I’ve been doing a lot of teaching online recently, delivering three hour sessions on Understanding Mental Health. During that time, we bust some myths, explore the language and stigma around this topic, and take a step into exploring what helps (and what doesn’t) when someone is going through a difficult time. One of the things I offer is that sometimes we have to get comfortable with discomfort. Whether it’s our own or listening to others, sometimes the most helpful thing we can do is show up. It’s not easy but here’s what might help:
This week, maybe set the intention to Breathe and Flow. Each of us, at times in our lives, has to navigate difficulty. Pretending we don’t feel anything doesn’t work (at least not long-term) and trying to avoid our feelings can create problems in itself.
They build up.
It rarely ends well.
It sounds counter-intuitive but sometimes sitting with what’s difficult allows us to at least acknowledge that we’re feeling something. We don’t have to always do anything with it, sometimes we can just label it for what it is and breathe then “let it go”, even if that really means setting it aside for another day. (This article (via an external website) may also help).
Also be aware of your self talk when things are tricky, and that thoughts are just thoughts – they don’t mean that’s what you’re thinking. As Tara Brach explains in her video “Three Steps of Letting Go” – “A person of knowledge knows that the world will change the moment you stop speaking to yourself.”
Whether you love it or hate it, our recent bouts of warm weather also reminds us that everything is temporary. Storms blow over. The rain comes. The sun comes out again. It’s at times like this we can take each moment as it comes, and, even when it’s unpleasant, know that it will pass.
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