Have you ever been told that what you feel isn't real? Or that it's all in your head, you're making it up? Or that you're just being silly/stubborn/stupid/paranoid/lame/etc...?! It's frustrating to be told these things. It not only takes away from how we're feeling, the validity of it, but it also takes a jab at our ego.
Recently I had a student of mine say something that I found really profound: "What I feel is real."
Let that sink in for a moment. How different would a past scenario be if you held your ground and owned how you felt? What would have been different? If, in the face of being put down for how you felt, you instead owned it and didn't allow other's to influence your feelings?
How often do we let other's dictate how we feel? Now realistically, Eleanor was on to something when she said that no one can make us feel anything, that we are in control of our feelings. How can we better preserve our own feelings without allowing outside interference?
The first step is to start to identify and understand your emotions. Start naming what it is you're feeling. Take a moment each day, maybe even just once a day (at random times or a specific time each day) and check in with yourself. Name it, in one word if possible. Use a list if you need inspiration. Acknowledge the named feeling, ponder for a brief moment why it is you feel this emotion, and ask yourself what you need. For example, if you feel more down, what could be helpful for you? Could you quickly listen to a favorite song or watch/read something uplifting or distracting online? Could you text with a close friend, just to say hi and briefly catch up?
It may all sound totally unnecessary and seem awkward, but the more we acknowledge and connect with our emotions then the more we are able to own and feel them. Think about how nice it feels to acknowledge when you feel good. Ahh, gratitude! It's the same as when we acknowledge the not-so-good emotions, at it's bottom line.
And, as I've mentioned before, everything is temporary; feelings are fleeting. Avoiding feelings only causes them build up; acknowledging them allows for more ownership and understanding of how we feel, as well as providing self-validation.
After reading this, check in with yourself. Name how you feel. Own it, accept it. Don't try to force it to change.
...then, as Bravo says, watch what happens.