When you are really upset about something, and about to dive head first into a tub of ice cream or potato chips (or whatever your go-to comfort food might be,) try this:
Imagine that your feelings and emotions are like a wild, un-broken horse who has been put into a corral. It has never felt a saddle on its back. It has never been penned in it’s life. It kicks, bucks, snorts and darts around wildly. It looks and sounds dangerous. The feelings of anger, hurt, fear, betrayal, frustration, pain, vengeance, and the like are wild and un-tame. Allow these feelings to just be what they are. Don’t try to fight them or deny they exist. Recognize them and give them each a name. (Take a Role Call: anger- check, fear- check, betrayal-check, all negative emotions are present and accounted for)
Then imagine that you are a cowboy. You enter the corral and walk around the perimeter observing and watching the horse. You don’t approach it nor are you afraid of it. You just hang around with this wild beast and let it become familiar with you. Demonstrate by your mere presence that you have no intention of harming or hurting the horse. Just notice it and observe it, without trying to change it. Eventually, the horse (your emotions) will get tired and calm down, much like a screaming child eventually tires himself out and falls asleep.
It is futile to fight dark emotions. Don’t try to escape or ignore or try to replace them with ‘happy thoughts.’ This does not serve you. Rarely are we told to lean into that which terrifies us, but doing so is much more effective. The more you get to know yourself and listen to your thoughts, the less scary they become. Remember how the kid in The Sixth Sense was haunted by his visions of dead people? At the beginning of the movie they were scary and confusing. As it progressed, he learned to listen to what the ghosts had to say, he helped them finish their business on Earth, and they went on their way peacefully. Knowledge is power.
When dark emotions come, don’t run from them or try to pacify them, or bury them under a pile of junk food, simply allow yourself to experience them.
Go rent The Horse Whisperer and The Sixth Sense. Both movies have great messages for you on this topic.
Set up a time to talk through this with me by using my online scheduler or call/text me at (303) 669-7284. I’m always here to listen to you and help you overcome difficult emotions.