Overthinking how you feel is not healing how you feel.
Analyzing the past, tracing traumas to their roots, figuring out who deserves blame, recognizing the circumstances that brought you to where you are today… all of that is great for understanding your problem, but it doesn’t solve the problem.
If you feel as though you’re always stuck in negative feeling cycles and nothing can bring you relief, it’s probably because you’re not letting your feelings out in a real way.
You’re simply analyzing them as a matter of giving yourself some temporary relief.
When you’re intellectualizing how you feel, you’re avoiding the real and hard work of actually metabolizing how you feel. It’s not about knowing where the pain came from. It’s letting yourself process it so you can finally move on.
Almost everyone knows how to think about their feelings, but almost nobody knows how to release their feelings.
We release when we cry.
We release when we take a notebook and write down our most honest, brutal, and heartbreaking thoughts.
We release when we exercise, when we talk to a trusted friend, when we go to therapy.
We release when we allow our feelings to materialize in some way. Until we do this, they remain on a feedback loop that is almost impossible to break.
Until we find a way to release our emotions — and the method will be different for everyone — they will quietly control our lives. The past will remain unresolved, closure won’t be found, and we’ll feel lost, though we are taking the right steps to be found.
Once we have released our emotions, we can then start to do the real work of analyzing the lessons that need to be learned.
Instead of sitting and thinking about how terrible we feel, how unfair life has been, how unfortunately the years have treated us, we can turn our attention toward what we should actually be thinking about, which is what those times have taught us.
Maybe we know what not to do in the future.
Maybe we learned a crucial lesson about who to trust.
Maybe we gained some life-changing self-awareness that will forever alter the way we approach our relationships.
Maybe we have learned what doesn’t work, so we can be one step closer to what does.
Maybe we figured out something about who we are, something we didn’t know before.
In every one of life’s challenges exists something of an equal or greater benefit to us, but we must be willing to unravel our experiences, release our feelings, and move on different — and better — than we ever have been before.