Being in the Present

One of the topics that often comes up in my therapy is that I dwell too much on circumstances that are beyond my control. Either I am constantly reminding myself of all my previous failures or thinking about all the lost opportunities and plunging in the pool of regret and shame. Or I am incessantly thinking of what will happen in the future, how will it happen, will it even happen or not..?

And I’m often advised to focus on the present. To ground myself.

It is easier to say I will try but when I actually set about tackling my thoughts, it is exhausting work. I’m learning to work on it slowly…

Stop the first thought
When the first thought arises, my therapist has asked me to shut on the door on it. Because when I invite the first thought in, it in turn invites two more thoughts in, those two thoughts invite some more thoughts and then as she says, “it’s a boat full of thoughts.”

Acknowledge the thought and put it aside
Sometimes when I’m in a distracted state of mind, it gets late to bolt the door. The thought butts in like an unwelcome and annoying relative and starts jabbering in one corner of my mind. To it, I then say, “Yeah, maybe you are right. Maybe I do feel that. But right now, as you can see, I am doing something else, so can we please talk later?”

Distract the thought
If the thought gets too loud and doesn’t subside, I change my physical surroundings. I get up from what I was doing and walk into another room, if I see someone, I hail them and start talking to them. If there’s no one around, there’s always Netflix!

Assess the thought
If the thought gets too stubborn, I decide to dissect it. And there are two sub steps while doing so:
1) Think rationally as opposed to emotionally: Handle your thoughts like you handle your finances. Weigh out the pros and cons. The positive and negative feeling that the thought is trying to stir. And instead of responding emotionally to the situation, respond rationally.
2) See the situation as is – not more, not less: Look at the facts of the situation available to you. Is your brain trying to read too much between the lines or imaging something that’s not on the table? Then, you should prune that thought out. Or say, your brain is trying to form a conclusion without all the facts, like mine does, then I say, “Wait, we do not yet know that completely. Maybe we should think about it, after we know for sure.” No getting too over-enthusiastic over a prospect or no dwelling too deeply on low news.

Soul Searching

If only, it was as easy as to Eat. Pray. Love. and identify your purpose in life. Or the way it is described in movies and books – take your troubled mind on a trip to the snow capped mountains and you are back as a transformed person. Or just go road tripping across the country with a complete bunch of strangers and suddenly you grow strong and independent.

Vacations and trips don’t work on me. I thought maybe, something as heavy as the loss of a close family member or a huge heartbreak would have some impact on me and steer me.

Nope! Nothing works!

Nothing from fun sleepovers to disappointed looks seem to manage to awaken something in me. I am still questioning my existence on this Earth. I wake up, work, eat, speak to people, participate in the big and small moments of everyone’s life and yet when I go to sleep, I still feel the emptiness of my life ache inside me.

I don’t know when I will stop feeling this way. When I will stop thinking this way.

I don’t even know what is it that I’m searching for. What is it that my soul needs?

Let it Out

I have a wealth of emotions. So much, that, I do not invest it properly. Hence, at times I end up spending a lot of energy on stuff that is not worth it. And sometimes, I take too little time to think and react and end up not giving something adequate time.

I recently learned that there are two kinds of feelings that are not good for someone like me.

  1. Suppressed feelings: These are feelings we consciously choose to push down. Like for example, suppose you had a huge fight with someone but you also have a meeting at work in the next 10 minutes. Then you consciously push down the anger and head into the meeting.
  2. Repressed feelings: These are feelings that we are unconsciously pushing down. Suppose say, you feel sad and feel like crying. But everyone around you says, you should thoughen up and tells you to stop crying then you end up not addressing the feeling of sadness at all.

Repressed feelings are more toxic as they keep coursing along in your system and sometimes mix in to a deadly cocktail.

I think, I am going to try, flushing out my system and draining out all the named and unnamed feelings that I feel, on a regular basis, can be one way for me to feel better.

I won’t know until I try, I guess.

Until I Let it Out.