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Happy Mental Health Monday, you guys! I’ve been excited for this post for a few months, since our guest blogger, Millie and I came up with the idea together. I love it so much because it’s applicable to everyone. Yes, I said everyone! It’s all about how to process pain and negativity, which everyone in the world experiences.
As you well know at this point unless you’re new (welcome, if you’re new!), Uninspired is a blog for twenty-something women. And Mental Health Monday in particular was born to help you twenty-something women remember to care for yourselves while you’re in this high-pressure process of building your futures. It’s insane, I know. And it can cause some horrible things like depression, anxiety, or worse depending on the situation. While it can be super rewarding long-term, right now it’s full of negativity, and a lot of growing pain. So I think it’s particularly important for you guys to read this article. Especially considering the older you get, the harder it becomes to build new routines. If you establish these healthy habits now, they’ll become second nature throughout the rest of your life.
Millie, who blogs over at Love and Flourish, knows all about creating healthy habits. Her blog is absolutely stuffed with actionable tips for living a more positive life. She was kind enough to share a few of them with us today, so I’ll turn it over to her!
How to process pain and negativity
Pain, sadness, fear, heartbreak, anger, depression. All of these sound horrible right? These are not feelings we want to feel, but we do. Some of us can feel pain and negativity every day, while others feel it every now and then. It’s a part of life and all of us will feel these feelings at some point in our lives.
I want you to ask yourself how you feel about these feelings. When you are sad, a bit blue, maybe a little depressed, do you have a negative attitude towards them? Do you wish the pain would just go away and never come back? Is pain and negativity holding you back from living? Well my friend, if you answered yes to all of these questions, it doesn’t have to be like this anymore! I now view these feelings as good things and opportunities to grow! I want to share with you how I have been able to process pain and negativity in my life.
Acknowledge and feel it!
The first thing you want to do when pain or other negative feelings arise, is to acknowledge it and really feel it! What I mean by this, is to just notice how you are feeling in the moment and allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling! Nothing bad is going to happen if you just sit with those feelings for a little while, but when you notice them and get to know them, you may even find yourself wanting to investigate why you are feeling the way you are. Of course you would rather run away from pain and negativity when they come up, but I know that if you do that, they will probably arise again in the future. So just for now, sit with it and allow it to pass through you!
If you want to completely free yourself of pain and negativity, you have to look it in the eyes! This can be extremely difficult and you may feel worse when you begin to do this. But you will feel so free when you choose to process the pain and allow it to no longer bother you! Some things might be easier to process and let go of than others, but the fact that you are ready and willing to have a go at processing it, is a fantastic start. To be able to process pain, you have to shift your current view of it to a more open and positive one. I have written more about how I have changed my attitude towards inner pain here on my blog.
Learning to view negative feelings as good things and not fearing inner pain is essentially what will set you free! Once you change the way you feel about pain, processing it and letting it go will become so much easier.
Remove those inner thorns!
A book called ‘The untethered soul’ by Michael A. Singer has really guided me to process pain and negativity. Michael believes ‘real transformation begins when you embrace your problems as agents for growth’. He uses a really great analogy to illustrate inner disturbances and how to free yourself of them.
He describes our inner disturbances as thorns. These thorns cause a lot of pain when they are touched, and we have two choices to how we respond. The first choice avoids all situations that could touch the thorn to ensure nothing touches it, as it’s so disturbing. The second choice is to take it out since it’s so disturbing when things touch the thorn. If we go with the first choice, we will live a pretty restricted life trying to avoid situations that will cause pain. But if we go with the second choice and remove the thorn, we will be free of that disturbance and no longer be bothered by the pain it caused.
‘If you don’t solve the root cause of the problem, but instead, attempt to protect yourself from the problem, it ends up running your life.’
You can free yourself from these inner thorns.
You just have to look deep within yourself and decide that you don’t want these things holding you back. A way you can do this is to firstly separate them from yourself. You are not your problems, insecurities or your pain. They have nothing to do with you. ‘You are the one who notices these things’, so to free yourself of pain and negativity, ‘simply stop playing with them’. Your consciousness is separate from these disturbances. You are simply just watching. Allow them to come up, and let them go. What you are watching is just an object, so all you have to do is just notice who’s watching and allow whatever you are feeling to pass through you, instead of pushing them back inside of you.
I have written a blog post over on my blog very similar to this post where I share how I have changed my attitude towards pain and negativity that will help you with processing inner pain and letting go! Remember, YOU are the only one who is responsible for your own happiness. YOU have the power to create your own happiness and free yourself from negativity.