SANITY SOAP

Sanity Soap is a multimedia resource blog about mental health. It explores subjects such as self development, existential thinking, mental illness and more. A large focus is on how creativity and the arts in general help us to attain wellness.

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Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou (born December 12, 1923) is an Ethiopian nun known for her piano playing.

A compilation of her work was issued on the Éthiopiques record label. She also appeared on The Rough Guide to the Music of Ethiopia, and The Rough Guide to African Lullabies. Her music has been described as melodic blues piano with rhythmically complex phrasing.

~wiki

One of my favourite soundtracks for mornings, working on projects, cleaning the house, staring into space etc ;)

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always trying to get those damn ducks in a row

*original illustration*

~Crystal~

found this inspirational message on a wall….

Tolerating difficult feelings is a choice that you have. It can give you some power in an otherwise powerless seeming moment. Remind yourself that feelings are fleeting, and learn to tolerate them as they are happening instead of trying to run from them.

It seems that running from difficult feelings is what we are used to. The immediate urge is to try and escape them, numb them, distract yourself from them etc. The last thing you normally want to do is simply endure them. However, I now believe that is what you may want to try and do.

Any type of numbing or distracting from difficult emotions is only temporary. These feelings will inevitably resurface, and then you just have to try and deal with them once again. Numbing and distracting doesn’t deal with them, it only delays having to deal with them.

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Enduring them, or tolerating them lets them exist. It lets them be heard and gives them a chance to leave your body. It is uncomfortable to experience these moments of difficult feelings, but it is beneficial in the long run. The more you learn to tolerate the difficult feelings instead of running from them, the happier you can be.

Though this concept prescribes you to suffer for a time, it is meant to bring more peace of mind overall. There will be times of sitting in your own bad feelings, but there is something empowering about simply tolerating instead of trying to fix. It may sound absurd to allow yourself to suffer, but it is a part of the human experience and there is no way around it. Either you allow it and experience the initial pain, or you suffer from the anxiety of trying to escape said pain.

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Allowing yourself to feel the difficult feelings is much more manageable when you keep in mind that feelings are fleeting. In the moment it may feel all consuming and infinite, but it isn’t. Feelings are not fixed states. Feelings can come and go in an instant. Feelings can be based on unstable circumstances such as hunger or lack of sleep. Reminding yourself that feelings are fleeting is very helpful when learning to tolerate.

I also remind myself that I am strong enough to tolerate the feelings until they pass. There is strength in tolerance. The fact that we are alive today is proof that we are strong enough to tolerate all the pain and suffering that we have. Though it can feel impossible at times, just remind yourself of that. You are strong enough to tolerate and endure.  

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This is not to say that if you are in the thick of a deep depression you should just stay there and tolerate it forever. Seeking to self improve is different then what I am touching on here. It is more about tolerating the fleeting states of discomfort that happen to everyone. It’s about learning to tolerate and endure the difficult moments instead of trying to fix them or run from them. In the end it seems that it is actually easier and less painful to tolerate and endure difficult feelings then it is to try and get rid of them. Scrambling around trying to fix the discomfort with external vices is not exactly an easy task.

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If you are curious to know what tolerance might look like physically, it can mean sitting still with the feelings. Be mindful and present. Focus your attention on breathing. It’s almost as if you are meditating on the bad feelings, which may sound strange. However, I think something positive happens when you pay attention to the pain instead of trying at all costs to get rid of it. Paying attention to it takes its power away.

Picture the pain as a little bug inside of you without much of a voice. The bug just wants you to hear it and acknowledge it. The more you ignore it, the more it tries to get you to notice it. When you finally acknowledge it, it feels validated and stops trying so hard. hah. Maybe that’s a bit of an abstract metaphor but hopefully you catch my drift. ;)

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Other ways to tolerate may be to put some music on you like and just sit or lay down. If the feeling is really bad you can do something more physical. Go for a long walk or do a task to keep busy until the feeling subsides. Again, it’s all about keeping in mind that the feeling is fleeting and you just need to endure it until it passes. Do a purposeful task. Even though you may not feel motivated to do much, force yourself to do a something that keeps your hands busy like organizing a junk drawer, or doing the laundry. 

Tolerating difficult feelings isn’t exactly fun, but life isn’t always fun and you have to endure some pain. Compare it to physical pain. When you stub your toe or get burned, it hurts, but there is no way around it other then to feel the pain. We need to learn to think about tolerating emotional pain in the same way. No way around it. Gotta feel it. 

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Next time you find yourself wanting to run from a difficult feeling or distract from it, see what happens if you let it exist. Let it happen even though it’s uncomfortable. Remind yourself that it wont last forever and that you are strong enough to tolerate it for this moment. 

*Note: Going with the physical pain analogy, if the pain is too severe then you do need some sort of remedy or help. I don’t want this post to come across as me advocating needless suffering. I am in a place now where my severe discomfort is under control, and I am just working on the fleeting discomforts*

~Crystal~

*original illustrations*

ps you can now leave comments on the posts here, you just have to visit the actual website here. would love to hear your thoughts :)

(via clinicallydepressedpug)