Dear Awesome Woman,
Do you ever just feel lousy for no particular rhyme or reason and then your mind starts grabbing for all the great reasons why you really should feel lousy?
Our minds can come up with a trillion reasons as to why we should feel low or lousy. That’s its job really – to be rational and linear and find proof for why these feelings reeling in our bodies really do make sense. It justifies why we are seeing our world in the negative light that we do.
We can’t stop ourselves from thinking, but we can choose the direction of those thoughts.
One morning, as I stepped into my closet, I was struck with a feeling of sadness. As a coach, I have inhaled the mantra of “feel your feelings.” So I took a pause and just let that low feeling energy (emotions are energy in motion) be with me. I tried to just “be with it” and allow the physical sensation of the emotion to be felt rather than immediately allowing my mind to grab for all the “good” reasons that I “should” feel as lousy as I do – and believe you me, I’m really good at finding those. I’m an expert negative thinker.
After a few minutes of “feeling the feeling”, I still felt lousy. Though the intention of “feeling feelings” is to allow for a healthy flow of emotional energy*, I still desired to actually feel better – you know, happier or at least less lousy.
As I brought my clothes into the bathroom to dress, I decided “this low has got to go.”
So I grabbed for gratitude. I used my mind to think of what I could be grateful for even at that very moment of feeling low. I thought how grateful I am for having arms to use for getting dressed, legs to stand on and eyes to see what I was doing.
I immediately felt different in my body. My chest expanded and that led to a deep sigh of relief. My mood lifted and lousy took a step up to lucky.
Yup – lucky to have some body parts that still work, lucky to be breathing and lucky to have made that decision to grab for gratitude.
So if you ever find yourself feeling a bit low with no direct immediate cause, don’t immediately let your mind search for all the reasons to justify that low mood. First just be in the moment of feeling the physical sensation of that low mood in your body. After a few minutes of allowing yourself that emotional experience, use your mind and choose something that you are grateful for – knowing that without that thing your life would be that much harder.
By choosing to direct your mind towards your blessings, you’re giving yourself the chance to step up from lousy to lucky.
*”feeling your feelings” is a term I’m using to describe an action of no-action. To just be with the physical sensation of an emotion, without judgement or suppression, we actually are allowing the energy of that emotion to flow instead of getting stuck. This can result in less physical pain in the body which is known as TMS (Dr. Sarno has written many books about this phenomenon). Also, with the allowance of this flow of emotional energy, there is less chance for “stuck” emotions like anxiety, resentment and depression.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my website (the link at the bottom of this page works now). I’m taking a mind-body course and the information is very enlightening as to the connection between physical pain (even weight issues) and suppressed emotions.