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Checking In with yourself

Updated: Dec 24, 2020

Overindulgence is a red flag that means there is an imbalance in our lives. It's often the first sign to pop up that lets us know something is out of whack, and that it would be a good idea to make some space for us to think. We all overindulge in our own ways, be it a massive Netflix binge or eating an huge amount of junk food, there are things that we do in order to feel good when we feel bad.

Sometimes we're bothered by something and it's obvious. An event happened and you feel emotions about it. However, sometimes discontent grows under the covers. Frustration can foment quietly, stewing until it boils over in any number of negative coping strategies (think anger, drugs, depression, general apathy, self harm, and so on). Fortunately we can intervene in the process and right the ship, but to do so we need to be aware that there's something going on under the surface. I always say awareness is the key, you can't change anything if you don't know it's happening. Certain events in our lives can act as cues to stop and take stock of what's going on for us emotionally.

When you find yourself being rude, overindulging, or feeling generally irritable, it's time to stop and take a personal inventory. Sit by yourself and go through the major categories of life. As you do, take stock of what's going on with them and how you're feeling. More often than not you'll be able to identify one or more sources of upset during the process.

Sometimes, just figuring out why you've been irritable or eating all the ice cream is enough to alleviate that negativity. Sometimes it's not, and then it's time to deal with whatever put that thorn in your side. For me, 60% of the time a trail run and a good cup of coffee works, every time.

Another useful practice is that of writing. If you find yourself in a bad mood and taking an inventory didn't help you understand why, then it's time to examine the funk. It's easy to push your negative emotions aside, but it's important to examine them. As they say of emotions, the only way to get past it is to work through it.

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