Feelings won’t help anything.

How I feel doesn’t matter.  It won’t change anything.

I don’t have time to feel sad about what happened.

I was taught that feelings make you weak and vulnerable to danger.

I don’t need feelings.  I have reality.

 If you resonate with any of the prior statements, you have probably learned somewhere that feelings get in the way of what you want to accomplish.  Our Tampa counselors hear these types of statements a lot. They could be learned from many places. That could be:

  • Working on a project
  • Getting over a breakup or divorce
  • Trying to get through a family crisis
  • Trying to keep up the “strong and competent” persona

Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list.  You may think that you only have two emotions- anger or stress- and you use those to get things done.  You intellectualize a situation, or find ways that you can fix it.  In doing this, you may pull more stress on yourself than is needed.

Here’s the thing though.

That emotion that you’re trying to avoid, or deny that it exists? It is still seeping out.  And when enough pressure is applied…it may come out in unexpected and unpreferred ways.

As a Tampa counselor, I try to gently help my clients understand that while avoiding emotion seems to work for a little while, it’s not a long-term solution.  It does catch up with you.  And you’re more prone to an adverse reaction when you’re in denial than if you allowed yourself to feel it in the first place.

You might be asking why you should try Tampa counseling to help you manage your emotions.

Well, emotions are signals.  When we avoid, deny, or stuff them, we are actually cutting ourselves off from important data. Our emotions tell us when a relationship doesn’t feel safe, when our boundaries are violated, or when we’ve suffered a wound.  Our emotions also tell us when we feel known, seen, cared for, and joyful.  Without them, we may keep ourselves in unsafe relationships/situations or deprive ourselves of fulfilling experiences.

A Tampa counselor can help support you as you learn how to identify your emotions and what they are telling you about your experiences.  In counseling, you can also learn what thoughts are contributing to keeping you stuck in avoidance or discontent.  You will learn to challenge and reframe those thoughts to be more helpful and accurate.

Emotions can be scary and vulnerable, especially when you’ve been told that they make you weak or undesirable.  If you think you might benefit from help in this area but you’re unsure where to start, reach out today.  Your Tampa counselor can talk to you about the process and what to expect.  We are here to support you.