Emotional House Game: “Call of the Wild”
Healing Before Your’re Cured (my new book) features 3 Emotional House games you can play to become healthier and Happier. This is the first game - Enjoy!
When it comes time to actually do something different, this is what usually happens: We find something else to do first. We pick up the phone, call someone, clean the house, check the email, and watch TV - pretty much anything to avoid a positive action. Why? Why? Why? Of course, we feel regret and guilt later. But why? Why do we stop ourselves from doing something good? The reason we avoid is because there is anxiety and fear in the moment. So, we choose something pleasurable (or anything else!) to do instead. Take heart, because this is normal human behavior. Fortunately, this book isn’t about doing what’s normal, because as I said before, ‘normal’ is what got us here in the first place.
And as you know, “doing it later” a.k.a. procrastination, isn’t just about our health. It affects everything - our dreams, our fix-it projects, our to-do lists - everything.
So how do we short-circuit this insidiously destructive pattern? This is where this next game comes in.
Game #5: Call of the Wild
Objective: To verbally call yourself out for what is going on in your mind
When to play: Anytime you are stuck or avoiding something
How to play:
1. As soon as you realize you’re stuck or avoiding, say out loud what is going on: “I’m avoiding __________.”
2. Then ask “Why?”
3. Say why out loud. “I’m scared it won’t be any good.” “I’m anxious that I’ll make a mistake.”
4. Then give yourself reassurance and say what you are going to do about it. “I know we’re scared/anxious. That’s ok. Let’s do it anyway.”
How it works: By saying the fear out loud, it makes a fear or anxiety less of an unconscious roadblock. It becomes less unwieldy and you begin to realize, “Hey, this is just a feeling.” Part of moving forward is simply letting things come out and be what they are. A lot of what stops us is the fear of the unknown. This game attempts to remove that fear. Part of healing is letting what is real be okay. Try it!