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In life there will be rough days. Days that are stressful and discouraging externally and internally. Days when you’re feeling apprehension, worry, doubt and fear. There will be days when external circumstances cause your mind to wreck internal havoc. There will be times you feel overwhelmed and unsure of what decisions to make; and times when you have no idea how things are going to work out. At times you’ll find yourself questioning the choices you’ve made, and wondering if you’ve made the ‘right’ decisions for your life.
When these days come; breathe. Remember you’re not alone. During this journey of life everyone has moments or days when life is challenging.
If you’ve embarked on a path towards increased internal awareness and spiritual enlightenment it can be easy to think something is wrong when you feel this way. Nothing is wrong; it’s normal. You’re alive and challenging times are a component of being human. Feeling is an occupational hazard of life that no one escapes.
So, what now? How do you turn things around when you’re feeling this way?
Here are 5 steps to help get you back on track:
1. Accept how you feel
Instead of resisting or working overtime to make how you’re feeling go away, accept it. Accept the feelings as normal and okay. Feeling how you’re feeling doesn’t mean you’re less of a person or any less aware; it validates that you’re human. Accepting the feelings is a step towards moving past them and letting them go.
2. Access the root of the feeling
Don’t take the feeling for face value, go deeper. Example: Don’t accept being angry just because you’re angry. What’s causing the anger? Is it really anger that you’re feeling? Or, is the anger masking another feeling such as fear or sadness?
Sometimes what you think is causing the feeling is not the root of the feeling; it’s just the way the true emotion is masking itself. By accessing the root you can address and heal the feeling(s).
3. Acknowledge yourself
Acknowledge yourself for being cognizant of your feelings. Have compassion for yourself for the way you’re feeling. Acknowledge your humanity. Appreciate your willingness to move through the feelings.
4. Give yourself time
This one may seem a bit contradictory, but give yourself time to move through the feelings and emotions you’re feeling. Recognize there may be layered levels to the feelings and each layer may bring different emotions. Don’t judge yourself for feeling. Don’t punish yourself if you don’t immediately get over it. Take time to process, feel and allow yourself to be with what you’re feeling. What you’re feeling and how long it takes for you to move through it does not define you.
5. Surrender it
You can’t change the past or control the future. Leave whatever you’re contemplating from the past in the past. Release whatever you’re worrying about in the future. Breathe and bring yourself into the present moment. What is meant to be will be no matter what direction you take. The things within your power to take action on, take it. The things out of your control, let go. Trust that everything is always working on your behalf for your greatest good.
Will these steps stop the mind from going? Probably not. There’s a strong possibility the feelings may still intermittently appear. But, taking the steps can help shift your relationship with the emotions making them feel less imminent and crucial. As your relationship with the feelings shifts, the appearance of them will too. The steps will help give you greater insight on what you’re feeling, and why, so you can heal.
It’s a fact of life that challenging days will come. However, with time, how you respond to them has the ability to grow, evolve and change – if you allow it to.