I recently had a session with a client who said, “I feel drained from the thought and energy I put into the things that are going wrong”. She went on to express how it can get to the point where she becomes fixated on what is wrong. She put words to the highly relatable experience of rumination.
When we ruminate, we find ourselves unable to stop fixating on a particular thought. Sometimes it is linked to an unmet need that we have are carrying around for a while.
How often do you put your energy – your thoughts and feelings – into the experience of what is NOT working, to the point that you become fixated on what is WRONG?
Your concern and worry about your child. Your dissatisfaction with work. The last mistake you made. The disagreement with your partner. The overwhelming to-do list and how it is always all on you.
The what’s not working vibe is an uncomfortable place to be, as it appears endless, AND it limits you from seeing…
What IS working… what other possibilities exist… creative solutions that are available to you.
Essentially, the fixation on what is not working can keep you from getting to a better feeling place so that you can get your NEEDS met.
CREATING A SHIFT
When we step away from the cycle of rumination and get a larger perspective of what’s happening, then we are better able to understand our emotions. From there we can consciously communicate what it is we need, either from others, but often it can be what we need from ourselves.
This is how you shift from what’s not working to getting what you need. It is a necessary ingredient to cultivating peace in your mind – as it is also a pathway for gaining clarity, balance, confidence, and joy.
So what about you? Are you having the kind of peace of mind and clarity, balance, and joy in your life that you’d like? Are you able to shift out of the mindset of “what’s wrong” into “what’s possible” 100% of the time?
If not, no worries.
There is a simple practice* to help you overcome those times when the overwhelm and fixation of what’s not working is strong.
Grab your journal and settle into a comfortable place where you can be still and undisturbed. Take 3 deep breath, releasing any tension you can on each exhale. Set a timer for 10 minutes and begin answering these 5 questions:
1. What happened? Simply state the facts as though you were an objective reporter.
2. What am I feeling? Describe the core feeling like sad, resentful, or discouraged.
3. What do I need that I am not receiving? Get as much clarity as possible and consider the 4 emotional needs of affection, acceptance, attention, and appreciation.
4. What am I asking for? Allow yourself to be vulnerable and write about what you need from yourself and maybe others too.
5. What possible opportunities are being presented? Regardless of outcome, explore what you are learning about yourself in this experience.
It is just a fact; the more you can shift your energy to what is possible and getting your needs met, the more peace and happiness you will experience. And that will make a huge positive different in your life.
To get more clarity about how you feel and how to consciously communicate it, along with a list of feeling words to use and those to avoid, download the 5 Steps of Conscious Communication
*This powerful practice is adapted from the work of psychologist Marshall Rosenberg, the author of “Nonviolent Communication”.