The topics for my Piece Talks messages are often inspired by something I’ve just experienced. This is true for last week’s message, which was about how to change a negative feeling you’re having. Or, in other words, how to get yourself out of a funk. It’s somewhat similar to the article I wrote on “self-doubt” a couple of weeks ago, but the method I used is different.
This particular Piece Talks message was written with clear instruction, so I’ll include it here:
If you want to change a negative feeling you’re having- maybe it’s sadness or depression, could be anger or frustration- whatever it is, try moving me and intentionally breathing.
You experience feelings through me. They often show up in specific places, like the feeling of depression can show up as “heaviness” in my chest.
Get me moving. Maybe take a walk. Do what you can do right where you are. And, focus your breathing directly into where your feelings show up the strongest. Imagine that your breath is breathing out and releasing these feelings. Pay attention to your thoughts to see if anything comes up for you to look at.
Keep breathing until you feel better. And, you will. Even if it’s just a little better. But, let’s go for much better!
Moving and intentional breathing- powerful tools for changing negative feelings.
The more I delve into what it is to develop a healthy relationship with my body, the more I see things in a new way. That we experience feelings through our bodies is not something I thought much about in the past. I didn’t think in those terms. And, when I was feeling something “negative” and uncomfortable, all I knew was that I was REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE, and I wanted to do anything to feel better.
Earlier in my life, I didn’t have the knowledge or tools to do what would actually make me feel better. My “go to” for comfort and feeling better was food and “zoning out” to the TV. That time in my life, before I was on a path of personal and spiritual growth, was very difficult. I did not deal well with negative feelings for many, many years of my life.
I am so grateful that I now have many tools in my “toolbox” to deal with difficult situations and feelings when they arise. These tools are actual solutions that help me move through tough experiences, rather than ignoring them and hoping they will go away on their own.
The “tools” I used in the situation this Piece Talks message was written about are body movement and intentional breathing. Here’s the scenario:
One morning last week, I was just waking up when a thought popped into my head about something I felt I didn’t do the “right” way. Like snow shifting and tumbling downhill, my thoughts triggered an avalanche of feelings that I experienced quite intensely as feeling badly about myself. Whatever was coming up for me was clearly stemming from some deeper underlying belief that was causing me emotional pain. I sat for a few moments, and then these two thoughts came to mind:
“I didn’t do enough.” (in the situation I was thinking about)
“I’m not enough.”
In that moment, tears filled my eyes. Yet, I didn’t cry. The emotions felt stuck in the pit of my stomach. I felt terrible.
In the past, this would have been the time where I turned to food and my favorite TV shows. Although those things never really made me feel better, they were just distractions from the emotional pain I was feeling, I didn’t know any other way.
I'm thankful that I now know a better way!
As I sat feeling all the yucky, uncomfortable feelings that come with not being happy with yourself, I knew in that moment that it would help me to move my body. So, although I didn’t REALLY feel like it, I got up and I went to the gym. On the treadmill, I began to walk at a medium pace. I was walking fast enough to get the blood flowing, but not running. As I was walking, I could feel that heavy/stuck feeling in my solar plexus area, and I began to breathe intentionally “into” that area of my body. On the exhale, I would breathe out a little harder, imagining that the “stuck” feeling and all the negativity was loosening. I imagined I was breathing the negative feelings out of my mouth. I did this for about 45 minutes. And slowly over that time, there was a definite shift. I began to feel a little better… then better… then a lot better.
Because feelings are experienced through the body, if we move our bodies, we can help the feelings move through faster. Simple movement, along with intentional breathing, can be so healing. I also reminded myself that who I am is enough. I am enough. Giving myself those reminders is healing too.
With much love,
Disclaimer: My job as a personal development coach is to guide you and suggest ways for you to reach your highest potential. My coaching, products, and services, along with the content in this document, do not in any way replace medical or psychological care from health professionals. You are responsible for determining what level of care you need. Please seek help from a physician or licensed psychologist if you feel you need that kind of assistance.