Life is full of ups and downs. Reflecting on the past week, I certainly have experienced my fair share of emotions – good and bad. From extreme pride, to feelings of deepest sympathy; absolute joy, to feelings of fear and anxiety. Just your average week, right? We all know that everybody will go through tough times. No matter who you are, where you are from, your financial status, your health status, your educational background…tough times are pretty much guaranteed. As are joyful times. Is it possible to use the power of your thoughts, to influence how you feel, particularly when you are feeling badly?
Not an easy thing to do, but certainly made easier if you have a few foundational elements in place: you are hydrated, you are well rested, you are getting the correct balance of nutrients, and you are getting some form of exercise. Our brains, just like any other muscle in our bodies, works best if these aspects are ‘in check’. You wouldn’t try to run a half-marathon if you were hungry, dehydrated and sleep-deprived, would you?
Here are some thoughts and tactics which may help you to manage life’s ups and downs:
- Feeling an emotion does not make you the emotion. Revolutionary thought, right? You can feel depressed, but you are not ‘depressed’. You can feel anxious, but you are not ‘anxious’. Feel the emotion. Don’t become the emotion. Especially since these emotions will come and go. It is important not to let the emotion become you.
- Allow yourself to ‘sit in the fire’ of the emotion. Personally, this is something that I have to work at constantly. If you are one of those ‘get on with it’ kind of people, you too may find it difficult to allow yourself time to truly feel the emotion i.e. grief, anger, guilt. To achieve this, you may need to take a time out – go for a walk, write about it (journalling for example), spend time in solitude and in nature – whatever works for you. It is important to work through the emotion, so that you can think yourself out of the situation.
- Fill yourself up with content/activities that will lift you up. It is important to move through the emotion, so that you can let it go. This may come in the form of reading something thought provoking and inspirational, watching something uplifting, dancing, creating, walking, listening to music that energises and inspires you, surrounding yourself with people that make you feel great; not judged.
- Authentically acknowledge that this too shall pass. Remember that you are never alone. It is okay to have a bad day, just don’t become a bad person. It’s never fair to make your emotion somebody else’s burden to carry. People will always support you, if you know how to ask for help, ask for time alone, ask for support.
And finally, remember that you are enough.
Life is full of ups and downs. Life is a glorious journey, with difficult times allowing us to truly appreciate the wonders of the joyful times.
Be sure to enjoy the view…
Lake Lucerne, Switzerland. June 2015. Photo taken by Alison