Liza Johnston, APC, NCC, MS • 404-757-3250
Sometimes we have planned for the best holiday, the most perfect party, a great night out, or even a wonderful quiet night in. We are all set to have what we believe will be, a cherished experience. Then something happens. A trigger sets us off, and we are filled with dread, fear, or anxiety. Maybe we get a text from an old friend reminding us of a lost friendship, maybe someone says something that recalls a missed job opportunity, or maybe the music we are listening to at home calls to mind a very sad memory. All these triggers can take over our whole being and sink us into a place of despair from the enjoyable feelings we were having. Our night is ruined. We cannot regain our feelings of lightness and pleasure.
How do we handle these times?
One way is to imagine our feelings as party guests and invite them in as they arrive. Just notice them. They don’t have to take over and ruin our party. They can just be unwanted guests that have shown up, but we don’t have to let them “crash” our party. We can acknowledge them and let them be there. These emotions are “trying” to protect us, so we don’t need to fight them, but just accept them at that moment as one of the guests at our party. All our experiences don’t have to be perfect; sometimes an unwanted party guest shows up. We acknowledge it, but it doesn’t need to take over. We aren’t required to react to this interloper right now.