Sometimes we're stuck with our thoughts and it feels like our minds move 100 miles a minute. I notice that that tends to happen when I drink too much coffee or don't get enough sleep, especially when it's a few days in a row.
But what I do notice what's helpful is sharing this with someone else, particularly someone that understands what it's like. It's not very validating when someone says, "What do you mean you're feeling that way? Just be happy." We all want to be understood and to be heard. Or worse than that response, "What do you have to be unhappy about?"
See, it doesn't mean that we're sitting in self-pity by acknowledging what we feel. It only transforms into self-pity when we're unaware or we continue to think about how bad it feels what we're feeling. Instead, when we notice what we're feeling, we can give ourselves time to determine what we can do to take care of ourselves.
This momentary insight into our feelings provides us some space from it so that we can feel it, process it, and then go about our day. What we often don't realize is that taking the time to feel our feelings actually allows us to cope with something that's affecting us, small or large.
Sometimes all it takes is writing and allowing ourselves to write from a stream of consciousness. If you don’t like journaling, try writing down a thought or feeling, and then ask yourself where this comes from, and whether it is factual.
Sometimes we’re scared that if we feel our feelings, we worry that we won’t stop feeling this way. Another way to do this is to write your thoughts on a small slip of paper and stash it into a shoebox or a jar. When we do this consistently, we let ourselves know that we don’t have to hold in all of our feelings. This act of placing a thought into a physical container is an act of kindness towards ourselves--it’s a way of giving ourselves permission to feel this way, while compartmentalizing it in a healthy way.