140. About “Feeling Better”

Episode 140 – About “Feeling Better”

The main focus in this week’s episode, is on personal growth and managing emotions while serving a mission. I talk about some of the challenges with only focusing on “feeling better” and argue for the importance of “getting better at feeling” a range of emotions.

I share how understanding that thoughts influence feelings helped me when raising my son on the autism spectrum. I encourage missionaries to accept all emotions as part of God’s plan, rather than trying to change how they feel.

To illustrate balancing both positive and negative emotions, I use the analogy of an “emotion soup” and encourage adding ingredients like compassion and acceptance to make uncomfortable feelings more tolerable.

In this episode, I invite listeners to expand their capacity for all emotions, including difficult ones, to improve their well-being and potential. I emphasize the value of getting comfortable with discomfort to gain greater life experiences.

Overall, I hope this provides tools for missionaries and families to navigate emotions in a healthy, growth-oriented way. My goal is to encourage fully embracing feelings to serve with confidence

If you found this episode helpful, I want to invite you to subscribe if you aren’t already, share this episode with your friends and write a review. I know this work will help missionaries around the world and it would mean so much to me if you did. Until next week my friends.

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0:00 Hey, what’s up everyone, it’s Jennie Dildine, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS mission Podcast, episode number 140. About feeling better. I’m Jennie the LDS mission coach. And whether you’re preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things? Then let’s go. I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission, embrace your life, and embrace what’s next.

0:53 Hey, everybody, welcome. Thanks for being here. i What’s going on? I feel like I haven’t given you guys an update as of late. Not too much going on around here. I been asked to speak at a few different events over the next couple of months, to some different steaks and things, some preparing missionary stuff, some returned missionary stuff. So that’s really fun. Family’s all doing well. don’t really think we have much in the way of trips or vacations planned coming up. We recently returned from Hawaii, which was fun, and just a really nice and relaxing time. And my brain kind of wants to say, oh, that trip, definitely made you feel better. But maybe it did. Maybe it didn’t. We’re going to talk all about feeling better, quote unquote, today, and why it might be useful for us to think about our lives that way. And might be useful for us to think of that as a goal. Like I’m always trying to, quote unquote, feel better. But I think more importantly, I’m going to teach you a different concept that might be even more useful. Okay, so let’s look forward to that as we kind of move through this, I was just gonna ask a big favor here. You know, one of the things that really helps get the word out to more missionaries is and to families and mission leaders and things like that is just writing a review, and subscribing to the podcast. And so if you could do that, it would actually just help so much, because really, my desire, and my heart just wants to get more tools out to more missionaries.

2:59 That’s basically why I’m here. Let’s just get more missionaries, more help. And so if you’re feeling like that is something you’re interested in helping me with, that’s a super easy way to do it, is to just subscribe to the podcast and leave a little review. And then more eyes get on it. And sometimes people are like, oh, you know, anyways, to help a missionary I was actually somewhere just last night. And they were like, I have a missionary getting ready to go. And I was like, oh, you should just search LDS mission on Apple podcasts, and you’ll find me. The other thing that kind of blew my mind you guys is this is episode 140. Which basically means I am like just a few, maybe 12 weeks away from having been doing this podcast for three years. And I just I can’t even believe like when I first started, I was like, Oh, I will run out of ideas. But my clients and the stuff that we’re doing in there and these moms that I talked to, and the emails that I get, and all of that is what fuels the topics for these podcasts. And because I’m still like highly engaged with talking to people about missions and talking to return missionaries and talking to missionary moms and working with missionary moms. There’s always content. And that’s been really fun. I’ve just chosen the thought on purpose. I’ll never run out of things to say as long as I’m continuing to like engage and interact with you, then I’ll never run out of things to say there’s everybody’s experience is so different. There’s we’re also diverse and come from different backgrounds and have different experiences with different mission presidents and different missions and all of that. Like, there’s just always gonna be stuff to talk about, which is really, really fun.

5:07 I remember, I think it was episode eight, I interviewed someone about pornography. And, you know, like, what, what to do if you’re using that as a habit and things like that. And I remember saying to him, it’s Zach Spafford, it was episode eight, I remember saying to him, I, you know, it’s crazy i, because he had a lot of episodes on his podcast back then. And I just remember saying to him, before the interview started, I was like, I have no idea how I’m gonna get like, podcast episodes. But the good news you guys for you is that there’s so much good information on here. There’s just so many good things about perfectionism and just do a little search and you’ll find what you’re looking for. I guess on that note, if there’s something that’s not here, that you want to hear me talk about, if you’re a missionary listening on the mission, you know, on the Google Drive or whatever, just reach out, like I love having conversations with you, I was just the other day having a full, I think a mom and I message back and forth for like, probably 45 minutes. I love having conversations with you guys and hearing about your experiences. So you can either email me, Jenny, Jennie dildine.com, or like, message me on Facebook, if you’re a missionary, and you have a Facebook account, or you can even email podcast at Jennie dildine.com, if you want to get the podcast on a Google Drive for your missionary, so I’m all about it. Let’s record this podcast about feeling better. Okay.

6:50 It was funny how this idea kind of came to me I was really kind of a couple weeks ago, I was laying in bed and you know that little time in the morning right before you wake up. And it’s sort of like you’re almost sort of conscious, but not quite. And I had this idea kind of plop into my brain about how most of the time, this is what our brain seeks to do. It tries to seek to get us into a quote unquote, better position, maybe in our job or on the mission, it seeks to get us into a better environment, it seeks to get us to feel better. There’s this whole, like self help, really, you know, movement that we’ve been going through for the last several years to think better and feel better and do better and do more. And I think all of that is really good. I do think that our Heavenly Parents designed us to progress and to want more and to evolve and to transform. But I think that sometimes this idea of wanting to quote unquote, feel better, can become problematic. And I’m going to talk about why when I think I talked about this last week, but when I first learned about coaching, and that my thoughts created my feelings and my feelings drive, drive my actions. I was, you know, I think I’ve shared this on the podcast before, but I have a son that’s on the autism spectrum. And

8:34 raising him all those years was rough. And he’s really doing quite well. Now. He’s at Ensign college and rides the train from Orem every day. And he’s, he’s doing remarkably well. And I’m so proud of him. And he graduated last year, but those years before I found coaching, and before I understood that my thoughts created my feelings, I it was some rough times. And then about that time, my oldest son like left on his mission, and my youngest daughter started kindergarten and man I didn’t, I just was basically in a tornado of my own emotions. And so when I first started understanding or learn the concept that my thoughts create my feelings, I was like, perfect. Right now I’m full of insecurity, sometimes some self loathing, sometimes thinking like thoughts like I’m a bad mom, and I’m never gonna do this right. And I can’t ever measure up. You know, thoughts like that, that create other feelings like shame and things like that. And so, when I first learned, like, thoughts create feelings, of course, our first instinct is always like, Oh, well, I want to feel better. So tell me how to change my thought.

9:57 And interestingly that when I have a strategy call with someone, and I sort of teach them just a little bite sized piece about this idea about how our thoughts create our feelings. And maybe they’re a returned missionary, and they’re like, Oh, I just feel so unfulfilled, right? And I’m like, then we talk about that is the thoughts that create that unfulfillment. And what were the thoughts you thought on your mission? Let’s see if we can believe some of those thoughts right now. Right, we start kind of talking about the thoughts creating the feelings. And inevitably, they’re like, Oh, well, I don’t want to feel unfulfilled. I don’t want to feel insecure, I don’t want my confidence to be going down the toilet, tell me what to think instead. Okay. And this makes sense, our brain doesn’t like those uncomfy feelings. Remember, it sees them the same as sort of like physical pain, it’s like, Let’s avoid that at all costs. But once we really understand that there’s no wrong way to feel. And none of those thoughts are bad, which we talked about last week, none of them are a problem. Once we truly understand, there’s no wrong way to feel this work becomes less about controlling what we feel, and swapping out those thoughts and trying to always, quote unquote, feel better. And it becomes more about learning how to manage what we’re thinking and feeling, not need to change it, but allow it and surrender to it.

11:35 We’re always going to have a ton of thoughts that create feelings. And remember, our heavenly parents knew this, when they sent us to this earth. That’s why they gave us these brains and these bodies was so that we’d be able to think and feel and create the experiences that we want to create. So it’s all good. It’s actually all part of the plan. But I don’t remember any part in the Scriptures where Jesus was like, I’m just trying to feel better. And seek to feel better. Actually, he went around doing a lot of good and like suffering, right? And being sad at times, and, and being moved with compassion, and going through some really hard stuff. Or if we think about maybe Joseph Smith’s life or something like that. It was never like, No, I’m just trying to feel better. Okay. So it makes sense that we have these thoughts, which we talked all about last week. And it makes sense that we have all of these feelings, and it makes sense that we want to quote unquote, feel better picture, maybe we’re on our mission. And we just arrived in the mission, and our brain is freaking out about all of the new stuff and about this new companion, and the things that we’re going to have to learn and if we’re good enough, and if we’re prepared, and if we know the Scriptures well enough, and all of that, and then we’re going to feel a ton of feelings. And it’s okay. Listen, if you’re a missionary right now hearing this, it’s okay to feel the way you feel. And it makes sense. You guys, it’s actually why we’re here on this earth is to learn how to feel. I personally feel like our heavenly parents, and God is not just all knowing, but he’s all feeling. Same with Jesus, he’s all feeling that’s why he can know how we feel because he’s felt it.

13:37 So we’re here to experience the entire range of human emotion. So what we tend to do, if we get in this trap of needing to constantly, quote unquote, feel better, what we tend to do is we tend to avoid our emotions, we dismiss those emotions, we sometimes try to go around those emotions, like if I can just distract myself long enough. And I’ll just go around that emotion. We tend to buffer from our emotions. And I think this has come up maybe a couple times on the podcast here, which is basically a way to sort of like dumb down or mute the feelings that we’re feeling sometimes it will buffer with food or will buffer with online shopping or will buffer with gossiping, or something like that. It’s basically a way to dumb down the emotions that we’re feeling. And sometimes we just like, replace those feelings all together. Like I kind of mentioned in the middle in the beginning, it’s like we want a thought swap or like, well, I don’t want to feel that so I’m just going to force myself to think this instead. Okay, but it, we can do all of those things. And we can sort of work towards feeling better, but what I want to offer to you today is what’s far more important. And what is completely life and mission transformational is to not work to feel better. But to get better at feeling let me say that again, we need to stop chasing feel better. And we need to start embracing the process of getting better at feeling.

15:35 So recently, I started watching some shows about England, and like the 1400s, and the beginning of the monarchy and not the beginning. But you know, those early days in the medieval times. And some of the stuff just like, it’s crazy, what they had to go through, and like their hand to hand combat and all of that. And then just like, I like that the fact that they had to have babies in those castles where it was cold. And maybe there was no midwife available. I mean, it’s just crazy, right? And it was, there’s the hard floor, and they had like, maybe a bed made out of straw, right, and maybe they had a fire to keep them warm, and they had candles. But back then they had to learn to tolerate all kinds of discomfort. They had to learn to tolerate loss, they had to learn to tolerate sadness, they had to learn to tolerate feeling, like guilt, or, you know, back in that time, there was a lot of like jealousy, at least some of the stuff that I’m watching, like, there was some jealousy and there was some pride and all of all of these things kind of mashed up in the middle of it, but and then they would lose their babies right sometimes. And so there was grief that they had to learn to tolerate and feel. Not to mention, just, I mean, I hate being cold. So this comes to mind is like it’s cold in those castles, there was no central air, right. And right now, in our day and age, I’m sitting here in my office, and there’s a heater like a space here right next to me here. And if I want to, and I get a little chilly, I can turn it on. And then as soon as I get a little hot, I turn it off, I do it all day long talking to clients off, on off on off on, if I get a little cold, if I get a little hot. And so I write we have less of ability, less of an ability to tolerate or to metabolize feeling those emotions that don’t feel as good. Okay. And so when we’re talking about like heat and cold, and pain, and all of that, like that’s actually more about physical pain, but even our emotions, right, we, at least just by virtue of this world that we live in now. And with all of our advancements, we have less, um, sort of, we can tolerate less, as far as as far as that goes. And not to say, like, Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not making any judgments about like, back in the other generation, we had to work much harder. And I’m not saying any of that. All I’m saying is, instead of looking to feel better, maybe we just need to get better at feeling you guys. If you think about this, if you’re on your mission, or your return missionary or you’re a missionary Mom, if you were an epic feeler, you were so good at feeling all of the emotions, you are super familiar with them. They didn’t let your emotions didn’t stop you from being the person you want it to be. Like, what could you accomplish? I mean, the answer is anything. If you were super proficient and at feeling and getting better at feeling, you just expand your world and your possibilities, even more and even more. And this is something that is an overarching theme with hundreds of clients and emails and people that I’ve talked to is we need to stop searching to feel better and get better at feeling and learning how to feel. Okay. So and this is not like a blanket state meant across the board. Of course, there’s some emotions that we shouldn’t have to tolerate. There’s some things that might require therapy, there’s some things that might require medication. I’m not like insinuating, let’s just all suffer all the time, what I am saying is what we could focus on instead of like, I just want to feel happy, and content is just learning to metabolize, and get better at feeling. Okay?

20:29 Let me give you this example, this analogy that I came up with, which is called the emotion soup. So our tendency when we’re feeling sad, is we just think, well, I want to feel better. I want to feel happy. And instead of replacing and working towards, well, how can I seek happiness? Can I get it here? Can I get it from my friends? Can I get it from the temple? Can I get it from here get where can I get happiness so that I can replace my sadness? Let’s think about it more like how can we add some love and compassion and understanding to my sadness soup, so that it’s more tolerable so that it’s more stomach bubble? Let’s feel the sadness. But let’s soften it and give some like, depth and like, cushion and some. Compassion is the only word I can think of, but to like, you know, ease the discomfort, not stop the discomfort totally. But be kinder to ourselves while we’re feeling discomfort. So maybe, if you’re feeling a little bit of resentment towards your companion, maybe we can soften it forced with some acceptance and compassion for yourself, which sounds like man, it totally makes sense that I feel resent right resentment right now. It’s okay. I’m human. And do I want to feel this way forever? Probably not. But it’s okay. If I do. And let’s just add some compassion in there. Okay. Maybe you’re feeling embarrassed about how your date went on Friday? If you’re an RM and you’ve just started, like, jumping back into the dating scene? Let’s instead of just being like, I can’t be embarrassed, I shouldn’t be embarrassed. Let’s get rid of the embarrassment. I can’t tolerate embarrassment. Let’s replace it. Let’s think of that emotion soup. How can we add something else into the soup to make it more tolerable and more bearable? Can we add in some connection? Can we add in some compassion? Can we add some confidence in to the soup to that we can actually have both feelings existing at the same time. If you’re on your mission, and you’re feeling lonely, which happens often because we’re human. Instead of just like, I gotta get rid of this loneliness. I can’t tolerate loneliness. And like try to quote unquote, feel better just say, hey, what if I just got better at feeling, not just loneliness, but if I was feeling some peace and contentment and self love, and add that into your emotion soup, okay. So let’s see my mom when I was dating. She used to use the soup analogy with me. But it was more to do with like the boys I was dating. If I came home from a date, like feeling a certain way, she’d be like, Oh, well, that’s just add that into the soup. Or if I had had an experience with someone, she’d be like, oh, let’s just stir that into the soup. And that’s how I’d love for you to think about this soup as well is we have to have a balance, like we have to have a little bit of spice, we have to have a little bit of sweet we have to have a little bit of fresh lime in there. Right?

24:00 We kind of have all of the things and that is what makes the soup have depth and be delicious. Now just a quick reminder how we process emotion is we give the emotion and name we relax into it. We get out of our head and into our body and describe the emotion with adjectives and I’m talking kindergarten adjectives. Now our brain again, will tell us we just want to feel better. We just want a sweet soup with liquid marshmallows and chocolate caramel. But listen, we would get tired of that after a while, right? Not to mention, experiencing only the sweet provides no benefit. There’s actually no substance no anything that we gain from just guzzling liquid caramel, or liquid chocolate. Okay, we need the balance of all of the different things in our soup. We can add a little spice. If it’s too bland, we can like calm down the spice a little bit by adding more broth, whatever we need to do, we can see all of our emotions as normal. Okay? And that we’re human, we drop that judgment, we can just drop the judgment of like, I shouldn’t be feeling this or I should be feeling better. We can be just tell ourselves, what I want to do is I want to expand my capacity to feel the tough stuff. And what’s so cool about this, you guys, is when you expand your ability to feel the tough stuff, you equally expand your ability to experience, the sweet. And the really lovely stuff. It works both ways. So when we are better at feeling, the not so comfy emotions, we’ll also get better at like holding and experiencing the amazingly, like fun emotions to feel. So I invite us all including me, this is a reminder for me as well, to stop chasing, feeling better. Okay, and that needs to happen sometimes. But let’s all work on getting better at feeling. Alright, okay, you guys have the most amazing week and we’ll talk to you next time.

26:31 Serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can present a unique set of challenges, and many of those challenges you might not even see coming. So you’re gonna want a unique set of solutions. It’s easier than you think to overcome worry and anxiety, serve the successful mission you’ve always dreamed up and navigate your post mission experience with confidence. That is why I created some amazing free goodies that I’m sharing in my show notes. Maybe you want to grab the free training for preparing missionaries, my video course for RMS or maybe you and I should hop on a free strategy call. If you’re ready to take your preparedness to serve or your preparedness to come home to the next level. Then go grab one of those freebies. And in the meantime, no matter which part of the mission experience you are involved in. Just know that Jenny, the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day.

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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