Do you ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed, with weird or uncomfortable feelings? Waking up with wonky feelings is something that can set me off on a negative mental train, and it can hang like a cloud over me, ruining my whole day. Does that happen to you? What are your ways to deal with it when it does?
This morning I used writing as a tool, and remembered that it helps me get in touch with my feelings in an impassive way, and helps me take more ownership and control over my mental-emotional state. So I’m going to share what I wrote here, and hope that it communicates a useful process that maybe you’ll feel inspired to try next time you don’t know how to shake some off feelings.
I woke up feeling absolutely mental. Scared. Intimidated. I stayed in bed for a long time with my eyes closed, and my body was resting but my mind was creating all this fear. I think I felt the weird mental state when I first woke up, and was trying to sleep it off and also give my body an extra rest. But my mind’s tangled fury was unceasing. I started feeling empty, intimidated, afraid that I was in staying in bed out of depression and fear, trying to avoid the day. I got out of bed and didn’t know at all what to do with myself.
For me, depression hits acutely and usually doesn’t last long. It can happen like this on weekends when I don’t have plans. I usually force myself to get out of the house and do something, like go for a walk. That will probably set me straight. But right now I feel worthless. Useless. Like a failure. Comparing myself to others, others who have things figured out much better than I do or maybe ever will.
It strangely feels good to write that down; it sets in motion an internal process of recognition and change. There’s a fear that naming those feelings and thoughts will enhance them – but actually it gives me the power to invite in the balancing energy that I need. When the words are out here and I can see them, I can take responsibility for them. Oh, worthlessness? I don’t need to create more of that. I don’t need to be a victim of that. It’s mine. And I can gently intend to connect with knowing my worth, since that’s clearly what’s lacking here. Inherent worth. Inherent worth – something I’m consciously trying to nurture and grow in myself.
When I was just in my head about all of this, and I was in the state of ‘worthlessness’, I saw the ‘negative’ feelings and berated myself for feeling them. My semi-conscious internal dialogue was something like, “You’re supposed to be working on self love, and look at you stuck in this low place! You’re never going to break out of this, and you’re always going to be not-good-enough. If you were really doing things right, you wouldn’t feel like this. You’re never going to succeed.”
Ouch! That sucks. That, in a nutshell, is where I was for most of this morning. Until I came to the computer and wrote it down!
It only takes a gentle intention to invite better energy into you, and to connect with it. We don’t have to try all that hard – we just need to see clearly, that yes, this is what I need right now. We have the power to connect with good feelings inside ourselves. Too often we are waiting for some external source of validation and happiness to fix our mental lows, when we have the capacity to connect with love and healing anytime, anywhere. It just takes practice.
I sat down 20 minutes ago feeling wretched, and now I feel connected with love and with my heart. I feel blown away by how quickly that happened. And I was never going to break out of that loop just by thinking more.
So, what have I learned from this, or reminded myself of?
1. Name your current feelings
Write them down. Or start with your thoughts, if that’s easier. But I think the feeling tends to sum up the mental state better than thoughts do – thoughts can get carried away with themselves, and tend to amplify within the same feeling-energy. So try to boil down to the essence of it, the general category of thoughts instead of the specific thoughts.
2. Name the balancing feeling
What is the positive opposite of the feeling you wrote down? What would you rather be feeling instead? Use your own words, choose something that feels good and resonates with you. For me, once I recognized the feeling of ‘worthlessness’, I remembered that I’m working on cultivating self-worth and self-love. (What a great opportunity to practice!) So those were my balancing feelings.
3. Invite it in
This is really simple. The goal here is to feel the feeling you want to feel, which is not something you should try hard to do. It works best when done gently, and can be as simple as saying the word with an intention of feeling it. So if you’re like me and want to feel more self-worth, just say out-loud or in your head: “self-worth”. And then watch in your body where you feel it. Let yourself connect with it. Maybe even approach it with some curiosity, like “what would it feel like if I felt this?” For me, today, it’s a feeling of joy and expansiveness in my heart. It’s the feeling of coming back to myself.
And that’s it! I hope this landed well for you and that it gives you a new tool you can use next time you’re not pleased with your emotional state.