Do you ever wake up in a bad mood?
I slept terribly last night, probably because I drank iced tea until too late in the day.
The only time I really felt sleepy was when I realized I'd overslept by 15 minutes and had to get up.
After grabbing my cup of hot Wild Blueberry tea (by Republic of Tea...my favorite), I snuggled under my cozy blanket and stewed.
So much felt wrong and it was only 6:20 am.
I found a sticky note that I'd made when I got home from spring break (at the beginning of the Covid-19 shutdown). I had noticed that the bad feeling I had was resistance, so I had made a list of all the things I was resisting (anxiety about the virus, anxiety about money, anxiety about my mom, etc.).
I decided to make a similar list this morning:
If you're feeling in a funk, why don't you try this?
Grab a sticky note or scratch pad (I don't put this in my journal, but I guess you could) and make a list of all the thoughts that are causing you negative emotions right now.
Don't worry about whether the thoughts are reasonable or not.
It's certainly not reasonable to want to drink all the iced tea I want and expect to be able to sleep, but there you are. I want that to be ok!
Then here's the trick....allow those emotions.
This is harder than it seems. To allow an emotion, you want to observe what's happening in your body. Use the word "observe" or "notice" as you do this (this helps get you using your prefrontal cortex):
"I notice that my head and shoulders feel tense. I notice that I'm breathing really shallow, almost holding my breath. I notice that I have an angry, sharp, pointy feeling in my face."
I'm just saying these things to myself in my head.
Don't focus on the thoughts that are causing those negative feelings. Just focus on how the feelings actually feel in your body. This takes practice!
When you feel frustrated that you don't think you're doing it right (and as a Six, you probably will), just say, "I notice that I'm feeling frustrated. That feels like...." and describe how frustration physically feels in your body.
As you sit quietly just noticing how these negative emotions feel, you'll eventually feel the slightest shift. (When your Sixy brain starts doubting yourself and asking, "Is that the shift? Did I feel it?," just notice the emotion those thoughts are bringing up and wait for another shift. As soon as you even THINK you might have felt it, move on.)
Next I pull out my journal.
I begin my journal entries, "Dear Jesus" because they are really a prayer.
I start with gratitude and tell Him everything I'm thankful for at the moment. Today I started with:
"Dear Jesus, thank You for the sleep I did get last night, that my family is home, safe and healthy, and that the cats are OK."
Then I keep going, listing all the things big (two new possible website design jobs) and small (yummy dinner I made last night).
Take a moment to notice how gratitude feels.
Then I pray through the things that are really weighing on my mind, giving them to Jesus one-by-one, asking for His wisdom and guidance regarding each.
By this time, the negative emotions have passed and I'm filled with gratitude and peace, knowing Jesus has me and all that's going on in our lives.
A word of warning though....I don't always end up feeling positive AND THAT'S OK! This process takes practice.
Just notice what you are feeling and allow that emotion.
The last thing I do is set an intention for the day. For me it's about the emotion I want to feel and today I want to feel useful and productive. I make my to-do list (being careful to not set myself up for failure by being unrealistic about how much I can accomplish) and imagine myself going calmly and purposefully through my day.
Our Sixy brains are amazing.
We are at the center of the head triad and it is our brains that get us into so much trouble, but it's also our brains that get us out.
We need to learn to harness the power of these Sixy brains and use that power for our benefit.
We can do it.
I'd love to hear your reaction to this post. Did you try it? Are there any parts that don't make sense?
Leave a comment and let me know!