Do you ever feel that your emotions go up and down in an extreme way? Are you like the Himalayas – really high and then really low?
A client and I discussed this today and she told me that she wanted to be more like corrugated iron. “How do I do that?”
How do you even out the highs and the lows, how do you maintain that gentle undulation which is, some would say, the up and down of ‘normal’ life?
When we hit a problem or have a ‘negative’ emotion we can often focus on it and see it as proof that our life is in a mess or just not going the way we want it to – ever! When we have a positive emotion we are so high on the feeling that we momentarily forget about the negative things in our lives, even though they are there.
Having a negative view prevents us from absorbing and really appreciating the positive things. We have a negative experience, we think about it, we have a resulting emotion which then reinforces our behaviour. So even though you may have had a great dinner with a friend, your car breaks down on the way home and your response is ‘Typical, you see when I let myself go and have fun, something happens to pull me back and prove to me that life’s a bitch.”
How do we be more corrugated iron? Gatefulness.
If we can let down our resistance and truly accept and absorb the good feelings, knowing they are there for what they are, and not see them as a trap, then we become more robust and able to deal with the negative things when they happen, rather than sinking into a hollow.
Having a regular gratefulness ritual is a good way to do this but at a very simple level it’s just about noticing the good things and letting them in. It’s similar to accepting a compliment.
We are more corrugated.