The next way to be well is to..... Learn to Recognize Our Own Needs and Feelings and Communicate Them to Others.
There are so many layers to this connection. We must first identify that our needs and feelings are valid. Working through the first two ways to be well will help us get here. We are often disconnected from our needs due to not having them met or having a painful past experience connected to having them met. We do not see our feelings as valid because they have been ignored, we have learned that they do not matter, or there has been a negative consequence associated with their expression.
Navigating life with our needs and feelings suppressed can shut us down. It can not only shut us down to others and the connection we need with them, but it can also shut us down to the connection we need with ourselves.
Communicating Our Needs
For us to communicate our needs to others we first must know what they are for ourselves. We must challenge the internal voices that tell us we are not important, worthy, or valuable. We must begin to move from the internal to the external, checking in with ourselves first. “Is this what is best and healthiest for me…. does this honor my needs or validate my feelings? When we are aware of our needs, we are not looking for others to define them for us. We can advocate for them instead of settling for what others are willing to give us.
Owning Our Feelings
When we can identify our feelings we can come authentically to a conversation, relationship, or situation. We do not have to gear up for defense or shut down for protection. We can openly express ourselves with the knowledge that our feelings are valid but not factual. Because our feelings are subjective and they are experienced through a multitude of filters; upbringing, life experiences, belief systems, we should be careful with using them as facts. We can use them for context, to express an internal experience, for understanding, but because of their subjective nature, we do not want to use them as factual information. Meaning, just because I feel a way, it does not mean it is a way.
All is Well
The good news is that as you work through the ‘Five Ways to Be Well’ you become more aware of your needs, you can identify and express your feelings and you begin to build a more connected, authentic relationship with yourself.
Again, this work can be done with self-help, life-coaching, workshops, trainings and when needed experienced, licensed professionals. Explore all of your options to be Well.