I would like to introduce the idea that any sensation or signal in our bodies or minds could hold valuable information.
Feelings of exhaustion, anxiety, fear, aches, and pains are all trying to get our attention and will continue to bug us with ever-increasing ferocity and urgency until we listen and act on what they want us to do.
Most of the time, this situation lands us in trouble because we ignore the signals, and this can lead us to taking time off work or to making dramatic, impulsive decisions.
For the most part, we have not been taught how to listen to ourselves and our bodies. And as we practice the art of real communication, we start to view the signals—the feelings, aches, and pains–as messengers coming to our house and knocking on our door with important information and wisdom.
If we choose to sit in fear and ignore the knocking, the messenger will simply keep pounding away with increasing force, getting louder and scarier until we get very ill, emotionally, mentally or physically—and then we’re forced to take notice.
Learning to say, “Hello” to these signals early on, without trepidation, and asking what they want, what they’re trying to tell us is, a sure-fire way of working through these powerful emotions, thoughts, and physical manifestations quickly and easily.
Facing our fears, anxieties, and detrimental feelings with an open heart, by listening and then acting on the guidance they offer, will cut the crap and keep us happy and healthy!
This next little “Recipe for Happiness” is something that I practice myself and with my family, and it helps tremendously. It’s worked to help my children understand themselves, their bodies, and their emotions. Above all, it helps them to be kinder to themselves and their needs, creating a mind-body connection, which is a priceless life skill.
1. Believe that the negative thought or emotion has a positive intention and is part of you.
2. Locate where in your head or body you are feeling those thoughts or feelings.
3. Ask what kind of feeling it is.
4. Say “Hello,” and thank it for signaling to you.
5. And ask, “Do you have a message, what are you trying to tell me?”
6. Then ask, “And is there anything else?”
7. Finally, thank it for that.
If the thought or emotion wishes you to do something specific, like visit the dentist, take a rest, speak up for yourself, then ask, “Can that happen?” and, “When can that happen?” Let the thought or emotion know exactly what you intend to do and when. Keep communicating and negotiating until the part signaling you is fully satisfied. You will find that once it’s been seen and heard, it settles down.
Play with this—for yourself and significant others. It is amazing how it can open up a conversation with your own children about the “real” reasons behind upset tummies, headaches, feeling sick, anxiety, or upset. Not only does it help them name their feelings, this simple process helps build emotional intelligence and is useful for years to come.
Remember, this isn’t about managing difficult feelings, rather it’s a tool to help move through difficult feelings and resolve them.
It is easy and safe to do: establishing a mind-body-emotional link within, focusing on what is really going on, and not just attempting to remedy the surface issues. In this way, resolution can be found and the right course of action taken, bringing about a comforting sense of peace and contentment.
Author: Patricia Maddalena
Image: Jo Amelia Finlay Bever/Flickr
Editor: Catherine Monkman