First, accept yourself
Feeling miserable? Good, says therapist Tina Gilbertson. Allowing yourself to feel bad feelings instead of fighting them is a healthy route to feeling OK again and is the key to self-acceptance.
‘When we push away part of us that feels that way, it creates a fragmented self with an acceptable me and unacceptable me,’ she says. But when we let ourselves be honest, and are compassionate with ourselves while we have a good wallow, the feelings dissolve and we can move forward again.
You don’t have to rant and vent – the objective is to get real about how you feel using the TRUTH technique. It takes courage but it also takes less than two minutes, says recent research, for a particular feeling to move through you.
Try the TRUTH technique
T: What’s upset you? Tell the truth in one sentence: ‘My neighbour played loud music till 3am and I didn’t get any sleep.’
R: Realise what you’re feeling: ‘I feel angry, frustrated, outraged.’
U: Uncover self-criticism. Look out for ‘should’ language: ‘I should have gone round there and given her what-for.’
T: Try to understand yourself. Why might a person feel this way? ‘I’ve always been taught to put others’ needs before mine.’
H: Have the feeling. Be kind. ‘I feel angry that my neighbour/people in general are not considerate. It’s like I don’t even matter. I feel ignored and unloved.’
Constructive Wallowing: How To Beat Bad Feelings By Letting Yourself Have Them by Tina Gilbertson is published by Piatkus, and costs £10.99