There are three words often neglected in high school, shrugged off in university, then hits like a truck when you have a weekly mid-life crisis... "Are you okay?"
WHY DO WE FOCUS ON AVOIDING "BAD" EMOTIONS?
The word “okay” is arguably a subjective word. It can mean absolutely everything to some, but also completely nothing to others. Although I’m a very optimistic and outgoing person, that doesn't mean perfection. Infact, I believe that no one is perfect. This seemingly incredible lifestyle comes with its own set of challenges. I never really understood the value of being sad, and because of this, I often lack the ability to process any of my own negative thoughts and emotions properly.
I’ll be honest. I didn’t even realise how big of an issue this was until it all came tumbling down. Whenever I encountered a problem such as feeling lost in life or feeling a little lonely, I would habitually shove it in the back corner of my mind. Frequently, this led me to eventually crash and burn out emotionally. But what helps me get back up are two special things, the first of which I'll write about today.
Below, I’ve detailed my first tool that I’ve used to get to where I am today. I hope that these experiences and insights will add value to your life as much as it did mine!
TIP 1: BE PRESENT IN THE NOW
Despite common belief, you have immense control over the way your brain, body and thoughts function. It comes down to your ability to be present in the now. Being present means embracing the things around you including negative emotions. Being present means understanding that despite all your negative thoughts, opinions and emotions, you are in control over what is happening in front of you.
The past? Why should the past hold any power over the present. The future? We shouldn't be fantasising about the multiverse of what-if situations when they don't exist yet. Instead, we can take the immediate actions in the present to shape your future. Once you’re able to grasp this concept, you will be rewarded with the sensation of control over your circumstances and mental state.
All in all, learning to become present isn't something that can be achieved overnight. So if you fail, that's alright - just try again. Being present is a powerful tool that when habitualised can have relieving benefits. In saying this, only those ready to make such a change will be able to unlock its limitless benefits.