I kept saying to myself, “Ok, you need to practice A.S.K.,” so I would acknowledge my feelings (“I am feeling sad and overwhelmed”), and then I would move on to slowing down and getting into my body, and then kindly pulling back to see the big picture. And it wasn’t working. I wasn’t getting any relief. No matter how many times I tried it.
At the end of the day, I said to my husband, “I don’t know if this A.S.K. thing works anymore! I have gone through it 50 times today and still feel full of anxiety.”
I shared with my husband that I was feeling sad about the death of Kobe Bryant because he reminds me of my Dad since my Dad loved him and because he reminded me of my own mortality. As soon as I shared what I was feeling and why, I heard my Monger say, “Well that is stupid. I mean you didn’t even know Kobe Bryant.”
And then I had an ah-ha, “Wait a minute, have I really acknowledged my feelings or did I just name them?” So again I tried to name my feelings and I had another major ah-ha. This time when I named them, I allowed them.
I said to myself, “It is just hard to feel sad” and “I feel silly feeling sad for someone I never met” and “It’s ok to feel sad. It is what it is.”
Yes, earlier in the day I was naming my feelings. Yes, I was saying them out loud. But what followed was my Monger saying, ‘Well that’s not appropriate. That is ridiculous. How can you be feeling that way?!” So I wasn’t actually acknowledging and allowing my feelings; I was saying them and then slamming them down with criticism and judgment.
As a mental health professional and anxiety coach, I even have to revisit my own practices. Here were a few things I learned from this ah-ha.
Feelings are tricky, especially if you struggle with anxiety. Make sure to check out this week’s podcast episode, which is all about acknowledging your feelings and how to use the A.S.K. process.