Guilt. Shame. Anxiety. Regret. Joy. Happiness. Sorrow. Hopefulness. These are just a few of the emotions you might experience after quitting drinking. August is typically a “harvest” month so we’re going to dive into the subject of harvesting your emotions once you’re alcohol free.
All The Feelings
It can be overwhelming when you initially quit drinking. Suddenly you are feeling ALL the feelings. What gives? Alcohol numbs you – good, bad – it makes you indifferent. So when you quit drinking, you might find yourself to be more emotional than a pregnant woman watching the Hallmark channel – it’s normal. You’ve opened the floodgates and your mind is suddenly free to feel again. It’s going to take a minute to level out and adjust.
Harvesting Your Emotions
Harvesting your emotions might seem weird at first, but it’s a totally positive thing. To harvest means to gather so you’re going to spend some time gathering those emotions so you can process them and learn from them. For so long you’ve just pushed them away and tried to make them disappear, now that’s no longer and option. The great thing is that this is where the healing begins.
Learning From Your Emotions
Learning from your emotions can be painful at times. That’s why we tend to put off processing them. My two greatest suggestions during this time are to keep a journal and to spend some time meditating. Both allow you to release emotions, but in different ways. Journaling gives you a chance to write down your emotions and really dig into the why of what you’re feeling. Meditation on the other hand is what allows the important emotions to come forward while the minutiae floats away.
How To Meditate
If you’re just getting started, meditating can be challenging. There’s no doubt it was for me. I found the Urge Surfing technique to be incredibly helpful when getting started. I also really liked Dan Harris’s book, 10 Percent Happier, because it was written tongue in cheek. Very funny, and witty and very mainstream. There was no “woo-woo, wah-wah” in that book and it really just taught me how to do it, so that’s the book I would recommend on mindfulness.
This Naked Mind has much more on harvesting your emotions. Start reading for free today!