Have you ever had a really bad day? You know the kind. Your alarm doesn't go off, you bang your shin getting out of bed, the cat barfed and the dog pooped and you forgot to set your coffee maker up so there's no coffee. You've literally been awake ten minutes and you're ready for the day to be over.
Of course you've had days like that. We all have. It's all part of being a human person. At the risk of sounding like Deepak Chopra, it matters less about what happens to you and more about how you respond to it. (You read that in his voice, didn't you?)
Here's what I mean. If you have a morning like I described and you let your inner Negative Nancy take over the microphone, the rest of your day is going to go rather badly. You're going to find yourself stuck in traffic, wearing mismatched socks, getting into a disagreement with your partner, and then saying, "Screw it. I'm going to eat whatever I want today. My health plan can wait until tomorrow."
So does this mean you have to unleash your Positive Patty? Give yourself a pep talk? "Just put on a smile and the world will smile with you!"
Uhhh, no. The answer is not to go into denial and just power through it. When you are feeling discomfort--whether it's external (like a bad morning) or internal (like a negative emotion)--the solution is to SIT WITH IT. Lean into the feelings. The more you try and push them away, the louder they get.
What does this look like? It looks like taking five minutes and sitting down and doing some deep breathing. It looks like closing your eyes and actually FEELING your feelings of anger and frustration, disappointment and sadness. When you really "go there," you'll discover that the discomfort passes fairly quickly, like a storm cloud overhead.
Believe me, if food was the solution to discomfort, I would order you all a pizza and say go for it. But, the truth is, it doesn't actually help. I'm not gonna lie--it does taste good. For five or ten minutes. But then you end up worse off than you started before. Instead of easing discomfort, it makes it worse because now you're mad at yourself, too.
Don't diss your discomfort. Embrace it. You are strong enough to handle your emotions.
For questions, comments, or success stories, e-mail me at email@example.com
December Gratitude Challenge, Day 2: What is something you find beautiful?
What we resist, persists.