Practical Steps to Honour Your Feelings

We have grown up in a world that endorses the mantra of ‘toughing out’ rather than ‘feeling through’.

The ‘suck it up sunshine’ colloquialism has been ingrained into our culture, leading us to suppress and ignore our feelings in order to appear strong and resilient.

You don’t need me to tell you how detrimental this attitude can be on our mental and emotional well-being.

During the middle stages of my career, I developed chronic fatigue, but failed to acknowledge this in any serious way.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, I suppressed the symptoms, pretended it was all okay, convinced myself to push through and that “I’ll get past this.”

“This is just something I have to overcome”

Surprise surprise, far from getting better, I ended up in a battle with depression and suicidal tendencies…a far cry from a place of joy and simplicity.

At this time, I was experiencing everything I didn’t want to experience. 

So, what did I fail to do?

Well, a lot of things. I could have rested, recovered, seen medical experts, yadda yadda yadda.

But there was something more fundamental that I was ignoring. 

At its core, I mean to honour how you feel every day – not deconstruct it, psycho-analyse it, stuff it or dismiss it.

Honouring your feelings means acknowledging them as valid and important, giving them space to be felt and recognising that our emotions are not something to be controlled or suppressed, but rather an integral part of who we are.

Right now, if I were to honour my feelings: I am physically strong, mentally capable but spiritually and emotionally a little fragile as I’m navigating some personal changes in my life that are stressful.

I firmly believe that too often we’re told to reconcile our emotions. This is different to simply feeling our emotions…honouring them.

If we can just feel how we feel, as opposed to going into the lizard brain of reconciling them and constructing reasons, excuses or stories as to ‘why I feel this way’ and trying to rationalise them…we can consistently navigate life’s daily challenges in a healthier way.

In my case of chronic fatigue and my mental injury that followed, over a period of time I was able to come to terms with the fact that the common denominator in all of my suffering was me.

Think about it in your own circumstances. Where’s the common denominator when you feel down/stressed/angry?

Is it in your anxiety? In future-thinking? In expectations?

For me, it was expectation. “I expect myself to push through this. The world is expecting me to overcome this. The world is expecting me to win.”

This story I repeated to myself was simply an external projection of expectation, which then became my intrinsic constitution that was governing me and my actions. So instead of honouring how I felt, I had to keep pushing it away because I was more focused on my own expectations and outcomes than I was on my own feelings.

The turning point was recognising and acknowledging that I was in a bad place, and a phone call to my best friend who simply said: “What took you so long?”

She comforted me, held space for me, but most importantly, challenged me to sit in my feelings instead of trying to rationalise. Because if I didn’t come to terms with how I felt, then it simply wouldn’t matter how much support she was able to give me, I would continue to revert back to the unhealthy stories I’d created. What did I learn? If I’m rationalising, I’m relying on rational-lies to justify my behaviours.


Honouring your feelings means acknowledging and accepting them without judgement or criticism. It’s about being kind and gentle with yourself, and understanding that it’s okay to not always have a reason or explanation for how you feel.

It’s just how you feel.

5 Steps to Honour Your Feelings

  1. Journal: It’s the easy one because we all have five minutes to get out a notepad, a pen and quietly reflect on how we’re feeling. Sit with your thoughts, jot them down, feel them and let go of the lizard brain inclination. The key is consistency and honesty in your reflections.
  2. Accept your emotions: Our emotions are simply energy moving through our body. We don’t need to judge them, name them or label them because the more words we wrap around them, the more we identify with them, the more power we give them. 
  3. Support: Surround yourself with people who validate your feelings and provide a safe space for you to express yourself. This could be friends, family, support groups, or mental health professionals. Knowing you’re not alone in your experiences can be incredibly empowering.
  4. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself when you’re going through tough emotional times. Instead of self-criticism or judgement, offer yourself the same compassion and understanding you would offer a friend.
  5. Play: Sometimes emotions are too complex to untangle through thought alone. Engaging in physical activity, whether it’s a gentle walk, yoga, or more intense exercise, can help release pent-up emotions. Allow yourself to let go and have fun, even if it’s just for a little while.

It may take some time and practice to become comfortable with honouring your feelings, but it is an important step in taking care of your mental and emotional well-being.

Your feelings are the reverberations of your inner truth, and honouring them isn’t merely about survival, it’s about flourishing in a way that’s authentic to who you are. Whether you resonate with deep sorrow or quiet uncertainty, remember this – feelings are transient visitors, and they only stick around for as long as we let them. So, honour them, learn from them, and then let them go with gratitude for the lessons they teach us about ourselves.

Love Layne xx

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