We want to be happy, but instead we just feel sad, angry, anxious, or stressed. Sometimes our thoughts trigger feelings that may seem out of proportion to the event that triggered it. Suddenly we feel pessimistic or see everything as bad or useless.
Last time I was sick with the flu, I noticed that there were several times when I was feeling angry: “I hate being sick!” or sad “I feel miserable. When will I finally get better?” Of course I did get better, but oftentimes, when we are in the middle of it, we get wrapped up in our feelings and feel like it won’t change.
What can we do in those moments of sadness, anger or stress?
First, we have to accept our feelings, as unpleasant as they may seem. Resisting them only reinforces them. Secondly, we have to remember that everything, including our feelings, is impermanent – everything changes all the time. So whatever we are going through and what we are feeling is temporary. I found a few phrases that help remind me of this:
“This too shall pass.” It’s a proverb that originated with medieval Sufi poets.
“Tomorrow is another day.” Made famous as the last line in “Gone with the Wind.”
“It is what it is, while it is.” I recently came across this one in an article by Dr. Elisha Goldstein: http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2012/09/it-is-what-it-is-while-it-is/
I like the last one, because it combines accepting our situation and our feelings “It is what it is” with the realization that it is temporary “while it is.”
Saying these words to yourself can make you more mindful and aware, so you don’t fall into your usual pattern or feel overwhelmed. Try it out next time you get into a funk or feel negative thoughts and feelings coming on.
What happens when you try one of these phrases? Have you found any other expressions that have helped you?
Manuela loves helping smart and creative women bring more balance, happiness and success into their lives through Professional Life Coaching!