Do you ever wake up feeling an unexplainable weight in your heart?
On these days, you might feel a bit out of sorts, somewhat lost, wanting to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of life to find a quiet moment just to breathe.
On these days, breathing might feel like the only thing you’re capable of. There’s a heaviness, a kind of emotional fog, that seems to have no reason or resolution. It’s not about doing something; it’s about being with this feeling, acknowledging its presence.
When you attempt to engage with this feeling, it often remains silent, like a weight on your chest that you can neither lift nor lay down. You can’t seem to shake it off or fully embrace it.
In time, though, you begin to accept its presence. And it’s in this acceptance that you start to understand. This heaviness is more than just a feeling; it’s a messenger. It’s telling you that something isn’t right. Underneath this weight are layers of emotions, each yearning to be recognized and understood. Maybe it’s rooted in something recent, or perhaps it’s a shadow from the past. Sometimes, it might not even have a clear cause.
No matter the source, when you feel this heaviness, try not to turn away from it.
Here are 10 mindful things you can do on these challenging days.
1. Seek Nature’s Solace
Nature offers a unique kind of comfort, distinct from the bustling urban life. Walking through a forest or sitting by a stream can bring a sense of calm and grounding. The natural sounds and sights help to distract from inner turmoil, gently urging the mind towards a peaceful state. Trees don’t judge.
Take a deep breath and let nature’s tranquility wash over you.
2. Express Through Art
Art provides an outlet for emotions that are hard to verbalize. Whether it’s painting, sketching, or writing, channeling your feelings into creativity can be incredibly therapeutic. It allows you to process emotions in a safe, controlled environment. Art can be a mirror reflecting your inner world, helping you understand and cope with your feelings.
3. Connect with Loved Ones
Talking to someone you trust can significantly lighten your emotional burden. Sharing your struggles with a friend or family member can provide comfort and a different perspective. They don’t have to solve your problems; just having someone listen can be immensely healing. Remember, human connection is a powerful tool against heartache.
You’re not alone.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about living in the current moment, without judgment. Through practices like meditation and deep breathing, you can learn to observe your thoughts and feelings without getting overwhelmed by them. This can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It also helps in cultivating a deeper understanding of oneself.
Embrace the moment.
5. Indulge in Self-Care
Prioritizing yourself is not selfish; it’s necessary. Activities like a warm bath, a favorite movie, or reading can provide much-needed comfort. Self-care acts as a reminder that you deserve your own love and attention. It’s about treating yourself with the same compassion you offer others.
6. Listen to Music
Turn it up.
Music has a profound impact on emotions and mood. Listening to your favorite tunes can offer a sense of escape or understanding. It can match your mood, or gently guide you to a more positive one. Music therapy is even used professionally to help people cope with various emotional issues.
Let the music heal.
7. Physical Movement
Move your body.
Exercise isn’t just good for physical health; it has a significant impact on mental well-being. Physical activity releases endorphins, known as happiness hormones, which can improve mood and reduce feelings of sadness. Whether it’s a brisk walk, yoga, or dancing, movement can be a joyful escape.
8. Help Others
Sometimes, focusing on others can provide a new perspective on your own problems. Volunteering or simply helping a friend can bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment. It’s a way to step outside your own head and make a positive impact on someone else’s life.
Be the change.
9. Seek Professional Support
Talk to someone.
Therapists are trained to help people navigate their emotions and thoughts. They provide a safe, confidential space to explore your feelings. Therapy can offer new coping mechanisms and insights into why you feel the way you do. It’s a brave step towards healing and understanding.
10. Reflect and Journal
Write it down.
Journaling can be a powerful tool for self-reflection and emotional release. Writing about your feelings helps to organize and process them. It can provide clarity and a sense of relief. Journaling is also a way to track your emotional journey and growth.
Reflect on paper.
What Did I Miss? What Works For You?
I’m interested in what works for you on these “down days?”
Please tell us in the comment section at the bottom of this page.
About The Author
Jim Van Wyck
Jim has been teaching meditation, mindfulness, and positive self-talk since 1982, when he was first certified as a Certified TM Teacher. He has trained in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
He is co-founder of The Meditation Coach Institute (MCI) and author of MCI’s Mindfulness Coach Certification Training.
Jim is author of the ebook Mindfulness For Beginners.
\Jim writes here at MeditationTechniques.co and at The Self Talk Center.
Jim’s Facebook Group, Meditation Techniques For Beginners, has over 45,000 members and his Facebook page Meditation Techniques Daily has 714,000 followers.