When you know the day is going to be hard
We all have feelings and no matter how much we put our best foot forward there will be days that are just hard.
There are days we know before they begin that they will be hard, dark, sad, and just plain tough. Anniversaries of tragedies, loss of loved ones, trauma, whatever difficult speed bump happened in the past that surfaces again on a particular day or date.
I think the worst thing you can do is try to avoid your feelings.
To try and pretend it's going to be an easy day. To not prepare for the barrage of feelings you will experience.
There is quite a lot of science out in the world about how emotions actually trigger physical pain. So to say you hurt is a real thing.
Turns out rejection activates the same part of the brain that physical pain does.
Even loneliness, sadness, guilt, and shame are shown to trigger physical reactions. So if this is true and we know we have a difficult day ahead of us why shouldn't we prepare? Why not have actions we can take to minimize the physical painful experience?
I know for a fact that when this blog is originally published it's going to be a hard day for me. There's reasons so I've been prepping. Here are some things I've been doing:
Visualizations of happy and good scenarios and outcomes for future events
Writing a lot in my journals
Planning something fun and outside of my house to keep my mind occupied
Taking Tylenol-- Turns out some researchers gave participants acetaminophen (Tylenol) before asking them to recall a painful rejection experience. The people who received Tylenol reported significantly less emotional pain than subjects who took a sugar pill.
Being okay that it's going to hurt
That last one! So many of us try to suppress the bad emotions. Thing is that just makes it hurt worse and last longer. I've really learned through my meditation practice to let the feelings sit with me. To look at them with a curious mind. Without judgment.
When I do this the intensity and duration of these feelings are a lot less.
Sure I'm not going to be able to get rid of the feelings completely. That's not possible for anyone and I'm not a fan of masking my feelings through external stimulants such as drugs and alcohol. What I can do is face it with courage and allow myself to be vulnerable to the moment. To go easy with myself. To talk nicely to myself. To not judge. To treat myself as if I would treat a friend who was in the same situation.
We are so hard on ourselves and the way we talk to ourselves most times we wouldn't even think to do that to someone else.
Yet here we are yammering away in our head about how not enough we are.
So yes, there are days that will be tough but have a plan of action and remember the darkness passes and at the other end is light and a new day.