LIFE HACK: Feelings Aren’t Facts

Ah, feelings! Feelings are intense emotional responses we have all day every day. They are messengers; they give us valuable information so we can make decisions, understand ourselves and others, and get our needs met. 

Feelings naturally come and go if we give them space to exist, sort of like clouds passing through the sky. If we notice and accept our feelings and listen to the messages they’ve brought us, they will serve their purpose and we can use the information for our benefit.

However, we don’t want to over-identify our feelings. We want to accept our feelings and remember that they don’t define us. 

Notice the subtle, but important, the difference between feeling sad and being sad. When you start to think of yourself as a sad person (rather than a person who sometimes feels sad), you’re holding onto the feeling well beyond its usefulness. Your feelings are important, but they are only part of who you are. Feelings come and go.

Emotions are absorbed in the body in about six seconds.

Each burst of emotional chemicals, from the time it’s produced in the hypothalamus to the time it’s completely broken down and absorbed, lasts about six seconds, according to researcher Anabel Jensen.  

If we’re feeling something for longer than six seconds, we are—at some level—choosing to re-create and refuel those feelings. Sometimes that’s good—if the tiger is still chasing you, those fear chemicals are helping save your life.

Sometimes it’s not. But recognizing what emotion we are feeling, evaluating its purpose relative to our circumstances, and deciding whether to re-create it is what emotional intelligence is all about. I love to use acronyms to decide what feelings to hold on to and let go of. Here are my two favorites.

T.H.I.N.K.:

Hallmarks of overwhelming feelings include negative self-talk, reacting in the heat of the moment, over-explaining yourself, and obsessive attention to overanalyzing decisions. Before you act on your feelings, ask yourself the following:

Is it Truthful?

Is it Helpful?

Is it Insightful?

Is it Necessary?

Is it Kind?

R.A.I.N.:

R – Recognize what is happening

A – Allow life to be just as it is

I – Investigate inner experience with kindness

N – Non-identification

Recognizing means consciously acknowledging your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Allowing means letting your thoughts, emotions, feelings, or sensations simply be there. You don’t have to change, fix, or act upon anything. Rather, you acknowledge and accept that psychological pain is a part of life.

Investigating means calling on your natural curiosity—the desire for truth—and directing focused attention to your present experience. Asking, “What is happening inside me?” can initiate recognition, but the investigation is a more intentional process.

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Natural loving awareness occurs when you don’t over-identify with your feelings. This practice of non-identification means that your sense of self is not fused with any limiting emotions, sensations, or stories. You are not your mind, and you are not your emotions.

Feelings and emotions can be contagious and spread too. Another tip is to be mindful of the energy and people that you surround yourself with. We are social creatures. And because of that, we tend to pick up on each other’s emotional states. 

Ultimately, feelings can guide us toward many paths that we get to choose! So make sure you stay aware and be curious. Being mindful of your feelings is key to making sure you see that your feelings are real and they can be fleeting.

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Erica Spiegelman is a wellness specialist, recovery counselor, and author of the new book The Rewired Life (2018) as well as Rewired: A Bold New Approach to Addiction & Recovery(2015), the Rewired Workbook (2017), the Rewired Coloring Book (2017), all published by Hatherleigh Press. Erica holds a bachelor’s degree in literature from the University of Arizona and is a California State Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CADAC)-II from UCLA. For more information, visit Erica’s website or follow @Erica Spiegelman on Instagram.

The content provided in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice and consultation, including professional medical advice and consultation; it is provided with the understanding that BeautyLeeBar, LLC (“Hello Beauties”) is not engaged in the provision or rendering of medical advice or services. The opinions and content included in the article are the views of the author only, and BeautyLeeBar does not endorse or recommend any such content or information, or any product or service mentioned in the article. You understand and agree that BeautyLeeBar shall not be liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance upon any content or information in the article.

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How to Not MINDFUCK YOURSELF

One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was this: “Stop standing in your way.” And the thing standing in the way of us and our dreams? FEAR. Fear that we won’t succeed, fear that things won’t work out, and fear that we simply aren’t good enough. It is so easy to allow these fears to have control over us. And when we do, fear limits us by keeping us locked in our comfort zones, driving us to self-sabotage, and keeping us stuck.

But as author Zig Ziglar put it, perhaps FEAR has two meanings, one that confines us and one that empowers us:

Meaning 1: Forget Everything and Run

Meaning 2: Face Everything and Rise

Imagine the potential we would unlock if we began to use fear to help us rise to opportunity rather than run from it. Here are a few tips to help do this:

1. Question Your Thoughts

When the voice of doubt, uncertainty, and fear comes into your mind, take a moment to question its authority. Remember that you are not your thoughts; you are simply the observer of them. This means that you have the power to choose whether to trust and act on these thoughts or choose to ignore, replace, and overcome them. When fear tells you, “Don’t do it, you’ll never succeed,” take a deep breath, pause, and replace that thought with one that empowers you. Perhaps you could repeat a positive mantra such as “I am capable of anything I set my mind to.”

2. Be Ok with Discomfort

When fear tells you to “forget everything and run” and you choose to instead “face everything and rise,” you make that wonderful and liberating choice to step outside of your comfort zone. What inevitably accompanies this decision (to varying degrees) is a feeling of discomfort. Remember that your subconscious finds comfort in the familiar, even if that familiar is not something that serves you. So when you decide to rise (step outside of your comfort zone), your subconscious says to you, â€śWhat’s going on here? This doesn’t feel right. This isn’t what you normally do.” This creates a feeling of discomfort. At this point, you have another choice to make—do you allow the discomfort to push you to self-sabotage and fall back into old patterns, or do you sit with that discomfort, be OK with it, and keep going for the greater good?

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3. Heal the Source

Fear is almost always driven by a culmination of your insecurities, past experiences, and old pain. When you become aware of your fear, you can allow it to guide you to unhealed wounds that need some love, care, and attention so that you can break the fear cycle.

4. Find Your Reason

When fear rears its ugly head, you need a good enough reason to fight it off and move forward. You need to be clear on WHY you should choose not to Forget Everything and Run, but instead Face Everything and Rise. Ask yourself, “What change do I want in my life and why do I want it?” Allow your desire and passion for personal growth to drive you, undeterred by the doubt in your mind.

5. Get Ready

When you start to live a life that is not governed by fear but is fueled by it, your life will transform in every way. So get ready to let go of the past and embrace the endless possibilities ahead of you.

Essentially, what I’m trying to say is this: fears will come into your mind, but see them for what they are—unwelcome visitors. Don’t allow them to control your behavior or dictate what you do or don’t do. Don’t allow them to rule over you and your future. Do not allow yourself to be mindfucked by your fear. Remember that you always have a choice. So choose to take charge, rise above your fears and doubts, step out of your comfort zone, unlock your fullest potential, and manifest the life of your f*cking dreams!

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Roxie Nafousi is a self-development coach, manifesting expert, yoga teacher, and host of the podcast “The Moments That Made Me.” Head to her website to book a spot in her next self-development webinar, schedule a one-on-one advice session, or download one of her meditations or affirmation playlists designed to help you on your manifestation journeys. Follow her on Instagram.

The content provided in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice and consultation, including professional medical advice and consultation; it is provided with the understanding that BeautyLeeBar, LLC (“Hello Beauties”) is not engaged in the provision or rendering of medical advice or services. The opinions and content included in the article are the views of the author only, and BeautyLeeBar does not endorse or recommend any such content or information, or any product or service mentioned in the article. You understand and agree that BeautyLeeBar shall not be liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance upon any content or information in the article or any other article that is provided on here, BeautyLeeBar.com.

How Are You Going to MAKE YOUR RESOLUTIONS LAST?

We’re all guilty of entering the new year with the greatest of intentions. We want to turn our lives around and kick-start all these healthy habits we hope will change our lives for the better.

It’s great … in theory.

But then, when we try to stick it out long-term, we fail. But why?

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Work from the inside out

Around 60% of us will make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% of us will be successful in achieving them. And this is because we don’t tend to approach them in the right way. Often, the biggest issue with making grand plans for the new year is that we don’t tackle these changes from the inside out.

If you don’t start by looking at the internal factors that got you into the position you’re in today, then you will be relying on nothing more than sheer willpower to change your external life. And willpower is like a battery; it needs to be restored and will eventually run out altogether.

The biggest difference between those who succeed and those who don’t, in anything, is consistency. And expecting to change purely from the outside isn’t sustainable. I always say it’s like trying to polish a turd. You can’t stay consistent that way. If the internal landscape doesn’t change, the external landscape doesn’t change—or at least it won’t change long-term.

The only way to work toward a new you is to take a long, hard look at how you became the way you are now. Now, this isn’t an exercise in beating yourself up. It’s an exercise in looking at what you need to succeed, why you feel a need to change, and what hasn’t worked for you so far.

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In many cases, large-scale changes come about when something big happens—a huge internal shift that pushes us forward. For example, the child in school who was told they wouldn’t make it grows up with this big motivation to prove people wrong, manifesting in their hard work and success. Or the unfit dad who smokes suddenly realizes he can’t even play in the park with his kid anymore and decides to kick the habit once and for all.

It’s about suddenly recognizing something about ourselves—a turning point—be that a photo that shocked us, a death, one putdown too many, or an opportunity being waved at us. Something happens and we suddenly see something we don’t want for ourselves or something we want. At that moment, something shifts inside us, and we start doing things a little differently as a result. And it empowers us toward success.

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Ask yourself why

Say your resolution this year is to drink less alcohol. It might be easy enough to succeed at this, just changing your weekly schedule slightly. But if you can’t, and you’re finding it more challenging, you need to ask yourself why. What does the drink do for you that you’re not addressing?

When the internal isn’t shifted, the root cause of why you’re drinking more than you’d like doesn’t either, so you can’t expect the behavior to change. Ask yourself why. Is it boredom, emotional needs, a lack of inspiration, or stress? Why have you gotten to a point where you feel a need to change this about yourself? What have you lost along the way?

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Sometimes, you can engage in new behavior and feel so good about it that it helps clear this blockage. But usually, you need to unblock it first, uncover the root cause, and change the behavior that way. Your behavior and the result you currently have to live with are only the symptoms. The root cause is what you need to identify to change.

Similarly, we need to hold strong to our goals. We all say “ah, fuck it” from time to time and engage in behaviors we know we shouldn’t. That’s normal. But it’s when we don’t get back on the horse and we allow all the progress we’ve made to come undone that we stay where we are, or worse, go further backward.

If saying “fuck it” means one step forward, three steps back, it’s going to be a long time before you get anywhere, and we’ll have increased feelings of failure to deal with for not succeeding. It’s a way to ensure we feel worse about ourselves, not better. Identify what triggers you to say it. What makes you put off the changes you want to make? It might be a lack of willpower, an overwhelming sensation, or feeling worn out. But whatever it is, you want to get down to those root that created the situation you’re now trying to deal with.

New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to establish better habits and start the new year as healthily and happily as possible. But they take a lot of hard work and internal progress. You can’t just change behavior overnight and expect it to stick. You need to change your internal landscape first. Once you identify why you want or need to change something, your resolutions will become a lot easier to stick to. When the internal landscape shifts, the external one soon follows.

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WHY YOU EAT WHEN YOU’RE BORED AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STOP!

YOU’RE NOT HUNGRY, YOU’RE BORED.

Don’t be a victim of mindless snacking (I’m talking to myself too… “Why did I buy those m&m peanuts again?” *face palm*)

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5 Tips to Curb Those Cravings

1 | MAKE SURE YOU’RE EATING ACTUAL MEALS DURING THE DAY.

This may mean that you have to plan your meals in advance. Eating actual meals (and meal planning) will ensure that you’re getting enough protein, fats, and carbs to sustain you between meals. It’s when you don’t have that in-between sustenance that you start snacking…

Ever notice how restricting food intake all day leads to eating a whole pizza, half a sleeve of oreos and some Ben & Jerry’s at night? That’s because the body is meant to eat small meals throughout the day so it doesn’t think it’s starving to death.

2 | DRINK MORE WATER.

People often confuse hunger for thirst. Symptoms of thirst are very similar to that of hunger and the same part of the brain is responsible for both. The next time you sense that you’re hungry, take a moment to ask yourself the following 2 things:

♡. When was the last time I ate something? 

If you’ve eaten within the last 2 hours, you’re probably not hungry.

♡. When was the last time I drank water?

If it’s been over an hour, you’re probably thirsty.

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3 | IDENTIFY YOUR HUNGER CUES.

 Late night snacking while binging Netflix is not acceptable.

Start tracking the times you crave food. This is where a food journal can come in handy. Make a column for the times you crave food and a column for the times you eat, in addition to what you eat or drink throughout the day. This will help to identify patterns that can illuminate what’s a mindless craving vs what is actually hunger.

4 | BRUSH YOUR TEETH

Your taste buds are triggered to hunger receptors in the stomach-brain connection (it’s all connected). For many people, the hunger satiation receptors don’t “go off” until all the taste buds have been stimulated. Ever noticed how after a huge dinner, you somehow miraculously have room for dessert? That’s because your “sweet” taste buds weren’t stimulated enough during dinner, so your brain thinks you have room for it, when in truth, you are stuffed.

Brushing your teeth can give your taste buds the kick in the pants that they need to signal to your stomach-brain connection that you’re good, and that no, you do not need that snack.

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5 | ALWAYS REMEMBER BWYFWSBF: BUT WOULD YOU FUCK WITH SOME BROCCOLI FIRST? 

When all else fails, this one never does. It’s simple and it’ll help you check yourself.

If you’re desperate enough to eat broccoli, then you’re actually hungry. If you’re not, you’re probably just bored.

Drink some water, go for a walk and/or organize something. Your brain is lacking stimulation, so do something that’ll occupy it with mindful activities. Studies have even shown that playing Candy Crush Saga can help curb bored-hunger. You’ve got options. Pick one.

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