148. The Way You Are Feeling Is Not Bad

Hey everyone, Jennie here with the latest episode of the LDS Mission Podcast. On this week’s episode, I wanted to discuss the importance of viewing our emotions in a positive light. Rather than labeling feelings as “good” or “bad”, I encourage listeners to think of emotions as helpful signals that can guide us.

I share several analogies, such as comparing emotions to smoke detectors, that are meant to keep us safe rather than trigger shame. Tune in to learn how emotions can reveal what matters to us, show us what’s possible, and even spur us to positive action.

My hope is that reframing how we think about feelings will help all missionaries to navigate their experiences with more confidence and self-compassion. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite tools and strategies, so don’t miss out on this insightful discussion!

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 148. The way you are feeling is not bad. 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. Hey, everybody, welcome to the podcast. Do you know what today is? Today, Taylor Swift. This is probably not what you were thinking I was gonna start out with. But her album comes out today, the new album are big fans, we’re big Taylor Swift Fans over here, I’m not gonna lie. So I’m super excited about that. Also, happy Friday to all of you. It’s fun to be with you and to be sharing some ideas and some thoughts with you. What’s on my mind today is just a reminder about how important it is that we give missionaries that are preparing currently serving and returned missionaries, the tools that they are going to want to create the experiences that they want to have on their missions. And after. And so I appreciate you being here. And I appreciate you spending your time with me and sharing the work that we’re doing here, because it’s super important. And I’ve seen missions really help people. And I’ve seen missions really cause a lot of people to struggle. And I think there’s a lot of reasons for that. But my goal, and what I’m hoping for us to accomplish here is give everyone more and more tools to help more and more of our missionaries thrive. When they’re out and thrive. When they come home. I did have one person say to me, like when they come home, they’re not really missionaries anymore. So I don’t know if you should be in that arena. And I was like, well, having had my own returned missionaries and worked with so many No, there is a tough sort of transitional period after the mission that I think is super important to address. I think it’s super important to help to get help navigating that and to get help, kind of figuring that out and transitioning back to real life. It’s like you literally changed your brain on the mission. And then you come home and your brain is like wait, what, what just happened? How do I fit in? How does all of this work? Typically, we see confidence go down sometimes worth go down. Sometimes we feel like we’ve lost our purpose. Many times I have people reach out and I’m always kind of surprised. It’s like well, do you work with this kind of missionary? And the answer, my friends is if it’s related to the LDS mission experience at all? The answer is yes, we have a coach for you. I have a team of coaches that work for me, I have a team of RM mentors were returned missionaries that work for me. And we are here to help and give more love and more tools to all of you, the families, the people that it affects, preparing, currently serving and return missionary. If you have been in a service mission you and you’re transferring back out if you’ve been home for a little bit of a mental health, respite before you go back out, if you are home earlier than you were thinking if you’re a service missionary, if you come home and do a little bit of a service mission and you’re trying to decide how long you want to do that if you are out serving if you have experienced anxiety in the past if you haven’t if you are returned home and doing wonderfully well, if you returned home and you are really struggling everything in between moms who are struggling with their kids being gone, missionaries who are homesick, they the LDS mission experience, you guys is unique. And it then therefore requires a unique set of solutions and tools and strategies to manage all of it and we are here for all of it. So if it has anything to do with the mission experience at all in any form or fashion, the answer is yes. We are here to help to give more love to spread more light and to get more help and tools and strategies. So that’s what’s on my mind today. Just wanted to share with you that little piece now. Let’s talk about the way you are feeling is not Bad. Okay. I was recently talking to a missionary. And she’s actually been, she was out on a mission, a teaching mission came home for a service mission. And now she’s getting ready to go back out into serve in her home mission where she lives. But as a teaching missionary, which is kind of fun that I’ve seen that start to happen a little bit here and there. So I was talking to her, and she’s really worried about some of the emotions that she might feel when she gets out on the mission again, and even when she thinks about being out on the teaching part of the mission, again, she has a lot of emotions, like worry, and stress and overwhelm. And what she said to me is, she said, I know that it’s bad that I’m thinking and feeling about it this way. This is what I want to address today is that it’s not bad. In fact, on the fly, I came up with this analogy with her that I want to share with you today is when she said, I know that it’s bad, that I’m worried about this, I know that it’s bad that it’s going to that I’m nervous about this. And what I said to her, as I said, you know, that would sort of be like calling of a fire alarm, bad. Or a smoke detector, bad. So I want to sort of all of us, instead of thinking of our emotions as good and bad. Think about a smoke detector that’s in your house. Right? Or a fire alarm that’s in a school? Like it is there for your safety to give you help? And yes, if if your smoke detector goes off in the middle of the night, which we’ve had a couple of times lately, just because we’ve been doing some painting and stuff and kind of moving stuff around. And and I don’t know, why does it always seem like all of the smoke detectors run out of batteries of that same time? It’s like within a month, everyone is chirping? Is that annoying? Yes. But is the smoke detector bad? No. In fact, it’s vital for our safety and for our survival. And for a lot of other reasons that we’re going to talk about. So I want us to think of our emotions, our feelings in the same way. So I came up with 12 things that our emotions are if they’re not bad, and they aren’t bad, I any emotion that you’re feeling today, I want you to just take a minute, acknowledge yourself and say, It’s okay that I feel this way. And it makes sense that I do.

8:03 They are not bad, I think especially, and on the mission. And in our church, we start it’s really easy for us to group, the way that we want to feel into like, if we’re kind of living the way we’re supposed to, then we feel these emotions. And if we’re not living the way we’re supposed to, then we’re going to feel these emotions. But none of that is necessarily true, what we actually want is the entire range of human emotion. For a lot of different reasons to keep us safe, to keep us aware that I’m going to talk to you all of these 12 reasons and and what emotion and feelings are, if they’re not bad, because they’re not. Okay. So you don’t need to question yourself, you don’t need to judge yourself, you don’t need to feel shame or guilt that you feel a certain way. You can just feel that feeling. And there’s a lot of reasons that we feel them. So I want to share with you these 12 reasons why we have these smoke detectors or these alarms in our, in our bodies in our lives. Okay, number one, I like to think of emotions as an exclamation point. So if we’re having an experience, right, and that experience feels really good, it feels really exciting. It feels really abundant. Then maybe we’ll notice some emotion rise in our body. And it’s kind of like an exclamation point to the thought maybe we’re having it’s a way for our brain and our body to say this is something you want to keep doing and put a lot of emphasis on it. Put a lot of additional like emotion behind something like sometimes I feel a lot of emotion. When I go to a musical or after I sing in a concert and we kind of get that like surge of adrenaline or dopamine, those emotions are to made to sort of be like an exclamation point. In fact, yesterday, my husband, I’m recording this a little bit early, but my husband had watched the NCAA National Championship and there was kind of a speech that Terry Crews gave online before the game. And my husband was like, it was like, this stuff makes me so emotional. And me and my daughters are like, Oh, that’s so cool. didn’t really do anything for us. Although I do love Terry Crews. And I do love a good old fashioned, like pep talk. But my husband was had that emotion rise in him as like an exclamation point. Like, I love this stuff. This is amazing. Okay, so number two, is I like to think of emotions as information. Okay, not bad. But like if your smoke detectors going off in your house information, like, Oh, that’s good to know, that we need to change the batteries. Or sometimes we’ve actually had, we probably need to clean our oven. And so our oven sometimes gets a little smoky, if we’re roasting something up by the boiler, and then we open the oven, and then the smoke detector goes off, right? That’s good to know, just information. That is how we can think of our emotions, as well as like, oh, that’s just good to know that I’m reacting in that certain way. And we can see it sort of like I’ve recorded a podcast about this, like, being the observer of it, being the scientist and just being like, Oh, that’s good to know, that’s good information that I react nervously when I go into a transfer, or I act embarrassed when I go on my first date after the mission. Okay, number three, is emotions are nuanced. I want us to remember this, I think that we have such a small emotional vocabulary. We’re only really ever talk in terms of I feel good, I feel bad, I feel mad, I feel sad. Right? Like, that’s basically the extent of the way that we communicate with one another and the way that we’re feeling. And so I think just in general, it could be highly useful for us to

12:24 really dig into the entire range of human emotion. So maybe we’re feeling restless, maybe we’re feeling fatigued, maybe we’re feeling bugged, maybe we’re feeling a little bit like grumpy, maybe we’re feeling gloomy, and you know, instead of just sad or bad, let’s really flush that all out, when we understand that human emotion is on a spectrum, right, and it’s a huge spectrum of emotion, then we can quit putting emotion as these are the good ones. And these are the bad ones. And these are the ones we’re supposed to quote unquote, feel. And these are ones quote unquote, we’re not supposed to feel none of that is true. Emotions are nuanced. And in one situation, for one person, we’re going to feel a certain way. And the same exact situation, another person is going to feel a little bit differently than you. And it’s supposed to be that way. Okay, number four, emotions are neutral. Okay, they are not good or bad. They just are. So the emotion that you’re having, we don’t need to give any meaning to it. We don’t need to give any judgment to it. We can just be like, Oh, okay, this is neutral. It’s just an experience that I’m having. Because I’m human, because I have thoughts. It’s just your brain, helping and giving you information and trying to communicate it to you in a useful way. Number five, if emotions aren’t bad, and feelings are not bad, they’re number five, a warning sign. Like picture if you’re walking down a dark alley, and all of a sudden, the fear starts to rise up. This is your body and your brain telling you, hey, guess what? This could be dangerous for you. It could be a warning. Sometimes actually, you guys, your brain will warn you of stuff that logically we understand is safe. But sometimes your body and your brain will be like, Oh, this isn’t safe. Like sometimes when we’re walking into sacrament meeting or we’re going into a new transfer or we’ve just gotten to the mission for the first time, okay. Your emotions are a little bit of a warning. Again, just sort of like pay attention to this. This might might not be good for you. Doesn’t mean that it is good for you, or isn’t good for you. Just your Nobody is going to give you a little bit of a warning or a little bit of a heads up what’s coming. Okay, number six, emotions and feelings show us what to pay attention to. Let’s say you’re getting towards the end of your mission, you’re feeling a little bit trunky. Right? Again, a little bit exhausted, then maybe your brains, like pay attention to this, because you actually need a little bit more rest. Okay, or if you’re feeling really content, maybe that’s the way for your motion to be like, do more of this, this feels really good. We’re in a good space. Or maybe we’re feeling nervous or anxious about something that is your brain and your body’s way of saying, hey, like, this could be important. Maybe we want to pay a little bit more attention to this. If we think about number seven is our emotions. Show us what matters to us. I was thinking about, let’s say, we’re jealous of someone, or we’re feeling envious of someone that can show us Oh, it’s really important to me, that I make an impact in this way. It’s really important to me that I can affect change in someone’s life in some way. In this certain way, if we’re jealous that someone is meeting their goals, and we’re not meeting our goals, maybe that can show us those emotions of being jealous or envious can show us that that is something that matters to us. Even if we’re like for me, I’m getting ready to do a couple speaking things this summer. And I’m feeling a little bit nervous about that. That is not bad. That actually shows me that speaking is important to me. Okay, or maybe it’s resentment, or maybe it’s insecurity, or maybe it’s fear, or maybe it’s sadness, right? When we go out on our missions, and we’re feeling homesick, that is not bad. That shows you that your family and the things that you had at home are important to you. So number seven is emotions and feelings. Show us what matters to us. Number eight, I like this one a lot. This one’s really fun, is emotion can show us what’s possible. So if someone came up to me and was like, hey, Jennie, I’m so excited that you’re gonna play in the NBA. One day, I would have zero emotion around that. Versus if someone was like, oh, Jennie, guess what you’re gonna be on this podcast, you’re going to create this amazing thing this person wants to talk to you. And then I feel a little bit of fear or nervousness. It shows me and shows my brain that I know that that’s possible. And something that I could do. I once knew this coach that, like, talked about it like barf goals. So if it meaning like, if the goal that you set causes some kind of like emotion inside your body, you secretly know that that is possible for you. So if you’re feeling any sort of emotion, or or feeling, it’s not bad, it actually can show you what is possible for you. Number nine, sometimes feelings were just meant to feel them. Have you ever considered this before? Sometimes I think about this, like, I went through kind of a really like lonely time where I felt like not seen and not heard in my community here. And usually, that kind of thing happens to me in the winter. And I actually sometimes it really is helpful for me to think, Oh, I’m feeling this. So I know what missionaries feel like. Sometimes I think we’re just given feelings, right? However you think that works based on our circumstances, or our thoughts or whatever, or we just are given experiences that create emotion, so that we can understand and have empathy for other people. So I was actually talking to a missionary this week, and she was talking about a little bit of a struggle that she was having with the like the senior companion that was there. And the senior companion was getting ready to go home. And she was being a little bit like controlling and bossy a little bit. And so the missionary was talking to was like, Oh, that made me feel super uncomfortable. Right? And I was like, But what have you learned? Why did you have this experience? Is there something that we can do with this feeling that you’ve had that can help us understand other people and have empathy for others? I was actually So you’re talking to another missionary that I was that I’ve been working with. And he started out highly anxious, highly discouraged having trouble sleeping. And he basically, is doing amazingly well now after our 10 sessions, and he is just thriving, and I said, Do you think there’s a purpose in all of those feelings that you were required to feel any set i for i for sure feel like there’s a purpose. He said he has missionaries in his mission, like coming out of the woodwork saying, Hey, I know you went through this. What advice do you have for me? And like, Hey, I know that this was a struggle for you, is there a way that you can help me and so number nine is sometimes feelings. They’re not bad. We’re just meant to feel them. It’s just part of our journey. Okay, number 10. Feelings, if they’re not bad, maybe are there to spur us to action. I was thinking a little bit about this with like anger, or frustration, or if we feel like something is unjust in some way, or we feel like we want to make a change in some way. That emotion in and of itself is not bad. Sometimes those types of feelings will spur us to action. Now, if we’re going to be super aware, we got to be selective about processing that anger and not just like letting the anger run the show, right? That’s maybe where we would run into trouble.

21:34 But it can be useful to be a little bit pricked by something. Or maybe we’re feeling a little bit like sad about a situation in the world. And that feeling can spur us to action, or I’m thinking about at the middle school or the high school. If we’re watching someone get treated in a certain way that we don’t agree with that emotion that we feel of either sadness or resentment, or whatever that emotion is, it’s not bad in and of itself, it’s that emotion or that feeling that can propel us towards getting in the middle of it and saying, Hey, you shouldn’t be talking to this person that way. Right? Or maybe an emotion, we’re feeling of confidence or whatever can help us stand up for ourselves. And all of those things are beautiful things. So number 10, is sometimes emotion or feelings, spur us to action. Okay, I’ve got two more. Number 11. If feelings and emotions are not bad, what they are actually you guys, is human. I was talking to my mission prep plus group last night, I taught the master class that I like to teach in there. And we talked a lot about meaning making, which is kind of the main master class I’m teaching in there right now. It’s basically the reason that I see so many missionaries spiral. So that’s like, the main masterclass that I’m teaching in there right now. And what we kind of talked about was, sometimes we add a lot of meaning to the feelings that we have, and to the thoughts that were thinking and how that can be not useful. And I just said to them, I said, Do know what it actually means. If you’re feeling bad, or sad, or restless or trunky, or unmotivated, or insecure, or, you know, full of doubt, or whatever it is, do you know what that actually means? It means that you’re human. And so number 11, if feelings are not bad, feelings are human. And for some reason, I don’t know what this is. But we think we go out on a mission. And we’re exempt somehow of having a human experience, but you aren’t some non feeling, being in fact, I don’t even believe that when we get to the other side, and we’re all resurrected, that we’re not going to feel I really feel like the point of being here on this earth is to feel and our Heavenly Parents are not just only like all knowing they’re also all feeling. Of course that makes sense, right? Because, and Jesus Christ as well, because then they know how we feel. Because they felt it. And so just expect that when you’re feeling an emotion, it’s not bad. It’s actually a beautiful thing. It means you’re human. You’re you’re in the middle of a human experience on your mission, a human experience when you come home, from remission and genuinely for the rest of your life. And that’s a beautiful thing. Okay, number 12. If the way you are feeling is not bad, it’s number 12. It creates depth. And I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately about how when we expand our capacity to feel the not so comfy emotions, we simultaneously expand our capacity to feel the incredible emotions that that feel amazing. Not a good or bad, right, but the uncomfy ones, if we expand our ability to feel those and hold those and carry those and process those, we then expand the ability to feel and process and experience emotions that feel incredible. The scripture that came to mind and always comes to mind for me with this principle is Alma 3621. He says, this is Alma, the younger, he says, yea, I say unto my son, that there could be nothing. So it’s so exquisite and so bitter as were my paints. And yet, he says, And yay, again, I say unto my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet, as was my joy. So feelings are not bad. They create depth, like give our life like meaning and depth, and grit and purpose. And they’re also expansive. So they’re not bad. So, the next time you feel an emotion, that you’re like, Oh, this one’s not fun to feel. I just want you to observe it with compassion. I just want you to be like, hmm. Self. What’s this about? Like, is this an emotion that’s meant to be an exclamation point? Is it information to me? Is this emotion just like a nuanced thing? It’s just completely neutral? Is this a warning sign? Is this showing me what to pay attention to? Is it showing me what matters to me? Is it showing me what is possible? Is this just something I meant to feel right now? Is this emotion meant to spur me to action? Is this just an emotion that’s part of the human experience is this emotion or feeling meant to create depth? So the better I can hold this, it becomes expansive to me, so that I can experience even more like intense and amazing emotions in the future. Your feelings are not bad, my friends, they are for you. They are to add richness and beauty and depth to the experience that you are having on this earth. And so lean into them, get curious about them, and offer yourself all the compassion that you need, when you’re experiencing them. Okay? It’s just like the smoke detector. Not bad. It’s there for a lot of different reasons that are for your benefit. All right, my friends. Okay, I hope you have the most amazing week. I hope some of these analogies have helped you, and kind of helped you reframe the way you see what you’re feeling. Okay. Everyone will talk to you next time. 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’ll 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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