Emotions. They can run wild, hide in the dark, and flow peacefully like a river. This morning my emotions were running wild. While the thought of feeding them (peanut butter M&Ms preferably) I chose to take them for a walk (run).
Emotions; dealing with them isn’t the same each time. Occasionally I feed mine, I acknowledge that I’m a feeding my emotions, acknowledge that it isn’t going to fix the problem, it’s a temporary solution, and then I slowly and methodically savor each bite of the donut. If I’m going to eat the donut I want to ensure that it is benefitting me. I can let the rush of emotions I am trying to get rid of take over my mind and get to the end of the donut without even realizing that I ate it. Or I can slow down and enjoy the donut. Slowing down being the most important part of the activity. Slowing down helps me take an inventory of what is on my mind, of course I don’t reassess until AFTER the donut is gone. Slowing down helps me check in my emotions with my priorities and appropriately categorize them, and schedule a time to face them. Being kind to myself when I am doing the socially unacceptable thing (SUGAR!!) to take care of myself. The time to be concerned about this choice? When it becomes the majority, the every time, the only option you think you have to deal with your emotions.
Take them for a walk. If you live in my house you will hear me talk about the importance of endorphins. This year we were fortunate to get a dog. It’s been a helpful way to send the grouchy kid (or adult) out the door under the guise of walking the dog. In truth the dog is walking the human, cause he knows how much happier his humans are when they are moving their bodies. Today the weight of the week, the responsibilities of work and home, and life in general reared her ugly head. For just a second I thought of climbing back into bed and pulling the covers over my head (one of the important reasons I make my bed, harder to get back in). And then my body said RUN! Not run away, but MOVE your body, step outside of the chaos for a second. So I listened and I’m grateful I did. This is the same thing as when my house feels super messy. If I leave and give myself a break for a bit when I step back in the mess seems smaller, and I feel more prepared to face it. The body movement has double benefit, you are stepping away, and giving your happy hormones a kick!
Face it. Typically the least popular, most avoided method of taking care of your emotions. This has the highest return on investment. Like most things the greater the challenge the greater the reward. The most important step with this is not looking at the big emotion and thinking that is what you are working with. Within every emotions is smaller emotions, and corners, pieces, and chunks. I have my clients take a deep breathe and ask them what else is in this? What is under it? What is next to it? Finding the smallest most seemingly insignificant feeling is, most times, the best place to start. Dr. John Demartini says by the inch it’s a cinch, by the mile it’s a pile (it’s what I chant when I am cleaning up a big mess). Many times clients don’t initially believe me that starting with the most insignificant thing will have the most impact. But it will, because the chances of facing it, processing it, and having long term success is the highest. This in turn makes the next thing seem smaller because it’s no longer dragging its kid brother with it.
Emotions aren’t going away, all emotions are healthy, dealing with them in different ways is inevitable and good for you. Moving in with any one or two emotions, making it your best friend, and never letting it go, is NOT healthy. Buy it a donut, take it for a walk, and then find a small seemingly insignificant action, and get consistent with doing it.
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