This article is going to be shorter than most, because the main idea is very simple: Speed. Kills. Feeling. In other words, if you're having feelings that you don't like, one way to get away from them is to speed up. That might mean getting busy with some activity or project on the outside, but it also might mean getting busy with some activity on the inside.
You may know people who are always busy with some activity, whose fast pace reminds you of the Energizer Bunny. And you may be that way yourself. You may feel like you're always going 100 miles an hour. If so, try asking yourself, Why? Is there something that you're running from? What would happen if you slowed down? Does your Inner Critic constantly yell at you to go faster, to keep going, to do more? Where did you learn that? Who said that to you? Have you ever tried slowing down to see what that might be like?
Since feelings often take time to come to the surface, slowing down creates the space for more feelings to surface. All sorts of feelings – happy and sad, pleasure and pain. Typically, the first feelings to rise into awareness will be the most intense ones, but don't let that throw you. They won't all be that intense, and things will probably get easier after that.
After the more intense feelings have arisen and passed through, you'll probably notice other feelings arising, feelings that you may not have ever noticed before. Feelings that are more subtle than you're used to noticing. But they're all important. Your feelings contain information for you, information about what's really going on inside you, about what you really want and don't want, which may be different from what you think you should feel and should want.
It may take time for you to sort out what you really feel from what you think you should feel. That's okay; that's natural. But if you don't give the process the time it needs, that sorting can't happen, and you may be mistaking a 'should' for your real feeling. If you don't take the time to listen to the still, small voice inside you, you will never hear what it is trying to tell you. And that might lead you to make some bad decisions. Decisions you will regret later. Decisions you will look back on and think, “I knew that was a bad choice, even then. Why did I do that?”
So slow down. Give yourself some time and space for your deeper feelings to surface. Listen for that small voice that you usually ignore. It might have something important to tell you.
For more on this topic, see my related articles, called What is an Emotion? and Put the Story Aside.