Braving the Blahs
We are guaranteed to have down times in life. You know, the times when you are feeling sad, lonely, stagnant or just plain blah? These times come and go and they aren’t fun or comfortable to feel into.
Our society looks for any way to make these feelings dissipate. We are inundated with ways to constantly be happy and feel like a failure if we aren’t all the time. In turn, we have become masters at distracting ourselves and most times have no idea we are even doing it. We distract with alcohol, shopping, drugs, social media, binge watching Netflix, and the list goes on…
I am willing to bet we all have our tried and true method we subconsciously turn to in times of just wanting to make that icky feeling go away. What is your ‘go to’ distraction? Mine has either been calling up a girlfriend to go out and have cocktails with me (easy to write off as being social). Or I have turned to shopping. The gratification of getting something pretty is great for a few minutes and then poof, it’s gone! Not only is the satisfaction temporary but guilt follows for making an impulse, unnecessary purchase. This results in one crappy feeling on top of another.
The unfortunate part about shoving our feelings down and ignoring them is that they are still there. They don’t magically disappear with the champagne bubbles. When we ignore them and don’t acknowledge them they will come back to visit, usually at the most inopportune times.
Starting a relationship with someone new and things are amazingly well. Then fear pops up that things are going to end like all the other times so why bother. Or not trusting the person you are in the relationship with for no good reason. These reactions are likely from not resolving some hurt from a past relationship and bringing that baggage to ruin this one (if you let it).
Wouldn’t you rather deal with these feelings in the moment as opposed to having it come as an unwelcome guest when things are going awesome? At least when you feel into it in the moment, you know WHY it’s there. And the chances of it coming up later are much less.
I am not saying that feeling through your feelings guarantees they won’t come up again. Depending on the hurt, they will likely come up several times. Although, with time, feelings that are acknowledged and felt will fade and give you the freedom to move on with a clean slate and foster a more even keeled outcome.
Here are some tips to stay in the feeling zone:
- Stay aware.
- Name what you are feeling – sadness, anger, frustration, guilt, etc..
- Ask yourself what about it is painful for you.
- Acknowledge wanting to distract yourself and get away from the feeling.
- Try to stay in the feeling as long as you can and then let it go when it becomes too much.
This process is not something many people are good at doing so don’t judge yourself if it makes you feel squirmy. Simply try to ride the feeling for as long as you can. Then the next time the uncomfortable feeling pops up, stay in a little longer. It will take practice. Be kind to you.
Keep in mind, this too, shall pass!