A client came into my office the other day visibly upset. Before even taking her coat off and
sitting down she blurted out, ‘God I’m so fricken frustrated and angry!’
As I let her vent and she starts to calm down, I notice the collar on her jacket is causing her
discomfort and distracting her. I ask her an odd question:
Me: Can you feel the jacket on your body?
Her: Ya, it’s bothering me, I think I want to take it off.
Me: Describe how and where you feel your jacket.
Her: Ummm… I can feel it being tight in my armpits and the collar is digging into the back of
Me: Are you your jacket?
Her: What? No.
Me: So you can feel it, but you are separate from it?
We can experience our emotions in 2 ways:
We can identify as them (ex: I am frustrated)
Or we can observe them (ex: I am feeling frustrated right now)
When we identify with our emotions,we tend to get absorbed and overwhelmed by them.
They take the steering wheel and drive unhelpful behaviour as a result.
When we observe emotions, we can recognize them as a passing experience happening to
us. We can recognize that they show up without attaching judgement or shame. We learn
from them and how to respond in healthier ways.
The next time emotions appear for you, take a moment to notice how they feel in your body
with the same curiosity as you would notice how your jacket feels.
Call or Text: 778.932.1978
About the Author: Steve currently resides in the sunny Okanagan in British Columbia Canada where he spends his free time camping at remote lakes chasing monster rainbow trout with a flyrod.