Have you ever had one of those days when you just feel out of sorts? You can't quite put your finger on it but you feel unsettled, you’re struggling to focus. You might even feel a bit down, overwhelmed or confused.
Often when we feel this way, we white-knuckle it through the day, persevering to get stuff done without taking a moment to connect with ourselves. This just leaves us feeling even more frustrated and unproductive.
If we just take a moment to find out what's going on within, we usually find out pretty quickly what the root of the problem is and can then take clear action to remedy it.
It only takes a few minutes and all you need is a piece of paper and a pen!
Three Prompts For Clarity
Divide your page into three columns. (It helps to turn your page to landscape view.)
In the first column, write down everything you are feeling. Don't stop after the first two or three - keep going and see what comes up for you. You might be surprised.
It’s easy to judge ourselves for how we feel and we may avoid acknowledging them, believing that we “shouldn’t” feel a certain way.
No one else is going to see what you write. Just this once, let go of any self-criticism and just be curious about what comes up for you. It gets easier the more you do it!
Secondly, look at each feeling and think about what unmet need could be beneath it.
Draw an arrow across to the next column and write your need there. Some of the feelings might share the same unmet need.
Here’s an example:
Lastly, think about what actions you could take to meet those needs. It might be something that you could do yourself or something that you need to ask for help and support with.
Write them out in the last column.
Does your mind feel a little clearer? Did anything come up that surprised you? Was there anything that you didn’t know you were feeling or needing? I invite you to look at the actions you wrote down and choose one or two to follow through on.
If you found this short exercise helpful, you can use it again anytime you need to. If necessary, you can even do it in your head, but I find writing is always more powerful.