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Slowing Down & Sitting With Your Emotions In A Fast-Paced World

Updated: Jun 21

What's covered: The impact of constant busyness on your body; Why we avoid stillness & space; Simple steps for sitting with your emotions

Girl running in field

Is it just me, or does the world seem to have sped-up?

It seems like there's never been more to do or more to face, often accompanied by a growing sense of urgency.

Modern Busyness: White Rabbit Syndrome...

Think of the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland: "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date."

It can be so easy to be sucked into the modern vortex of not stopping, perpetually doing, relentlessly thinking or focusing on what's next.

This internal, sped-up sense of busyness or hyper-alertness shows up in the body in different ways: a racing mind, heart palpitations, a stiff neck and shoulders, tremors in the hands or sudden verbal outbursts.

In other words, it can be really hard to Chill the [beep] OUT! ;-) 

It's natural to have busy cycles; what's not healthy is to be continuously stuck in ON mode.

Hiding Behind Busyness & Avoiding Feelings

What's often overlooked is that busyness can be used as a way of avoiding.

It can be used as a shield or a barrier to keep you distracted and up in your head, so you don't have to drop into your body and FEEL.

It's a way of escaping what's happened in your earlier life, or, a way of avoiding what's happening in your life right now.

Sometimes there is a deceptive belief that if you get enough done, then you'll feel better; but that's like trying to run away from yourself, only to keep coming back to the same spot. 

Scared By Stillness & Emotional Suppression

Strangely, humans are often scared by space and stillness, because it's in times of quiet that waves of suppressed emotions or painful memories - kept at bay by perpetual busyness - can crash over us. 

But suppressing uncomfortable emotions or resisting unpleasant body sensations is like trying to hold back the tide - it's exhausting, not to mention futile!

Healthy Ways To Regulate Emotions: Sitting NOT Wallowing

You may have heard this phrase before: "Sitting with your emotions."

For a lot of people, that's as clear as mud, so let's break it down. (And no, you don't have to be in a sitting position, unless you really want to.)

Sitting with your emotions simply means pausing or stopping; it's about allowing yourself to be present with whatever feelings, emotions or sensations are coming up for you in that moment, without judgement. 

Let's be clear, sitting with your emotions is not about wallowing in them. (Here's a BIG hint: Wallowing often involves judging, mentally labelling wrong or right, creating lots of stories about why you're feeling the way you do or blaming yourself and others.)

Here are some simple steps to help you "sit" with your emotions:

  1. Acknowledge: First of all, acknowledge you're feeling something. (It might sound obvious, but it's so often overlooked.)

  2. Name the feeling or emotion: For example, I'm having the feeling of sadness / annoyance / anger / helplessness.

  3. Identify where in your body you're feeling that emotion: Are you feeling a constriction in your throat or a nervous gurgling in your tummy?

  4. Express: Verbalize how you're feeling to someone you trust, write it down or let it out through consciously breathing or moving your body.

Remember: It's not necessarily about getting rid of unwanted feelings or sensations; rather, it's about creating space and peace around whatever is coming up.

Take Control: You've Got The Remote!

The outer world's not going to slow down for you, but you can slow down your inner world.

I want you to take a moment and imagine your life is playing on a TV screen and you're the one with the remote control.

You get to choose what button you push: Play, Stop, Fast-Forward, Rewind or Pause

If you're stuck in Fast-Forward mode, then it's absolutely within your power hit Pause, or even Stop.

As the white rabbit realizes: "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get."

Feel like you need some help sitting with your emotions? Email and reach out.

Keep listening to your body and trusting your wise self,

Lauren x

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