Emotions seem to be coming up quite strongly lately for a lot of people. Whether you are the one feeling a lot or on the receiving end of others’ feelings, the intensity of emotion can be draining. The interesting thing is that when this occurs, the tendency is to try to disengage from these emotions. As a society, we are really good at disengaging from how we feel! Our favorite way of escape usually involves overdoing it, when it comes to working, eating, drinking, and/or being online.
- We justify our disengagement by telling ourselves things like…
- I’ve got to keep working in order to keep up.
- I need/deserve the drink each night to take the edge off.
- Nothing else is making me happy, so I might as well have this pint of my favorite ice cream.
- I need to be online the majority of my day in order to stay informed.
The problem with these societal habits is that the more you disengage from your negative emotions, you also distance yourself from more uplifting feelings.
Unfortunately, nearly 3 out of 4 people engage in a seemingly harmless habit that is actually terrible for their mental health and emotional well-being. The good news is that with awareness, this habit is pretty simple to fix.
So, are you one of the 71% who checks their phone within the first 10 minutes of waking up? If so, I highly encourage you to wait at least one hour after waking up before you go on your phone/tablet/computer. This is especially for you if you struggle with anxiety.
The reason this habit is harmful is because for most people it gets your mind racing with all the to-do’s of your day or with worrying about things that are outside of your control.
Imagine if instead, you started your day where the first 20, 30, 60 minutes were dedicated to you and your well-being. Maybe you get up and go for a walk, engage in a gratitude practice, pray, meditate, stare out the window drinking coffee/tea, stretch, or anything else you can do to help still you. Imagine the sense of calm and centeredness this would give you when the time comes for you to check in with your day.
If you are telling yourself you don’t have time, think about what that says about your self-worth? The message you are giving to yourself is that your well-being isn’t worth skipping the phone for 30-60 minutes to do what you need to do to support your well-being. The message you unknowingly are telling yourself is that everything and everyone else is more important than you….that your phone/tablet/computer/work is more important than you! When you do that day in and day out, you unintentionally set yourself up to experience burnout.
There’s so much in our lives that isn’t in our control; the continuous shifts and challenges happening in our world and society, work demands, family obligations, etc. However, how you start your day absolutely is in your control.
I encourage you to value yourself enough to start your day out with your highest good in mind. In time, you will reap the dividends of not just greater emotional health and well-being, but also the gift of more easily showing up as the person you want to be both personally & professionally.