a deeper relationship with your Creator.

Today’s question: How do you see emotional acceptance deepening your relationship with Jesus?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Landing spots or building season”

About the author

Dave Henning

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