Acknowledging how you feel
I’ve often found myself with a very heavy sense of hopelessness. In some cases, feeling a very powerful sensation of not having a way out and I need to be very proactive in keeping this emotion in balance. If I’m not careful, I can easily jump to many worse case scenarios that can overpower my current thoughts and cripple me into inaction. At that point, I’m not going anywhere and moving more into my true self is halted.
Therefore, I work very hard with myself and clients to find bright spots. Bright spots is a term coined by the Heath brothers in the book Switch. Simply put, it is noticing what exists in your life when you feel things are working, and then replicating it in all areas of your life. So for example, if I feel good at the end of the day, I often ask myself “What was different about today?” Or if I had a good conversation with somebody that really challenges my patience, I reflect up on what made this encounter special. It is finding those mindsets, attitudes, situations and feelings deep from within and applying them to all areas of your life.
How to start
- You have to be honest. Gentle and kind, but honest. A true moment of honesty produces very moving results.
- If you feel nothing is working, then find the areas of your life that are the least uncomfortable and analyze them. They might not ideal, but they are more so than others, so deconstruct what it is that allows you to feel better about these areas.
- If your life has a real range of sensations and feelings, then target those true bright spots. Put them under a magnifying glass and see why they are so special to you.
- Start to feel areas of your body as you think. Notice where your emotions settle into your body and how the body changes depending on your emotional state.
- Spend more time alone or at least quiet.
- Take away judgement. Think “no thought deserves a gold metal or a reprimand”.
- Be gentle as you apply the bright spots to the dark ones.
- Go slow. Change is slow but the process can very be enjoyable if you give yourself a reasonable timeframe.
- Keep at it.
- Keep at it.
- Keep at it.
- Be frequent with your reflections and don’t shy away from it when it is uncomfortable. That is where the really good stuff is; where all the learning happens. You can learn more about yourself in a few minutes reflecting on the challenging issues than a life time on the easy ones.
- Be emotional. Let yourself cry (even if your a guy. Especially if you are a guy).
- Look at your language. How do you label events in your life? How do you talk to yourself? Others?
- Get support. Other people can listen, offer support and insight. A change in perspective can jump you in an instant to a completely new way of thinking.
We are not alone in sharing a sense of hopelessness. It is a very valuable emotion.
However, like all emotions, it needs to pass and not become a lifestyle. Start the work and uncover the learnings that hopelessness has offered you and enrich your life with it’s teachings.