OR HOW TO GET THROUGH THE TOUGH SPOTS
We all know them, THOSE days. You get woken up in the morning, and all your body wants is to turn around and rest. You get up anyways, somehow out of it, and as the day unfolds, you just feel so down. You snap at people, catch yourself cursing, and you just simply feel annoyed with everything and anything. There is this underlying aggression and a sense of everything being too much.
But of course you know, you have to be positive. You have to function. So you push yourself, swallow down the impulse to lash out and scream, and force yourself through your day with its demands and obligations. You say and do exactly the right things, and maybe others wouldn’t even notice. But it takes all of your energy and it’s so exhausting. Sound familiar?
If I asked you what you need, you might say:
- I just need to rest.
- I just need a break.
- I just need time to myself.
Or maybe you’d say:
- I don’t know what’s wrong. I just feel so shitty. It’s one of THOSE DAYS. ( And no, I don’t mean PMS, even tough, that could play into it.)
Surrender and Accept
In those situations, sometimes the only thing we CAN actually influence is whether or not we blame ourselves for being that way. We can choose to add guilt, or to be accepting and self-supportive.
In those moments, it can be comforting to remember that everything passes. Everything that has a beginning, has an end. And it can be relieving to remember the fact that there are things that are out of our control, and that all we can do is, not make it worse by resisting it. Yesterday I had one of those days. I caught myself whining to a friend, and I just couldn’t stop my mind and this acceleration and sense of discomfort. I finished my message to her saying “I am going to take my own advice. I am not resisting. I am accepting that I feel this way, even though I cannot find a positive angle. I just let it run through.”
How to Get Out of “IT”
Sometimes I think it’s ironic that I make my living helping people get out of these inner states – and they still can catch me without warning. But most of the time I just love that we are all human, and that we can connect and relate, because we know these experiences.
This week I have seen a couple clients who had been experiencing this kind of overwhelm and negativity for a longer period of time. They both have big conflicts and situations to resolve in their lives – but from where I stand, it’s hard to change anything when you are at the limit, and only want to push everything away and go to sleep, rest for a moment, not face anything. The problem is, frequently, when we try to rest in these situations, it just feels bad. We go into our minds, and cannot stop trying to figure out what’s wrong with us, and how else we should behave, or what we can or should do to change the situation. You know what I mean, don’t you?
So here is what I know does work, 5 steps to take to get yourself out of it. These are steps that allow you to be in your power, and to return to being aware of it.
Step 1. Stop projecting. Take responsibility.
This is just an attitude thing. We have to step out of the story. We have to distance ourselves from what is happening, and to look at it from outside. And that is not easy at all. We have to be willing to accept that whatever we are experiencing is not something other people or the bad world are putting on us, but that it is there for a reason. We have to assume that any experience, no matter how negative, is what helps our soul grow, and is really there to show us what we can heal inside, in order to be an energetic match to more positive surroundings.
When we are upset, we usually think that what we perceive is true, and that we have to act. But we need to go slower. We have to accept that our perceptions and experiences are like a movie, and that we could be in a different movie. It is our energetic information within our system that gives us this experience. And it doesn’t matter why it’s there or where it comes from – at least not at this point. What matters is just that we accept that it’s there, and we take responsibility and ask: So, what is it that this makes me see about mysel?. What is it that I can heal within myself? What is life trying to teach me?
Step 2. Don’t act.
We are collectively wired to act in order to change our reality. Doing something, being active, even having tried – we value actions greatly, even when they don’t bring results. When you find yourself pushing yourself into action, but if feels like a constant fight, then something is wrong. When what you do is exhausting but always makes you end up in the same place, maybe it’s time to stop “doing” altogether. Life shouldn’t be a constant fight! And if it is, we are figuratively trying to fight against the river of life, trying to push the water back upstream.
You don’t know how many times I tell my clients, that it’s not time to act (yet). First we need to process, first we need to feel better, first, there needs to be an impulse to act, something that we actually want to do, an action that comes to us easily – if we ignore our own needs long enough to be so worn out, angry, frustrated, something isn’t right. And it needs an answer. But that answer needs new information, a step towards something new – because the old actions have gotten you nowhere.
Step 3. Don’t think.
When we are so down, whether this is a life situation that has built up, or it’s just one of THOSE DAYS, our impulse is to figure out what’s wrong, and fix it. The way we try to do that is by thinking, reading books, asking advice, consulting with specialists – trying to find the information that will help us make a change, through our cognitive process, through our mind, through our thinking.
The problem is, that the information our mind searches for comes from the outside, and that makes us feel more powerless, incapable and blocked. And my experience tells me, that outside information really can’t fix this. But it also shows something extremely encouraging and empowering: The information you need is already within you! You have access to it right away! Just, not through your mind, not through analyzing, not through understanding. The big and important chunk of information we need is hidden within that negativity, that exhaustion, the underlying aggression, within all the negative things we are trying so hard not to feel. We want them to go away, by touching them from the outside (through our thinking), not really looking at them, and removing them. And that’s just impossible.
Step 4. Search out positive energies and surroundings.
On THOSE DAYS, we desperately need to feel better. If we take responsibility of how we feel, we then are in charge of managing our state. And if we’ve stopped doing something about it, and we’ve stopped, analyzing its reasons, how can we then help and support ourselves, what is there to do?
We can try to make it easy, as easy as possible, to do the processing (step 5). It means that we can take off all the pressure, and we can find surroundings that tend to raise our energy. Bring in positive energy “from the outside”. For me, the best way to do that is a walk in the woods, sitting in my garden, enjoying the sun. Or even going for a run. It’s also everything that has to do with water – showering, taking a bath, swimming. Sleeping can also be miraculous… Those are my go-to surroundings and actions that always help me to get grounded and to nurture my body, and to get to an inner place where I am ready for step 5. Which are yours?
Step 5. Feel
The negativity within, the things that make us feel so negative, the related thoughts and sensations – they really just need to be seen and felt. That has been the secret of healing and letting go for centuries and in many schools.
With Energy Psychology, we have many tools that help us jump over a part of this process – so we don’t have to feel every little bit of it. But in order to use most of these tools, we need to get a sense of what’s going on, what is burdening us, what we can let go of, or what energy to change.
So the irony is, we need to be willing to feel everything, totally open up to it, and submerge ourselves into this super-negative energy with its feelings, sensations, images and projections. And when we open up to doing it, we actually don’t have to feel all of it. As we open up to feeling, we let go of resisting – and if there is no resistance, the energy can just flow through, and it dissolves and stops being in your awareness. Maybe on the way, we get new information, a new understanding, a new awareness – but it’s something totally grounded, absolutely relevant, and inducing a positive direction for us. Isn’t that amazing?
People always say, it’s so simple, how is that possible? How can something so simple be so powerful? How come we didn’t know that before? Again, it’s not about knowing about it or understanding it. It’s about being that way, and doing it (And yes, you get to do something here!)
Who we are is light, bright, loving, powerful, and …
You fill in the … ! When we are low in energy, we cannot perceive these wonderful and strong sides of us. We are blocked and burdened, and blind to the positivity around and within us.
It doesn’t always take all 5 steps in order to get “out of it”. Sometimes, we only rest and let time pass, and wake up the next day feeling better. Sometimes, just by deciding to be responsible for our feelings and not projecting and blaming, we already find a new course of action that changes the situation. Sometimes we just take 5 minutes to feel, and it calms us down and gives us hope and perspective.
But when it really hits us badly, when it’s so tough that we can’t bear it, when we don’t know how to get through the day, those 5 steps together make the world of a difference. They are so simple, but in some sense counter-instinctive. We have a lot of resistance to doing these 5 things. But the second we start doing them, we get pulled in the right direction. Every tiny movement within yourself in this direction can have ripple effects on how you are feeling. And, best of all: It can turn one of THOSE DAYS into a meaningful, transformative, and regenerative experience.
PS: If you’d like someone to be with you in such dark hours, someone to remind you that you can and WILL get out, and that it’s not without meaning, you can book in a free call with me and let me help you transform yourself.