You know those days when you just feel ‘off?’ When maybe you don’t want to get out of bed? Or feel like bailing on all your commitments and hiding from the world? I have those days. And for many years, I tried my hardest to just move past those feelings. I tried to deny them, push through and champion on. From a young age, we learn that ‘negative’ or ‘undesirable’ feelings aren’t okay, that they somehow aren’t acceptable in our regular daily lives. Babies are lauded for laughing and smiling, and conversely coddled or placed in a crib when they are fussy or crying.
As an adult, though, we can actively choose how we want to engage those crappy, funky feelings. What if, instead of dismissing or moving past the feelings that are making you feel off or in a funk, you lean into these? It’s the human body’s desire to maintain homeostasis, balance, status quo, and when something isn’t quite right, either physically or emotionally, the body communicates with the mind through feelings. This mind-body connection relays signals like little alarm clocks, bringing attention to listen: what else is going on? That sick to your stomach feeling when you’re dreading a presentation – that’s your mind telling you there is a fear (of failure/embarrassment?) – which triggers the upchuck-reflux because your body is telling you to save yourself from ‘danger.’ When a decision is weighing heavy and you feel like your heart is crumbling – that’s your mind telling you there is pain (hurt from or to someone) – which triggers heaviness in your body, telling you your values are out of balance.
When your next funky day comes along, what if instead of moving past that ‘undesirable’ moment, you moved through the feeling, and looked inward to ask yourself, ‘what is out of whack?’ What could you learn about your mind or body by taking a moment to explore what lies deeper and needs attention? And if digging in seems daunting, what if you sat with that feeling for a moment, and simply acknowledged that you’re having that feeling - nothing right, nothing wrong, just that the feeling IS?
Honoring our feelings is a big part of connecting the dots between mind and body. There is great personal insight to gain when we sit with the uncomfortable and recognize that those feelings are just as much a part of ourselves as the happy ones. Be it through a few moments of mindful breathing, a yoga practice, meditation, listening to music, getting outside, however you can find just 1 to 2 minutes (or longer) to look inward and ask yourself, what more is here for me to see/hear/feel/know? You may be amazed at what you'll uncover by giving space for your body and mind to sync up, rather than rushing through or pushing away valuable, deeper information. My funky days are the days I recognize I'm pushing too hard, striving versus allowing, and that I need a little more rest time, a little more self-love, and a whole lot more grace.
By Jen Rizza, Founder of Newtown Wellness Collective, Reiki Master, Yoga Teacher, Integrative Wellness Coach