This weekend I felt frustrated, angry. Because I heard people outside clearly breaking the curfew, I saw and heard about people visiting other people in groups (against the regulations/ strong advice of the Dutch government). So I sat down Sunday morning to write about this in my journal. Writing always brings light, more clarity, creates some emotional distance to how I am feeling. So I wrote about everything I felt. The anger, frustration, sadness, feeling that is was unfair and so on. That my world felt confined, boring, uninspiring.
And I wrote about what these emotions were telling me.
What I needed
What surfaced was this. I really craved freedom to get new input, new vistas, new perspectives. I longed to broaden my horizon again, to experience new things, see new things. So I wrote to myself (😉 ) “Ok, if you are craving new impulses, wider perspectives… why don’t you go for a walk in a new place, a different nature reserve than the ones surrounding your hometown? Just go somewhere else today. This will literally widen your perspective, you will be seeing new things and will be able to enjoy different vistas. “
I talked to my husband and kids about my plan. Half an hour later we were in the car, driving to a nature reserve, a 30 minute drive from our home. We all came back with a big smile on our faces and with renewed energy. My own dark mood had totally lifted. The light energy we all felt after this walk carried through the rest of our Sunday.
Obviously one walk doesn’t fully satisfy this need. But going somewhere new, seeing new vistas brought light and joy. And it showed me the agency I have even in restricted circumstances. Feeling agency is so important for your wellbeing!
Your emotions can be such valuable signposts!
Signposts to something you need or something you value.
👉When you feel difficult emotions like frustration, anger, sadness: get curious!
It might help to write it all down. Just stream of conscious writing about everything you feel. And then ask yourself the following two questions:
🌱What is this emotion about a situation or a person telling me about what I need or value?
🌱 How can I bring a little bit of what I value or need into my life today? What small action or step could I take today?
Equally when you feel positive emotions like joy, excitement, admiration - get curious as well. All emotions are signposts to what you value or need.