I’ve been confronting a lot of uncomfortable emotions lately. I classify painful or unpleasant emotions as sadness, anger, disappointment, or anything else that accompanies a sad or disheartening experience. When I stopped relying on food to dull my feelings, I realized how much I’d been burying. Now that I feel these emotions, I’m trying different ways to address how I’m feeling. I don’t like talking about these emotions and it’s hard for me to talk to those closest to me because I don’t want to cause anyone pain and I try to resolve my issues on my own. I’ve learned over time that the best way to resolve these issues is to have difficult conversations with people in my life. If I choose not to have a difficult conversation, I find another way to resolve whatever tension I’m feeling.
When I was younger, think middle school and high school, I had very few skills to process my emotions and know what appropriate next steps were. It’s only since I’ve spent so much time in therapy that I’ve realized I’m worth communicating my wants and needs to those around me. If something is negatively affecting me, it’s okay for me to talk to those in my life. I can’t expect anyone to adjust their behavior, I’m only responsible and able to control my behavior. I’ve tried to spend time and realize that how I behave can significantly impact those around me. I need to spend time listening when those around me talk about how something I do makes them feel.
I’m not a huge fan of new year’s resolutions. Whenever I’ve made them before, I was never able to stick to them because I didn’t have the tools to make the necessary changes. Now that I have access to the necessary tools, I have a few resolutions for the new year. The first is that I want to practice better listening. I often find myself focusing on what I want to say next instead of fully listening to what the other person is saying. I’m afraid I’m going to forget what I want to say if I don’t think about it. My plan is to note that I have a specific thought and then gently remind myself to go back to being present with whom I’m talking. The second one is going to be very hard. I want to get better at taking constructive criticism. Whenever I say or do something, I have, in my mind what are good reasons. I have logical and well-thought-out reasons. When someone criticizes what I’ve said or done, I take it as an attack on my decision-making process. I’ve gotten better at looking at things objectively recently. I want to practice this and be mindful in 2023. When I process feedback from anyone, I think about the person giving me feedback. If they are someone who I know has my best interests at heart, share values with me, and are competent in the area they are advising on, I try to glean what I can from their advice. I’m not always able to implement the advice given, but I can always learn something.
My goal for this new year is to have new experiences, go on new adventures, and continue to practice mindfulness. Happy new year everyone!
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