If you are like most people, you struggle to feel happy and carefree most of your life. You yearn for this feeling you remember from childhood, but don’t know how to get back.
Below are 5 “keys” to recovering your inner sense of well-being, and coping with the emotional rollercoasters of life.
1. Live who you are. You would think this is “oh-duh” but apparently not. Most people do not know who they truly are, much less live who they are. So you are not alone, if you have forgotten your real self. This key is called “prevention” by conventional therapists. It is what you have to do on a regular basis to prevent yourself from sinking into an emotional whirlpool. This is about letting your inner child out, and doing more “self-love”. If you have trouble doing this, consider a plant. A plant needs a certain amount of water and sunlight, and a particular kind of soil in order to thrive. Self-love is allowing yourself your “conditions to thrive”. It is self-care and self-nurture on a regular basis. When you “flower”, you naturally bring more beauty and love into world. You need to live who you are, at least most of the time, in order to get your happy face back on. This is your number one responsibility in your life. It is no one else’s job to do this for you. For example, maybe you secretly want to be a dancer, but are forcing yourself to be in a “serious” bank teller job. This just might kill you, if you don’t make sure somehow to get lots of dancing in your life.
2. Use your healthy coping tools. This key is called “intervention” in regular therapy circles. We all need a few healthy coping or “intervention” strategies in our toolkit, for life WILL throw at least a few major stressful life events our way. When it does, we need to know what we can do to cope. And no, alcohol and drugs don’t count. Know what works for you that is also healthy. For example, you make sure you get in a power walk or some form of exercise at the end of a stressful day at work to allow the energy of stress to move through, and not stay in, your body.
3. Practice scaling your emotions. Scaling your emotions is a way to measure how light or heavy they are. On a scale of “0 to 10”, with 0 equals no anger or stress, and 10 equals maybe rage or panic attack, know what your “2-5” especially is. Whether irritability, frustration, annoyance, mildly worried or afraid. And know how those variations of emotion feel in your body, when they are in the 2 to 5 range, BEFORE you get to higher numbers on your scale. Begin using your coping tools then. Don’t wait.
4. Know your emotion constellations. In the night sky, a constellation is a group of stars that go together. Each of your emotions is like its own constellation. Within “anger” or any other emotion constellation will come certain thoughts, scents, visual cues, sounds, tastes, bodily sensations, physical environments, and even secondary emotions. Know what these are for you, so that you can be very conscious of your emotional landscapes. Know what your calm constellation is, for that will give your hints about how to bring your body into a state of calm. Those will remind you of many healthy coping tools you can use to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you like to imagine being at the beach, with the sounds of seagulls, the scent of salty air, the taste of coconut on your lips, and the feel of your toes sinking into the warm, wet waves. Perhaps aromatherapy helps you at work, with the scent of lavender on your desk.
5. Re-direct your body into the feeling you choose in that moment. Your body has a hard time being in calm and stress at the same time. If you are breathing slowly and deeply, you can’t breathe in that shallow fast way you do when you’re anxious, at the same time. Your body will calm because you are directing it to do so by breathing the way you do naturally when you are calm. If you are thinking thoughts that are consistent with feeling safe, in control or even upbeat, then your body will steer in that direction, which is why constructive self-talk, that you really believe, usually works every time!
Now that you have the keys to getting back the sense of well-being in your life, use them! And remember, the most important key is to “be you!”
Erica Leibrandt wrote this post on Elephant journal about being an empath. In it, she shares what it feels like to be an empath, and wonders what it all means and how to balance it now that she’s 44 and ready for a change. To Erica and other empaths out there, I would answer you this. Empaths have more sensitive radar than most other folks. Not necessarily clairvoyant, because that is the kind of radar where you can see frequencies that others can’t see. But yes, clairsentient, where you can feel energy in a more subtle way than the majority of those around you. How? Thanks to quantum physics pioneers, we now know that every thought, every emotion, every cell, every person, every thing emits its own electromagnetic signature. Your heart and brain (actually each cell of your body) work like an energy receiver/transmitter, not unlike your Wi-Fi-enabled computer or tablet.
My colleague Jerry Casados, a nutrition coach in the Denver area, recently sent me the link to a 22 minute video clip of Larry King interviewing Dr. Pam Peeke about the science of food addiction. http://www.drpeeke.com/web/module/video/videoID/54/catid/2/sectionid/580/interior.asp The good news seemed to be that we can be addicted to food, that it is not for some people simply a matter of will power. The bad news was that there is “no cure” for addiction, only recovery and treatment. I have a different view of addiction. I do believe that addiction can be cured because I have seen my clients cure themselves of various kinds of addiction.
Love is the divine force that unites all as one. It is ultimately always love that heals, by returning us back to our source for wholeness. Try this exercise in self-healing with love:
Since it is Love energy that actually heals, use your ability to imagine the experience of unbounded Love to elevate yourself to the highest state of love consciousness that you can before you begin your healing meditation.
Imagine Divine Love as a white stream of energy pervading the space around you. Breathe in this Love energy. See it enter the top of your head, the crown chakra, as you inhale. As you exhale, send Love energy through your breath deeply into your body. Allow your breath to carry Love to its holy destination. Inhaling Love…..exhaling Love…..sending Love into every cell, every organ. Notice which areas of your body feel tension. Breathe in Love. Then with your outbreath, target Love energy there. Feel the area lap up the Love, and relax, smooth, expand. Become aware of which organs are most in need of healing. Inhale Love energy. Exhale Love energy, sending it to your organs with intentions (instructions really) of healing. See the white energy of Love as a jewel, radiating, sparkling, illuminating your organs with its healing light. See the organ you are healing as a jewel itself. Become that jewel. Notice which colors within Love’s light spectrum you feel called to infuse within the cells of the organ. If purple, become the amethyst brilliantly radiating purple throughout your organ body. If red, become the ruby. And so forth…..diamonds, pearls, dark blue sapphires, green emeralds….. For any color you feel drawn to, see it in your mind’s eye as clear and bright. Try it on, like a new shirt. Become aware of how it feels as you are wearing it. Magenta, daffodil yellow, coral orange…..notice the unique and varying sensations that each color brings into your body. Linger with each that feels particularly soothing and nurturing. Breathing in Love, exhaling Love…..sending Love’s magical light into every cell, organ, or system in need of healing.