"i notice that i am feeling anxious."
"i notice that i am feeling guilty."
"i notice that i am feeling ashamed."
i notice that when i notice and acknowledge my feelings, i feel a hell of a lot better than when i try to pretend they are not there. when i try to ignore them (my natural inclination) they follow me around like shadows, casting a pall over my day. (talking only about the negative feelings, here.) my stomach gets twisted in knots or my face falls down toward the sidewalk as i move about my business. i get irritable and blame it on all the wrong things. this is what happens when i make no conscious effort to feel my feelings.
in fits and spurts over my adult life, i have tried to be better about this habit. since we moved to the Big City and i started school, however, this is an aspect of my mental health that i have paid less attention to. in therapy, i worked on it. but out of therapy, i take my medicine and hope for the best. of course i learned some tricks, challenged some assumptions and dealt with some crap back in therapy that has made life generally easier to handle and given me important every day skills. but the fact is that i am still more likely to crank up the radio, immerse myself in Spider Solitaire, crack open a beer or get hooked on a television show when i am dealing with tough emotions, rather than sit down with a journal or even just take a deep breath and say, "i notice i am feeling..."
it seems so simple. its surprising how easy a habit it is to forget. for the most part, its a habit i have felt little need for in recent times. sometimes i wish i could just wave a magic wand and i would suddenly be an expert at handling my emotions. i guess everybody must feel that way sometimes.
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