These times are a challenge, there’s no doubt. Moments of calm interspersed with waves of panic or anxiety, and then moments of happiness and connection.
It can be hard to find our feet.
I have been working with people to understand their feelings for a long time and I wanted to offer people a really concise process for working through these strong emotions when they come up.
And I am glad to say I have just finished writing a short book over the course of the last two weeks (rather than 1.5 years like my last one – sorry in advance if you find a typo!) to teach people how to do this.
Why should we work through our feelings?
When I work with people the start of a session is often about helping people to become calm and centred. This means that we can actually do something meaningful together – because you need that sense of centredness and safety to make a change
So the extra challenge of these times is that we are never able to completely reach a state of certainty or resolution which we can build on.
That is OK for a few weeks, but as this situation is around for a while it is really important to do the work of processing the feelings that come up. Then we can develop more and more self-control and self-understanding irrespective of external events.
What can we do in this situation?
This is not just about being stoic and “getting through” tough times. It is about using this intense situation as fuel for our own self-knowledge and quality of life.
Difficult, raw emotions hold a lot of information within them, which can teach us more about ourselves. The exercises in this book will teach you some of the basics you need to know in order to get to this information.
I know that for many people this is the scariest situation they have ever been in, while for many others it pales in comparison to difficult childhoods, past losses or other very hard times. But whatever your level of “being used to difficulty”, through the current difficult times we can become more resilient, self-aware, grounded and loving.
Of course this does not mean never being afraid, or worried, or never having a sleepless night. It is about using every opportunity we can to come out of this stronger and happier overall.
Some of the good we can find
A lot of people I have worked with had, in the past, believed that the key to happiness was in avoiding or preventing difficulties, or pushing away negative emotions.
But actually, difficulties show us what is important to us, what we really want and also negative emotions are what sane people have in hard times. They are telling us to take care of ourselves and our loved ones and often when we have listened to them fully, they dissipate.
So some of the possible take-aways from this situation might be:
- Learning to feel our feelings fully and listen to what they are saying
- Improving our relationship to our own emotions
- Using the focus created by an uncertain situation to give us clarity (not on the future situation but on ourselves)
- Using the toughness of the situation to become stronger
- Using difficult times to strengthen bonds and develop meaning
Above I mentioned becoming stronger and by this I don’t mean harder or more closed-off. I mean stronger as in more: open-hearted, in our integrity, self-expressive, honest with ourselves and using our talents to help others.
I have felt a powerful urge to be useful and I know that many other people feel the same way – not just other therapists. Although this work is invisible, by working through our own emotions we will also be more available to help and support others so it can have a powerful impact.
Affordable for you and free for NHS
As I know many of us are facing either financial uncertainty, or are experiencing leaner times right now, I have kept the price very low.
I will also be offering this ebook for free to NHS workers (if you are one just email me a photo of your NHS ID and I will send you back your copy, please be patient as admin takes me some time!).
So if you could share the link to this blog article with any NHS staff you know, or the link to the book on my site for everyone else (https://www.suzannewylde.com/happyandstrong) that would be wonderful, I really appreciate you taking the time to do that! I really want it to find its way to the people who need it.
I hope you are keeping well, feeling healthy and have all the support and resources you need.