One of my fondest childhood memories was watching Saturday morning cartoons and eating the overly sugary crunchy cereal Captain Crunch. The sweetest and the crunch was so worth the top of my mouth being raw for the next several days. I went through several favorite cereals during childhood: Captain Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Frosted Flakes and of course Lucky Charms to name a few. The amazing thing about cereal is that grocery stores stockpile every box, so behind your favorite cereal, there are 20 more boxes to fulfill your need (see pic). However, what might work for cardboard boxes filled with magical deviousness, unfortunately does not work for emotions. Which leads to one of my favorite concepts in Brené Browns new book, Dare to Lead is the idea of Stockpiling Hurt. In her new book, when we are feeling hurtful emotions, we often keep it in and it starts piling up in our bodies. When we start stockpiling emotions it often to leads to actual physical symptoms and can exasperate or be the root cause of anxiety and depressive symptoms. Of course, it would be impossible to discharge every negative emotion daily, what we suggest to our clients, is to use journaling as an effective way to release these negative emotions. Writing, journaling and art, help us manage our most difficult emotions, it also releases super cool chemicals to lessen the impact of those emotions. One journal that I love was developed by my friend and college Dianne Jones, LPC and it’s simply called I’m Fine, A Real Feelings Journal. On Halloween today, remind yourself and your daughter/son emotions are not scary, we can find effective coping skills and learn that they are signals that something is not ok.
So today when someone asks you how are you today?; tell them how you really feel….