While reading Elisha Goldstein’s book Uncovering Happiness I came across a few gems that I would like to share with you. As my dirty-minded runner friends would appreciate, this has everything to do with NUTS. This time we’re not talking salty or sweet nuts (the best snacks after a race!), instead we’ve got an acronym. Here it is, ladies and gentlemen…
With all the cognitive behavioral training and yoga philosophy I have studied, you’d think I’ve have this down but Elisha’s descriptions helped me reflect again on my own NUTS. Read on to learn how to manage yours.
NUT #1: Doubt
Is this right? Who I am to do that? Should I go this way or that way? We all have our moments of doubt and, while some amount of skepticism is healthy, doubt can derail us from believing in ourselves and taking positive actions in our lives. Take this moment to notice – where does doubt creep into your mind or your experience in life in a way that does not serve you? Remember we are largely talking about unconscious thoughts, so be open to this information coming into your awareness in new ways after you finish with this post. You may even choose to do an art project or journal on these topics.
NUT #2: Emptiness
This NUT sneaks up in the form of loneliness, or a feeling of chasing the next high, whether it be the next drink, purchase, or point of completion. What do you do when you feel empty? How do you fill your cup in a healthy and sustainable way, and what behaviors pull you to fill a void with something not-so-healthy? Consider how you cope with feelings of emptiness and how your relationships – with yourself, with people in your life, or even with a spiritual practice, can help you cope with these feelings.
NUT #3: Irritation
Having just crossed a bumper-to-bumper Bay Bridge (and with BART not running, my Bay Area friends), I have witnessed a fair amount of this NUT in the past hour. It is easy for us to become frustrated or irritated when things are not going the way we had planned or hoped. It is also easy for human beings to project our feelings onto other people, rather than resolve them internally or through reflective conversation. Notice who and what irritates you over the next few days and see if you can find the thought patterns that leave you stuck in this loop. Again, a journal or a drawing may come in handy, and you may just want to dance out or laugh out your next bout of irritation. It’s amazing what a little movement can do to shift a negative feeling!
NUT #4: Slugishness
Too tired to do x but not to do y? Steven Pressfield would call this resistance, a natural part of the creative process that must be reckoned with for any artist or creator to thrive. Slugishness can come about in the form of tiredness or lack of energy when we are trying to make a change or do something we need to do. It’s important to understand that this is common, you are not alone, and that the most challenging step is the first one – which is a mental shift. If you can get yourself to engage in the positive activity at hand for even thirty seconds or a minute, chances are you will have broken through the inertia and created some momentum for yourself. Congratulations! Look at you, doin’ good stuff.
NUT #5: Restlessness
I am so guilty of this one!! The kids I used to work with coming out of juvenile hall would say, “Ms. D, you doin’ too much!” My high school chemistry teacher told me I had my hand in too many pies (kinda creepy). A yoga teacher once told me I had a very pitta nose (google ayurveda pitta dosha if you have no idea what I am talking about). They all have a point though, I like to be busy, to move, to travel, to explore both the inner working of the mind and the outer workings of the world. I like to MOVE which is fabulous in many ways and… left unchecked has me squirming in my seat. This NUT may come up for you mentally in the form of checking your phone, watching tv, or always doin somethin (like me). Consider how it would feel to be mentally restFUL and drop some moments of restfulness into your life. This will take practice, but keep at it, it’s worth the calm you can cultivate.
Did you know?! Today is American Psychological Association’s Mental Health Day!! Share this blog and include #mhblogday to help spread inspiration. In the meantime, enjoy feelings a little less NUTS and keep spreading the love that you are!
Much nutty love,
From the folks at yourmindyourbody.org:
Mental health: it’s the way your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affect your life. Having good mental health helps you make better decisions and deal with daily stressors at home, at work, and in your family. Sometimes, you may need help from a professional to take care of your mental health, especially if feelings or problems seem beyond your control. – See more at: http://www.yourmindyourbody.org/mental-health-month-blog-day/#sthash.AuWGIBp8.dpuf