How to Hang out with your Happy

I had a fabulous day on Monday. I had some phone calls that put me in a really good mood and
I just wanted to have a dance party in my kitchen (OK, I did start a dance party in my kitchen).

I was feeling unusually psyched about all the things… and then the panic set in.

This feeling NEVER lasts long.
How can I make this last?
How can I make this good feeling produce something so that I have something to show for it?
How can I keep it from leaving me?

And just like that, the good feeling was gone.
I was so worried about it not being there that I didn’t even enjoy it.
It turns out that I have abandonment issues even with my emotions.

Wednesday rolled around and I started to have one of those bad, sad, dragging feelings.
Whenever this happens to me, I have a thought that it’s going to last FOR-EV-ER.

These are the afternoons when I spend several sad hours thinking about how nice it would be to consume an entire Bota Box of wine and just chillllllllll.

This was also accompanied by a chorus of thoughts in my head like, see, you lose.
If you were solid with yourself you wouldn’t have these types of feelings and urges.
Those 47 lbs are going to move back in before you know it.
You’re screwed.

Fun stuff, right?

If you have thoughts like these too, then it’s time we crash the pity party.

Here’s how I go about it…

  • First, remember that life is 50% positive, 50% negative.

    • Think about it, you need sad to know what happy is like. The more time you spend disagreeing that the sad should be there (or judging yourself for feeling sad in the first place), the less time you spend actually experiencing the emotion in front of you. Whatever you are feeling is supposed to be there. Let it be there.

 

  • Second, notice what else goes on in your brain when you feel happy or sad.

    • For me I was feeling scarcity around happiness. I had a belief that happy only comes around like 10% of the time, so I better squeeze it to death while it’s there. Maybe this is a Midwestern thing?
    • I also want you to notice if you want to eat when you’re happy. When most people think of emotional eating, they think it only happens when you are sad. Au contraire! It can also sneakily show up when you are feeling good. Notice if this happens for you.

 

  • Third, relax into the emotion, whether it’s positive OR negative.

    • Your emotion doesn’t have to do anything. It doesn’t have to power scrub the kitchen or gulp a box of wine. It can just be there while you go about the business of living. Feel grateful when you feel both good and bad.

One thing I know for sure is that all of this takes practice, since feeling my emotions doesn’t come naturally for me.  I find that this is true for most emotional eaters because we eat so we can avoid feeling emotions.

So just practice relaxing into the emotion and being curious about it.
You can’t do this wrong, so just try it on for size.
Expect that it will be challenging, but that everything that’s worth it is a little bit challenging.

You can do this.

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