Emotional Wellbeing
Tips

5 progressive and reflective tips to support your emotional wellbeing journey.

14.Cloud

Tip 1 ~ Meet Jane

To know what Jane is all about, to understand her and perhaps make friends with her, you are going to have to meet Jane and probably more than once.

The more you meet the deeper the relationship and connection will be, you’ll get to know her tendencies, her likes, her dislikes and what really makes her tick.

If you keep putting her off, dodging and swerving her you’ll never get to know Jane.

The same is true with our emotions…
As we meet them there is discovery, unravelling, healing, freedom and peace.

Simple as it may seem… the first part of our journey is noticing how we attempt to keep our emotions at bay and distance ourselves from meeting them.

Tip 2 ~ It’s All About Relationship!

Something happens and there is a response either in the mind, body or nervous system and so the emotion is present, it is what is happening.

AND THEN…
Most importantly there is your relationship to it.
You are here and so is the emotion.

Take a moment, breathe, slow down and notice ‘What Is Your Relationship To It?’

Do you go to war with it, try to annihilate it, deny it, suppress it, avoid it, pretend it doesn’t exist, spiritualise it away?

Are you treating it as something separate, the enemy, THE MONSTER, the thing that has gone wrong like it shouldn’t be there?

BUT… IT IS!!!

Or…

Do you in your own time, gradually, gently acknowledge it, soften around it, move towards it, meet it and give it your kind, curious attention for as long as is required or for as long as is possible for you?

Are you recognising it as a tender part of yourself calling for your love and attention which may also hold great insight, wisdom and healing within it?

Most of our suffering is not the thing itself but our relationship to it, our ideas, thoughts, judgements, tales and stories about it.

Your reaction and response determines your peace or your pain.

Tip 3 ~ Tuning The Compass

The way to get close to the emotion is to notice the ways you are avoiding, denying and suppressing it, these are useful signals that help steer our navigation.

We all have our go to tactics and coping mechanisms… food, work, call a friend, focusing on someone else’s problems, TV, doing well meaning ‘spiritual things’, cleaning, trying to find a cure / solution, looking at your phone, blaming somebody else (anybody else!), pretending we are OK, justifying it away, the next thing (whatever that is!), replaying the situation and so on…

Then we have our story about it… it happened due to this or that and it should be this way or that way. It happened because of……. and then we try to work it all out and make sense of it!!!

The mind throws up its ideas of how it was before and how it could, will or hope it will be afterwards and even its ideas of how we think it is now!

Sometimes these distancing and distracting behaviours are necessary and useful, we may not be ready to face and meet the emotion, it may seem like it will just be too much.

However… most of the time these behaviours are only habitual responses because we were never taught how to be with emotions in a safe, healthy way.

The key is to notice when we go into these familiar responses for here holds the opportunity to do it differently.

You may get part way through one of these familiar behaviours or even realise afterwards on reflection and that is OK.

It takes time, practise and repetition to rewire a behaviour.

And then one day when you don’t reach for one of these coping mechanisms…

THEN WHAT?

This leads us to the body and THE BODY IS THE MEETING PLACE…

Chances are all along there has been a bodily response but we have overlooked or ignored it.

NOW… we get to notice the sensations in the body and let them be our guide.
We get to feel the burning in the chest or the heaviness in the belly, the tightness in the throat and give them permission to be there for as long as they wish and need to.

There is no pushing or shoving, no fixing or healing, no analysing or interfering… just a feeling of the moment to moment sensations.

Over time there may be a release, a movement, a change, insight may or may not appear, the sensations may or may not lead into an enquiry of exploring the opposite or into some inner child healing or the unravelling of a long held pattern.

The key is to let the body guide you… slow down, there is no rush.

Tip 4 ~ Who’s Behind The Frontman?

So often the initial primary emotion is not what it is REALLY about…

The first layer that appears may be a reactive or defensive one.

It is only by staying with that initial emotional response and bringing some curiosity and kind questioning to it do we discover what is REALLY underneath.

Here is an example from my life…

Anger appeared; I could feel the heat and raw aliveness pulsing through my whole body ready to rip and roar through the entirety of life and create HELL ON EARTH!!!

As I stayed with it feeling the discomfort in the body there didn’t seem like there was any movement, it felt stuck and wasn’t going anywhere.

Gradually… some curiosity arose, ‘This is interesting… what is this REALLY about?’

Sadness began to surface (I’ve found that anger and sadness are like brother and sister, closely related).
The physical movements in my body started to shift and soften.
I didn’t understand what the sadness was about… until I did!

What was discovered underneath all of it was helplessness.
I was angry and sad because I felt helpless.
Understanding and insight about the initial situation arose and the body was positively flooded as the emotions released.
My healing was found by honouring and fully feeling the helplessness.

From that new point of understanding I was able to take effective action from a clear and response-able place.

IN SUMMARY…

My tip for today is not to rush to any conclusions about the initial presenting emotion that appears. Slow down and allow some curiosity to penetrate your enquiry and let it take you where it needs to.

Tip 5 ~ Conscious Parking

Sometimes we don’t have the time, space, energy or resources to give our emotions the love and attention that they deserve and are calling for, or what we would like to give them.

We may be at work, busy with the children, about to go into a meeting or running around just getting through life.

OR…

Sometimes a situation or emotion may just feel like it is too much and too big to look at right now.

Hey, life happens and WE ARE HUMAN.

In those situations perhaps CONSCIOUS PARKING can be used…

Instead of blindly reaching for a coping mechanism or behaviour and putting additional tension and stress on your nervous system slow down and acknowledge that there is emotion present, that there is a feeling that is reaching out to you.

Let yourself feel the body if just for a moment and rather than pushing the emotion away say “hey, I know you are here, I can feel you, I wish I could be with you right now but I can’t. I would really like to catch up with you later and have a proper catch up then”.

And then… when you do have the time, space and energy sit down with them in your own unique way, perhaps over a cuppa or maybe with a pen and paper in hand or in meditation just sitting and being with them.

I feel to mention… it is important to catch up with them, if you keep consciously parking you’ll end up with a traffic jam!!!

I offer credit to Andy Bradley, an entrepreneurial advocate for compassion, colleague and friend. It was some years ago that we first had a discussion and Andy brought this idea of Conscious Parking into my orbit.

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David