All Feelings are Perfectly Natural & a Part of our Basic Survival Instincts

Worry is a feeling, a natural healthy feeling; its part of the body’s warning system to tell us there is something wrong in our environment. When we are become depressed or anxious; its a wake up call from our subconscious mind; telling us of some form of perceived danger that is unsettling us.

tierneytherapy

2021-08-17 3 min read

It’s whether we react or respond that makes the difference. When we react as if it to a hot flame, we lose sight of the cause of the worry, the discomfort and end up targeting the feeling as the problem, but when we can respond to the feeling, looking behind it at what is the cause, then we are able to use this feeling effectively and as part of the solution rather than it becoming the problem.

imagine you apply to a new job, which on paper looks like a good decision but after a week or more you begin to see the problems and dysfunctional behavior in that environment from the management right down to your new colleagues. This causes you to worry that you made the wrong decision having jumped out of one frying pan into the fire.

Your worry can now take either of two paths

You invest in the worry; berating yourself; filling up with self-doubt; self -recrimination; anger at your new bosses for sugaring over what you now face; all turning to depression over your judgement and anxiety over what the future holds.

You objectively look at why you are worried, look for a healthy way forward; talk to management, start a series of focus groups, give it a year and be the best you can be; or simply walk away.

In the first instance, we leave the worry to manifest into our new reality and suffer the consequences of developing mental illness of depression and anxiety,

In the second instance, we take control of the situation and the worry. we look clearly at the worry and give ourselves choices as to how to proceed. We can do this on our own or we can get help and advice from a mentor, therapist, our pastor or a family member or friend.

As a Christian we learn to hand over all outcomes to God, and embrace the second option and put the necessary work in to make it right. We choose to be part of the solution rather than part of, or becoming, the problem.

We need to remember all feelings are just feelings, until we make them more than they are; until we give them substance.

we are spiritual beings in this physical body with a set of basic survival instincts of :

Fight

Flight

Freeze

Acceptance

When we face any form of danger, real or imaginary, we experience the feelings associated with those 4 responses.

Take a moment to write down on 4 pieces of paper each response separately; under each response list, what you think would be the correct feelings to each response; you might find that some feelings can be found on more than one list.

That is ok.

The goal is to get a better understanding of what you are feeling and the why of it. From here you can look for the cause.

I am feeling angry and worried about this place = fight & flight

I am feeling the need to either lash out and complain or to run away.

What is causing me to fee this way,

Ah! Yes!

I am not happy with how this place is run, the dysfunction on this environment and the people in it.

What can I do about it?

leave

stand up and speak out

speak to management

speak to the unions

report this abuse

complain to the authorities

When we embrace our feelings and take control of them rather than leaving them take control over us, we become power and more capable of managing our environments, and the challenges we face.

This in turn means that the feelings like worry, can go back into our armor to be used in the future, if and when needed.

What makes us functioning humans is the ability to feel all emotions; even the difficult ones like: grief, victimhood, and rage. To treat our feelings as mental illness, dehumanizes us. It makes us less than, fearing to feel a specific feeling, because it is now considered bad or broken.

Our feelings are perfectly normal to use in all situations,

the real question we should be asking is:

What is causing me to react that way?

What is making me feel that way?

And then target the cause and heal that; allowing the worrier to go home with their emotional armor intact