This week’s challenge was to explore our responses to emotions. We covered anger, fear, happiness, boredom, and loneliness.
The goal is to sit with the feeling, deliberately expose yourself to something that stimulates the feeling. After a few minute log your physical response. Then log how you felt when the activity was over.
I had opportunity this week to sit in all but loneliness. I don’t think that one is easy for me, I am never alone! (I have a dog who is like Velcro!
A quick note about fear, anger, and happiness: my physical reactions to all were exactly the same. I had quick pulse, accelerated breathing, and I was agitated. One big difference was that when I was angry, I craved what I call grazing snacks. Small, crunchy, salty.
Boredom, however, was an intriguing response. When I first sat with being bored, I tried it first thing in the morning. My brain kept coming up with things for me to do. The longer I sat, the more silly the options. I had to sit on this one a while!
I kept ignoring my brains offered ideas. I found I was providing myself one excuse after another. I can’t, it will hurt, people will think it’s silly, I don’t have time. Then, I realized the thoughts were slowing down. I was having a harder time thinking of something. That was when the physical reactions kicked in. I think I switched from boredom to anger and fear. The minute I got the craving for salty snacks crap, I halted the exercise. Actually I was so agitated that my dog halted the activity.
My takeaway is that boredom means you need to listen for a minute. Seize the first sane thing your brain provides, and try it. Don’t let it fester. Our brains are our allies, if we let them. Another thought is that exhaustion is probably the number one factor in my self sabotage. Goals for this next week are to work in better sleep, and give my brain the space to do it’s job. Going to my happy place (pictured) for a walk and brain space!