You Gotta Feel It to Heal It
Recently, I watched as my mind was ambushed by self-conscious thoughts. In a matter of minutes I convinced myself I wasn’t smart, witty, brave or successful enough to live out my dreams. Sadness washed through my body and I felt it ball up and settle in my throat. I tried to cough but it wasn’t a simple tickle I could just clear away.
I told myself to stop being so darn dramatic! But when a self-sabotaging monster creeps out from under the bed and starts an attack, it’s easy to forget that all I have to do is turn on the lights to see he doesn’t really exist.
It’s natural to curl up into a fetal position, pull a blanket over our head and decide to wait out the overwhelming, uncomfortable emotions. But hiding and waiting for the morning sunlight is letting the monster win, and I can promise you he’ll be back, most likely with a friend named Anxiety.
I want to share with you an attack plan I’ve found quickly conquers the emotional battle. It’s not the easy route out, but it’s a fight that leaves you feeling stronger than before.
Feeling, Revealing and Healing Process:
- Feel the physical discomfort. When we’re feeling mentally pained, our body responds with a not so pleasant physical condition. Mine was the feeling of something caught in my throat, but maybe you’ve experienced shoulder pain, stomachaches, chest pressure or the-oh-so common headache. Simply recognize where it is for you and then really feel it. Acknowledge that there is an underlying emotion that’s the root of the pain. This will relax your body, so you can then focus on revealing the deeper issue.
- Be brave and reveal it. Don’t let your emotional monster hide in the dark where he feels invincible. Shine your flashlight inward and start by asking yourself why you’re feeling the way you are? Maybe someone said something that hurt you or you did something that didn’t make you feel good. There’s always a situational trigger, and when you figure out the root of where it started you can then move on to healing it. And next time you’ll be better equipped to catch yourself before the monster comes out of hiding.
- Heal it with action. There are many actions you could take, I’m a huge journaling advocate (as you can read here), but I also like talking to a trusted friend. The goal is to air it all out, let the emotion bubble to the surface, so find the way that works best for you. And it’s okay if you cry! Cowards hide, but it takes a brave, courageous fighter to attack an emotional monster. At this point you’ll start seeing the issue for what it really is, and be able to diagnose the right prescription to heal it.
So I felt my pain. Revealed that it was coming from being too much in my head and taking everything very seriously. And I healed it with laughter when my friend looked at me and said, “you just need to start having more fun.” Point taken, time to party on.
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