Listening to your feelings

Listening to your feelings


Focussing simply means to stop, listen and pay attention to your body and feelings. By being more in tune with your body, you are more likely to respond sooner to stress, so that your body doesn’t end up screaming at you with symptoms such as headaches, pain, or an anxiety attack.

Focussing will allow you to work out how you feel about certain situations and relationships in your life, know what you want in those situations, and begin to work out how to make the needed changes.

Hopefully you can then become kinder and gentler to yourself, more accepting of your feelings, and more peaceful and accepting of other people too.


** Gendlin, who developed focussing states that we are more likely to be able to move forward if we accept and begin to understand our feelings, as opposed to those who try to explain or analyse what is going on in their heads.


Learning focussing


The power of inner presence is the ability to notice and be a compassionate listener to yourself.

For beginners- first lets think about a time when you experienced presence from someone else/felt listened to by someone else.



  • Try focussing in a quiet place where you wont be disturbed. Sit comfortably and try to focus for any time between 5-30 minutes at a time
  • keep a notebook with you if you’d like, and notice what comes up when your focussing.
  • give yourself one minute at the end of ten minutes of focussing. Ask your felt sense if it feels okay to end the session in a couple of minutes or If there’s anything else it wants you to know.





  • Take a second to think about a time when you told another person something important and you felt like that person was really listening to you. This could be a friend, sibling or professional.
  • What did he/she do to give you the impression they were listening to you and made you feel heard? (include any qualities you think they have, like for example, patience, openness, not being judged).
  • Now think about how being heard made you feel. i.e. did it help you to become aware of something, helped you to understand something better?


Presence with yourself


  • Take a few moments to notice how you feel in your body right now. Notice particularly the areas of your chest, throat, stomach (and any other areas you notice). Say to yourself ‘how am I, in here, right now?’
  • When you become aware of something, just pay attention to it, and let it be there
  • Start to acknowledge your feelings and sensations by saying to each one ‘yes I know you’re there’.



Question - Were you able to feel the sensations without wanting to make them different? Were you able to avoid being critical or dismissive? How many of the good qualities of the good listener did you just demonstrate?


When focussing, try to allow your feelings to be as they are rather than forcing them to change. Listening to yourself, don’t bury your feelings or felt senses.