I keep a daily journal to give me perspective, noting the positive and negative thoughts and feelings I experience. One emotion that seems to come up a lot for me is impatience, which can sometimes derail my entire day! When I can neutralize this feeling, I experience less fear and frustration and can have a bad moment, but a better day.
The second phase of COVID recovery is neutralize, which means to take the emotional charge out of how we are feeling. This is not to dismiss or bury our feelings, but to avoid the panic reaction and rumination, (for me with impatience), Why is this taking so long?
One way to neutralize, or diffuse an emotionally charged feeling, like impatience is to identify what you are learning by asking a few questions:
- What am I learning about myself?
My impatience is coming up because I always think I “should” get more done!
- What is working that I want to keep doing?
I double the amount of time I initially expect EVERYTHING to take (especially if it’s new).
- What is not working that I can let go?
Feeling I am always behind.
- Where do I want to go from here?
I explore and expand new ways to learn about my impatience so I can continue to neutralize it.
We neutralize by choosing how we focus on a feeling and it can be done with impatience as well as guilt, sadness, or worry. Recovery takes time to pause, reflect, and process, and we all navigate it in our own way. Start neutralizing your feelings with these questions, and even keep a daily journal for perspective.