Have you ever shed a tear over something small that spiraled into crying over everything you feel sad about? As if tears are a trigger for sadness. Have you noticed how smiling instantly brightens your mood? A literal stress reliever as smiling releases endorphins. The truth is, our mind controls our mood. Believing in happiness instigates positive feelings just as sitting in tears will cause feelings of drowning. Learning to guide our mind toward those wanted feelings after releasing those unwanted is the key to overall well-being.
Movie endings used to be tough for Old Lindsay. Even if it ended in happy tears, tears + finality led my mind to a dark place. I felt lost, as if I were left stranded in my emotions. That pit in my stomach when I felt stuck and too flustered to guide myself forward. This is how I often felt before I learned how to navigate through my emotions.
Now I’m able to compartmentalize. I use a level head to decipher where my negative emotions are really coming from. While I can take away meaning and find lessons from a movie, an intense emotional response stems from within myself. Carrying heaviness from something I watched for entertainment is my choice. Lingering in a temporarily unsettling moment is always my choice. I need to maintain those unrelated stressors before they seep into my moments left for joy.
New Lindsay makes time to address unpleasant feelings before they address me. Diving into them when I have the energy to process what they mean and determine how I can diminish or transform them. I choose positivity and joy as often as I get the chance but if you’re a regular to my blog, you know I am a huge advocate for balance. That being said, there is a time and place where release is most effective.
Opening the door to darkness after watching a sad movie or stubbing a toe is not beneficial to self-growth. Our mind understandably gets overwhelmed and confused at times, but we always have the power to navigate back to the light. Our mood takes our lead and we should only lead it through darkness when there’s a purpose and at times we feel strong enough.
Scheduling in time regularly to release and relax can prevent those moments of overwhelming sadness from coming up when we’re not anticipating. Practicing compartmentalizing by placing our emotions with their specific triggers can prevent feeling suffocated by unrelated stressors. Our mind can be cleaned up and organized just as we do with our favorite room. Imagine how much better you feel when the dishes are put away, the clusters of paper are filed appropriately, the mirrors are wiped clean. It is my number one priority to maintain peace and cleanliness in my head as it is the control room for my whole world. If it means feelings of joy are never lost in my cluttered mind and unwanted feelings get sorted through then thrown away as soon as they arrive, hand me the gloves and watch me get to work!
ASSIGNMENT: Journal your next 3 unwanted emotions. Write down what you’re feeling, where you are/what you are doing when this feeling came about, and where you believe this feeling truly comes from. Offer at least 1 coping mechanism to get past this feeling and at least 1 step to take to prevent this confusion in the future.
What I’m feeling? Devastated.
Where I am and what I’m doing when this feeling came about? In bed watching a character die on The Walking Dead.
Where do I believe this feeling truly comes from? Personal grief and my reliving those losses in my own life.
A coping mechanism? Get out and take a walk in nature.
A step to take for the future? Next time I watch something sad, I will watch standing up. Grounding myself to my reality and separating myself from the story on my tv. Preparing to dive back into what provides joy in my personal life.