The Feels

The Holiday Season can be rough even for the best of us.  Some are grieving the loss of a loved one, some don’t get along with their family, some don’t have the money to give the gifts they would like.  I recall a couple Christmases as a single mom with no family dinner, nor gifts for me under the tree.  Christmas isn’t a happy time for a lot of people – and almost all of us are majorly stressed at the very least.

I pulled a card for my Facebook friends today – it’s especially appropriate for the lessons on mindfulness I learned this year:

Thought I’d pull a card for my friends today in celebration of the arrival of winter. 🙌 ⛄  I’m using the deck I will be teaching with in my live class early next year   The deck is Daily Guidance from Your Angels and the card I drew is the “Ground Yourself” card.15590138_10155658470549358_4846821706010786815_n

This is a great message for everyone feeling the stress of the holidays. We are worried about gifts and pleasing others… we have anxiety about upcoming family gatherings… we are stressed about finances…. we are loathing the thought of another trip to the mall and all that chaos.

Grounding means to come down out of the clouds (your head/mind) and plant your feet on the ground (the present moment). Focus on this moment right now. Appreciate what is going on in this moment instead of dwelling on your thoughts. Look at the decorations. Read the holiday wishes sent from your friends and family. Engage in happy conversation with your family or coworkers. Be mindful of this moment before you miss it.

A great way to get grounded is to simply focus on your feet for a few minutes – just check them out… notice they are anchored to the earth.

Another way is to drink a glass of cold water. Notice how it feels going down… do you feel it in your chest? Does it have a taste?

These will help you come back to earth in this moment.

And so it is. 💜

 

Grounding is crucial if we are to live in the moment and process our feelings.  We like to suppress emotions.. shove them to the side… think about something else.  What happens to those feelings then?  They just keep hanging around waiting for you to pay attention to them.

Feel your feelings.  It’s OK if you get angry – feel it, understand it, process it.  Then you can move on. The feeling of anger is natural – it’s when you act out of anger that you get in to trouble.

Cry when you have the need to cry.  Feel the disappointment.  Feel the anxiety.  Feel the frustration.  The holidays, if nothing else, are emotional.

How do you get through it?

1.  Identify the real emotion (sometimes we think we are angry when we are anxious, for example.) Are you hurt? Feeling neglected?  Overwhelmed? Unworthy?

2. Locate where you are feeling this emotion (sadness in your chest, for example.)  What is the sensation you are feeling?  (tingling? tightness? stabbing pain?)

3. Express this emotion using the descriptions from 1 &2.   You can write it down, talk to a friend, go out in to the woods and shout it, head to the gym, have that good cry.

4. Own your feelings.  Understand that these are your feelings and belong to no one but you.  You are responsible for them.  Be careful not to deflect them on to others.  People in pain sometimes hurt others so they will also be in pain.

5. Release the emotion.  Let it go.  Feel it, express it, own it, and let it go.  You can change your thoughts about the emotion –  if you are feeling worthless, affirm that you are worthy.  “I am worthy of love, joy, and happiness…”

You can also do a gratitude exercise to bring yourself out of the emotion.  List all you are grateful for in this moment.  Look around you and see all you have to be grateful right now.

6. Acknowledge & Celebrate your overcoming this emotional event.  Treat yourself.  Spend some time in self-care.  Do something that fills your heart with joy.  This is the most important step of them all because it will create a positive experience to associate with the feeling.  The next time will be easier to overcome.

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