Meh, Blah, Ugh.
No, I’m not having a seizure, I’m just feeling kind of flat today. Does that ever happen to you? When there’s nothing in particular that’s going wrong, and you’re not really feeling sad or unhappy, or anything for that matter. Just a horizontal line across the page, or a flat line on a heart monitor.
So what’s the deal? What is this non-feeling all about, and should you even care? After all, it’s not really a problem so why fix it?
But even a non-feeling is actually a feeling, and like all feelings it has the potential of letting you in on the secret world of YOU. In other words, even though it feels much like ‘nothing’ it is most definitely something. There is an experience underneath, that for some reason is choosing to stay hidden for the time being, and if you wait long enough, it will come out.
Think of it like a pimple that begins underneath the skin where it can’t be seen, and slowly the infection organizes itself and eventually pushes out through the skin where it can be drained. Remember – whatever it is that is under the surface is just as it should be – there is nothing wrong with it. It’s going through a natural process of development and will be released when it’s ready. You can help it out if you want (much like squeezing a pimple) but often it’s best to instead strengthen the rest of your mind/body (think immunity system) allowing it to process the feelings naturally.
So, while this experience organizes itself, here are a few things you can do:
1. Move your body and your mind will follow. It doesn’t have to be epic, Just a 20 minute walk will relax your mind and body, loosen those emotional muscles, and speed up whatever emotional processing is taking place under the surface.
2. Be loving yet strict with your thoughts. Whatever experience is hiding underneath the surface, it is still influencing your thoughts which in turn affect your over-all well-being. Don’t let your thoughts carry you into grumpiness. Pay close attention to the repetitive and complaining thoughts going through your mind and stop them whenever you can. You don’t need to be harsh about it, just gently pause, take a deep breath and continue on a different tangent (repeating the process as necessary).
3. Feed your body with care and limits. Listen to what your body is ASKING FOR (and how much) and provide it with gentleness and kindness. Take care of your body as if it were a child – open your ears to what it has to say, set proper limits, and give it lots of love.
4. Do something nice for someone else. Taking the focus off of your own Blah-ness and being generous and kind to someone else can expand your perspective on life and re-focus your energy on the things that are really important.
5. Talk to a good friend. Have you ever called up a friend, and noticed your whole being unclench and thaw just from them asking “how are you doing?” Being given the opportunity to STOP and look inside with a genuinely curious and loving friend can do wonders to loosen up stiff emotions.
6. Defibrillate your emotions. When you feel ready to help your emotions come out, give them a bit of a jolt – watching a tear-jerker can do the trick sometimes, or lets be honest- even watching the news can sometimes do it. It doesn’t have to be something sad either. Listening to one of my favourite comedians – Louis C.K. and really getting into a joke can loosen tied up emotions.
7. Lastly, take a gentle look at what’s underneath the non-feeling. Close your eyes and sit in silence for a minute or two. Often just that will give you a bit more depth into the layers of emotion underneath.
Going A Little Bit Deeper
- Take a deep breath filling your throat, chest and belly with air.
- Close your eyes and let the exhale lead your attention into your gut area.
- Notice the physical sensations in there – light, heavy, warm, cold, tight, loose, full, empty…
- What word best describes the feeling inside?
- Say the word out loud – what other feelings come up with this word?
- Stay with this experience for as long as you can (without moving to judging it – there will be plenty of time for that later)
For another fantastic technique for releasing blocked emotions, try this.