One of the first things we try to do when something isn’t working out the way we want is to try to wrestle the problem to the ground and attack it right away. We think about it, obsess over it, and use it as our primary reason to not feel good. We make the problem feel so big and glaring that everything else that is going well in our lives loses tremendous focus. Perhaps the largest misconception about problems solving, which really is about feeling better, is that to solve the problem you need to address the problem itself, specifically. But there is a better way.
One of the quickest ways of moving from a place of where you don’t want to be to where you do want to be is to find SOMETHING ELSE to think about, obsess over, focus on, do, or create that gets your mind OFF the problem. Now that’s not easy for a lot of us to hear. Some might rally, are you suggesting that amidst this financial issue I am having that I just stop working on it and go fishing? And the answer is yes. But it’s the go fishing part that you need to customize for your own body and mind. We’ll return to this as as separate post as well.
When you’re mind is chronically focused on something that doesn’t feel good and it’s really got your attention, you’re not in the place of being solution oriented and you’re certainly not in the place of having a solution come to you. To complicate things more, we humans generally feel like we have to go from feeling down in the the dumpster to totally radiant immediately. A quantum leap like that is generally not possible all at once but it can be reached quicker than you think. For example, have you ever noticed that much of your inspiration will hit you, not with your nose to the grindstone, or when you’re stressed out in a pool full of endless work or responsibility, but when you’re relaxed and usually doing something you enjoy? Think back and you’ll see it’s true.
So what can you do right now to feel better? That is the perfect question to ask yourself. Ask it and then get out your Epica journal. We all have something we’d like to feel better about. Whether it’s body weight, finances, a loved one or relationship, personal power… there’s always something. With the vast array of emotions that we can feel at any given time it’s really hard to know what you’re reaching for here. So first, try to identify where you are. Are you depressed? Angry? Vengeful? Frustrated? Irritated? Bored? Just identify the emotion it and let it be. It’s fine to be wherever you are and if you feel like you need to write something about it, do so.
Now, and this will be a reoccurring theme throughout all of these post, begin to use your will-power to focus your attention on a thought that gives you the feeling of RELIEF. This one sentence is really the only ‘work’ you will ever have to do.
That’s it. That’s all you’re searching for but there’s a catch: I didn’t say, “Just think positively,” or “Just think happy thoughts.” You’re going for the FEELING of relief. A feeling means you viscerally feel it inside your body and your body says to you: “THAT feels better. Not a million times better, and not the best you’ve ever felt, just better.
And relieving thoughts might not be what you think – you might have to go through several that you think are leaning you in the right direction before you FEEL it. This is why it is really helpful to be writing in your journal. Start with where you are:
I am very hurt or angry because… Now, where can you go from here?
I hate feeling this way. That doesn’t feel better.
It’s all his/ her fault - Still no change in the feeling in my chest
If s/he didn’t never said this to me or treated me like that, I would not be feeling this way – Still disempowering
I am alive and breathing and have all my limbs intact. In this moment I do have choice. - Is something like relief stirring in my tummy?
If I am hungry I can eat. If I want to walk outside and breathe some fresh air, I can. I like the way fresh air feels passing through my body – maybe I’ll write outside. Sunshine is good. Cool air is good. – Hmmm, maybe slightly better
Wouldn’t it be nice if while out here, I had a glass of water or wine or juice? Maybe I’ll treat myself to that. – Better
But I hate feeling this way. I am so angry. How could she/ he? – As you turn in the opposite direction
Wait a moment… am I looking at this in a way that serves me or doesn’t serve me? – Better
If I have a choice to look at this how I want to look at it, would I rather be right or rather feel better? I’d rather feel better. – Better
If it’s my choice, that makes me feel empowered. Whether it’s true or not, what are some BETTER thoughts I can think about this person that would help ME move forward? – And now you’re on the right track
You want to get yourself going on a bit of a rampage here. It really doesn’t matter WHAT you write about but it matters HOW it feels when you write it. It’s even ok to have not-so-nice thoughts at first if it moves you up in a feeling of relief. You don’t want to take action on any negative ideas but the truth is, a person who is connected and feeling good never would. All we’re doing here is moving you in the direction of where you want to be.
If it wasn’t readily obvious by the way you feel as you did this exercise, the power of this exercise is found in the fact that you can and have the power to make yourself feel better without anyone else’s help and without anyone needing to change for you. You can move mentally in your mind to a place that FEELS better and pull yourself out of any darker place without anyone or anything needing to change.
And the most exciting part of all this is: THAT is what really created visible change in your life.
Actually the most exciting part is that there is no limit to how good you can feel.