This weekend was the Honda Grand Prix St. Petersburg.
Which means, as someone who lives on the race track, I really don’t leave the area around my house for days.
This is what it looked like outside my apartment:
Kind of crazy!
But as loud as all the cars are (and as crazy as some of the people in the *crowd* are), I find I don’t really mind the Honda Grand Prix. It forces me to get out of my house (walking, of course) and have conversations and time with friends.
One theme seems to be running rampant with everyone I talked to– unhappiness.
We have reached a point, as adults, where so many of us are profoundly dissatisfied with life. And the unhappiness varies: professional dissatisfaction, relationship woes, money problems, you name it.
I’ve been desperately trying to think of a solution that will help ALL my friends with their myriad sources of gloom. And then….
The car sped around the track.
And I realized!
We are experiencing so much distress, grief, misery, sadness–because we aren’t listening and feeling our emotions.
START YOUR EMOTIONAL ENGINES Y’ALL!
Quick ten minute kick-start for your emotional engine:
You will need a journal and a pen.
- Start by writing down (free-write without pausing) EVERYTHING that is making you grumpy or unhappy. Think you are done? Keep writing. Write until you have written everything possible about your grumpiness and have exhausted the topic. This could take one page–or five. Don’t stop until you have NOTHING left to say.
- Pause. Ask yourself, how does writing down everything you DON’T LIKE make you feel? Let yourself feel whatever comes up. JUST KEEP BREATHING. You may cry, stamp your feet, clench your hands into fists, through the journal across the room. JUST FEEL WHATEVER IT IS YOU FEEL.
- Free writing once again, write down EVERYTHING that makes you happy in life. It doesn’t need to be something you are currently doing. What was your favorite activity as a child? Favorite smell? Favorite food? Favorite book? Favorite thing to do after work? Do you volunteer, go to church, belong to a club? Does filing your taxes make you happy? Organizing the house? Talking on the phone to your best friend? Running? Manicures? Hot baths? Write it down. Keep writing everything that makes you happy until you have a list that it is at LEAST a full page long–preferably at least three.
- Pause. Ask yourself, how does writing down everything you DO LIKE make you feel? Let yourself feel whatever comes up. DON’T STOP BREATHING. You may cry. You may laugh hysterically. You may smile. You may sigh. You may suddenly want to get out of your chair because you are overwhelmed with an urge to do one of the things that makes you feel happy. Just sit with the motion–whatever you feel.
- Go back to the list that makes you happy. Circle at least THREE THINGS you can do in the next week from your happy list. If there is nothing you can do immediately (ie you can’t pack your bags and go to Bali), write down THREE STEPS you could take to get you closer to achieving that happiness within the next week. It could be really really small steps–such as starting to set aside a travel fund, ordering travel books from the library, and watching Eat, Pray, Love. Whatever it is. Find THREE WAYS to make yourself HAPPIER in the next seven days. WRITE THEM DOWN on a separate piece of paper. Put that paper somewhere you will see every day. Stick it on your refrigerator door or your bathroom mirror. Make those three things something you CAN’T AVOID looking at EVERY DAY.
Hold yourself accountable. Really accomplish those three things. See how you feel and….
THEN REPEAT THE ENTIRE PROCESS NEXT WEEK!!
Start to feel the good and the bad and make a conscious choice to CHOOSE the positive. Work to make yourself HAPPIER in baby steps.
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE YOUR OWN JOY. Don’t wait around! Begin to open yourself up your emotions–and a life of contentment NOW.
Can you be brave enough to start your emotional engine and start living life for YOU?