When you feel angry, sad, afraid, or annoyed, you have been triggered by a different part. These feelings can come out of nowhere, leaving you anxious or depressed. You can feel hijacked by that emotion.
These strong deep feelings can lead to undesired behaviors. Maybe you resort to those self-soothing behaviors of shopping, drinking, or eating too much. Although soothing in the moment, those behaviors can really drag you down farther the next day when you see your bank balance, or feel hungover or bloated.
Would it help to know that anywhere in this cycle, you can break it and get back to feeling better?
The exercise I share here will help you become unblended from your activated part. I encourage you to practice this exercise now so you can strengthen you calm muscle for when you really need it.
Once you get the hang of it, you can use this exercise at any time to reduce your anxiety, depression, anger, or melancholy.
Step #1 to Unblend From a Part: Noticing, Describing, and Naming What’s Inside of You
For this exercise choose a part that has been showing up recently for you. Which part has been demanding your attention? Set an intention to learn more about this part of you.
You don’t need to be afraid of this vocal part. Think of this part arising in you as a messenger. What is its message for you?
Over the next week, take a step back and notice and describe when this part is activated. Pay attention to your:
- bodily sensations
- feelings and emotions
- thoughts and images
Now, name it. Is it:
- An ache in your chest?
- A small, crying child?
- An unwanted but persistent negative thought?
Paying attention and becoming aware of yourself and your sensations will inform you that your part is activated. Becoming aware and present with body sensations, thoughts, or emotions will let you know it is there. Just knowing the part is there will allow you to be with it with your Self in a relaxed, open, and nonjudgmental way.
Step #2 to Unblend From a Part: Noticing and Naming What’s Outside of You
What behavior has this part chosen for you? Notice your behavior. Are you:
- withdrawing from interacting socially?
- eating too much?
- talking too much?
- criticize yourself too much?
Now get out your pen and journal and record the events and people who bring out this part. For example:
- Your partner is withdrawn. Reacting part: You eat too much
- Your boss comes into your office. Reacting part: You talk too much
- You forgot to pay a bill. Reacting part: You criticize yourself
Think about the week ahead of you. When will these events occur or these people be present? Set an intention to be aware of whether or not this part of you become exaggerated during those times.
Step #3 to Unblend From a Part: Observing and Recording Your Part
You may notice this part of you first in a thought or in the way your body feels. Each time you notice the part is triggered, notice it briefly and take down brief notes about it. If you can’t stop at the moment to make notes, do it at your next break or as soon as you can.
ow you’ll need to inquire. What is going on around you that triggered this part? Or what are you saying to yourself that makes this part be exaggerated? Be objective and name what you see and know to be true. Be befriend this triggered part of yourself, listen to what it tells you without judging.
It’s just giving you a message. Don’t kill the messenger! Just listen.
Questions to Guide Your Listening Interview
Here are some questions to help guide your “internal listening interview.” The more detail you describe, the better! Show your part you really want to learn about it.
- How does this part feel in your body?
- What are the sensations?
- What emotion is this?
- What stories?
- What images?
- What does it sense that you need?
- What is is worried about?
- What does it hope for?
- Does this situation remind this part of an earlier time in another place?
- What is the same?
- What is different?
- Is there some action you can take in your life right now that this part of you wants?
Learn More about Your Self and Parts Today
Performing this exercise is an act of Self Leadership. The more your parts step back and you find yourself calm and more connected with your Self. You are putting your Self in the driver’s seat, and a happier and more harmonious you is present.
Here is a meditation to help you get started.