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3 Surprising Ways to Come Home to a Tender Heart & Clear Mind.

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

I woke up this morning feeling insecure, nervous, & quite frankly bitchy. I tried to brush it off & get on with my morning but it was relentless. I couldn’t concentrate on the paper I was writing & found myself obsessively reaching for my phone.

I pulled out all my go to techniques ~ set an alarm & work for one hour, took deep physiological sighs (amazing for grounding the nervous system) but nothing stuck. My mind was spinning & the awful critical inner voices were strong.

Anyone else feeling this lately?

It happens to the best of us. If you are an empathic heart-centred being you might even remind yourself to be compassionate ~ with yourself, with others, & even know to take a step back from what you're doing to 'clear your head.'

But... you might also find that this doesn't always work. I know this morning I couldn't shake it. I was locked on "do" & even if I had a moment of reprieve from breathing or rest that irritability came right back. That's when I turned to some of the less obvious techniques which I'd like to share with you.

3 Surprising ways to get out of the funk & back into yourself.

#1 Get Angry.

What angry?!! Yup.

Often when we feel irritable or bitchy it’s because there is anger / frustration festering beneath the surface. Those good intentions to try & be more compassionate or just 'let it go' can up push our anger down. Instead of discharging it sticks around as passive aggressive behaviour, irritability, & anxiety.

Healthy anger, that which is respected (not thoughtlessly discharged at another) is a powerful thing. It gives us energy, creates agency, & motivates transformation. The key is to approach it in a healthy way.

Try it.

Go somewhere alone with a journal.

Start with the prompt: I’m angry/frustrated/annoyed that…..

Then write it all out. yes ALL of it. Every little nit-picky, bitchy, judgey thing that comes to mind. Remember this isn't for anyone but you. A place to let out anything that's bothering you & perhaps by doing so get a little closer to the root of the problem.

Once you feel complete notice how you feel in your body.

Now gently ask yourself what else you might be feeling?

~ hurt?

~ sadness?

~ scared?

Sometimes there is more to our anger. You might feel sad, disappointed, or hurt. Other times the anger clarifies into a knowing or boundary. Ask what is true for you?

~ Do you need to set a boundary?

~ Grieve a loss?

~ Give yourself space?

~ Something else?

Honour whatever you need & hopefully as you do an authentic sense of love & compassion will be with you.

# 2 Get Scared.

Scared is another one of those feelings we often want to bypass. You’ve likely heard the the idea that we need to move from love & not fear. Well, I both completely agree & realize that the execution of that is more layered then we may think. What if we need to love & honour our fear first?

This morning that mean little voice in my head was saying things like “ they don’t really like you, & you’re an embarrassment”, Cruel right? Many people simply try to block out or push those types of inner dialogues away, but for me that rarely works. What does work almost 100% of the time is actually trying to understand what’s underneath that critical voice.

So I asked myself what am I afraid of….

Well, I’m afraid they won’t like me, I’m afraid I’ll embarrass myself.

Instantly I softened. There was a wave of emotion & real compassion. Of course I felt nervous (I have a big event coming up), that I can understand, love, & support. What I couldn’t fully understand was a made up narrative about people (not sure who) & what they thought, because it wasn’t real. It’s hard to have compassionate for something that isn’t real.

Try it.

Ask yourself “What am I afraid of in this moment?”

Write it down & when you feel complete notice how you feel. If you still feel scared ask that little scared one inside ~ what can I do to help you feel more safe?

~ perhaps its time?

~ perhaps it’s to be witnessed?

~ perhaps it’s simple a self hug?

#3 Get Distracted

Years ago I went through a devastating break up & I would spin in anxiety. My tendency was to go into it & ruminate but my therapist suggested I distract myself, at least sometimes.

Today I understand the wisdom of that advice. Ruminating is not healing but there is an almost an addictive quality to it for some. As though by ruminating (or worrying) we can somehow fix the problem. Physiologically however, it keeps the nervous system at high intensity & this intensity decreases our ability to connect to the rational & emotionally intelligent part of our brain.

Distracting ourself by doing something else can be an excellent way to let your system balance again. Even better if it's something that makes you laugh or even cry (in a good way).

Back in those depressed/anxious post break up days I got a puppy, Molly. She was the perfect distraction because I could poor love into her. Plus, when I woke up with that unbearable anxiety I couldn't ruminate because the puppy had to go outside. To this day I think Molly might have been the best mental health investment of my life.


Ultimately most of us want to be ‘good people.’ We want to be kind, understanding, & compassionate. The good news is that this is possible & the key to that is slowly to befriend our whole self, including our anger, our rage, our disgust. These intense sensations are incredible teachers & as we learn to feel & hold them in love their grip begin to loosen.

There is no end game in this practice. It comes a little at a time as the layers of our self understanding unravel. It is a find balance of looking deeper when we've closed off & stepping away when digging itself become compulsive. Regardless, you've got this. One breath, one emotion, one day at a time.

About the Author

Amy Thiessen is an international teacher, coach, & musician who focuses on helping individuals connect to their confidence, purpose, & self esteem through voice & communication. Offering a holistic approach Amy helps individuals uncover & overcome their unique blocks around voice & communication, connect to their self esteem & purpose, & ultimately express themselves in a way that is empowered & impactful.

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