We’re so accustomed to trying to fix things but also moving on to the next bigger and better thing (is that expensive new phone truly that much better than your last one?). This human propensity tends to lead us to try to fix emotional challenges and when that doesn’t work, we often give up.
Say, you’ve had a rough day at work or with the kids and are sharing with your partner whose good-intention answer is to problem-solve your feelings. We all know how well that usually works. We don’t want to quit the job and we can’t quit the kids. I know. I’ve tried. We simply want someone to validate feeling badly. So we offer polite thanks-but-no-thanks for the advice or get more upset for not feeling understood.
What we are asking for, in so many words, is a mindful awareness reminder that we can have bad or hard moments (okay sometimes hours) in our days without needing to declare the entire day a disaster and without needing to do anything at all.
Here’s an easy mindfulness exercise for when you’ve had/are having one of those days.
- Get comfortable – this may be sitting or lying down or moving your body.
- Take three deep breaths in and out.
- Say to yourself – I had some hard moments today. I felt/feel (name the feeling(s)).
- Stay with this for a couple-three minutes. You don’t have to relive the day but also don’t resist if it pops up.
- Say Hard moments are part of life.
- Say Tomorrow is a new day.
That’s it. The point is to validate your feelings without exaggerating, resisting, or judging and with recognition that we all have hard moments. No one is spared.