Stop minimising what you’re feeling

June 30, 2022

Pain is not wrong. Reacting to pain as wrong initiates the trance of unworthiness. The moment we believe something is wrong, our world shrinks and we lose ourselves in the effort to combat the pain.”   Tara Brach

Today’s article is an invitation to stop sweeping your feelings under the rug.

I’m talking about when:

  • You minimise what you are feeling. The typical “Oh sure, I’m grand!” when that’s the opposite of what you are feeling.
  • You tell yourself there’s someone suffering more than you do, so you should “just be thankful” for what you’ve got.
  • You consistently forget to put your needs first and avoid asking yourself what you really need.
  • You talk yourself quickly out of pain with some forced positive spins.
  • You don’t stop to ask yourself how something or someone is affecting your mood.

There’s a Buddhist saying that goes like:

Pain + Resistance = Suffering

When you resist what you are feeling, it gets swept under the rug.

It’s like blowing air inside a balloon. There’s only enough space for that balloon to stretch before it blows up, causing suffering, causing you to feel out of control.

That’s what happens when you consistently try to minimise or deny your feelings.

Let’s say for example, you are going through a stressful time in your family life. You might be feeling you’ve got more on your plate than you can actually handle. You might be feeling frustration, resentment, exhaustion. You might be wondering why you are always giving and not having any time at all for yourself. You might suffer from not getting attention or not having many asking how you are getting on, if you need help.

You might find yourself resisting the feelings that arise within you by saying to yourself there must be something wrong with you for feeling this way about the people you love the most. The pressure could be pushing you to some serious negative self-talk or through a period of intense bingeing.

In this case I invite you to Notice & Allow.

Instead of resisting these feelings and wishing they would just go away, allow them to be.

What I’m talking about here is practicing some radical acceptance, which Tara Brach describes as “the willingness to experience yourself and your life just as it is”.

Carl Rogers, a humanistic psychologist, said something I deeply believe in and I’m learning to live by more and more:

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

When you stop resisting what is, who you are, what you look like, what you are experiencing, there’s an important shift that happens within you.

It’s not that the feelings magically go away and you say that everything is ok. What happens is that you stop fighting against them or denying them.

This is what creates some space for change to happen.

What is changing is YOU and the way you look at what’s happening, not the situation or the feeling itself.

I honestly believe this is the best kept secret when it comes to working through discomfort, when trying to work through bingeing or a difficult relationship with oneself or one’s body.

Radical acceptance is not an easy & quick answer to a problem.

It’s the exact opposite of sweeping things under the rug and proving that you have it all together when you’re not.

However, it is certainly a skill that practised over and over pays out in the long run.

What shift could you make if you trusted that you can manage your feelings with compassion and acceptance whenever they arise? That you can sit with your feelings for longer than you thought?

Think about the difference it would make if you were to respond to your binges with acceptance, offering yourself the much needed support and kindness you need after bingeing, instead of moving into scolding mode as you might be used to do?

I invite you to start noticing and allowing things to be. To do it for a week whenever something difficult arises. And then continue, repeat and repeat.

Resources to heal the relationship with food and body.

Instead of giving out at yourself and being your worst critic, you can try and talk to yourself with more compassion, using phrases like:

  • “I have faced difficult situations before and I know that I will overcome this, but for now it is okay if I feel like this. I don’t have to force myself into feeling something different right away.”
  • “It didn’t go as I expected but I will try to be more compassionate with myself.”
  • “Whatever happens, I will still be worthy to myself.”
  • “This situation hurts me so I will be even kinder towards myself”.
  • “Right now, I don’t feel at ease but it’s still not the worst thing that can happen to me. Even so, it’s okay for me to feel this way.”

These are not magic formulas, but rather words of trust and understanding that you can learn to turn to, day after day, to gain more awareness of what you are feeling, greater acceptance of yourself and a more constructive attitude.

Finally, I’d love to suggest a short practice of acceptance of your experience as it is. If you want to make a good use of 15 min of your time this weekend, make it to be this practice from Tara Brach on Embodying Acceptance & Care.

Imagine practicing this over and over again. 

How many benefits might this bring to your life?

With kindness,



Thanks for reading!

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Written by Donatella Porceddu

I am a registered psychologist and life coach specialised in binge and emotional eating, body kindness, and mindful eating. I empower women to become the best version of themselves through my comprehensive approach, which combines personal coaching and psychology, leveraging my client’s strengths and building around their opportunities.

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If you have any questions, reach out to me today. I’ll be more than happy to connect with you and see how I can help.

Donatella Porceddu Psychologist & Eating Coach specialised in Binge Eating, Overeating, Emotional Eating, Food freedom, anti-diet approach. 1:1 support through my Make Peace with Food program.

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