On healthy ways to release feelings

On healthy ways to release feelings

[00:00:00] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Well, hello. This is The Daily Five with Aurooba, that's me, where we reflect on creating our best lives a little bit every day. Here we go.

[00:00:15] So I've been grappling with something for the last few days, and I'm going to tell you a story about it.

[00:00:23] I have watched the show Grey's Anatomy from start to finish at least twenty four times. At least. And I know it's more than that. I know this because in 2022, I finished it from start to end every two weeks like clockwork.

[00:00:39] Not kidding, not lying, I swear to God. I was very, very busy that year. And I knew that I would have to take breaks in between my work, but my break activity couldn't be so stimulating that I would extend my break and not do my work. I was keeping myself on a bit of a strict schedule to accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish, but also not burn out.

[00:01:03] And that meant taking breaks. and doing other things sometimes and not just work. And when I was taking those breaks, my answer was to watch a show that was interesting enough to help me relax, but not new, because then I could easily pause it, because I already know what's going to happen, and go back to work.

[00:01:23] And the show I chose was Grey's Anatomy, because it's a really long show, you know, there's still lots of stuff happening in it. Can't choose a short show, can't choose a movie, that would get too repetitive. By the end of that year, maybe even just by half of the year, I knew most of the lines. I could have told you, and maybe in some cases I still can actually, what shirt a character was wearing in a particular episode.

[00:01:50] Actually, I don't know if I could go that specific anymore, but at one point I totally could. I had listened to that intro theme song so many times. I hate it. It is almost traumatizing for me to hear it now. And I've overanalyzed every main character as if I was writing a thesis on them.

[00:02:08] Now, in the later seasons, there's a particular storyline, or at least one part of it, that really captured my attention. And it taught me something real outside of just, you know, really legit sounding medical jargon. There was this later character called Jo. Jo went through this kind of a big crisis where she learned the truth about why she was given up for adoption. And the crisis was so intense that she ended up having almost like a mental breakdown. And she had to go stay somewhere with therapists to get better.

[00:02:45] And one of her therapists taught her something. See, Jo comes in one day and doesn't want to do the regular type of therapy, and she's mad. She's angry. So her therapist teaches her that feelings are okay, and we do have to let them out. And that there are safe, healthy, and effective ways to do so.

[00:03:06] Just because you feel something doesn't mean you're gonna do something awful. So, you know, Jo is angry and everything. And what her therapist does is she goes to the corner of her office and grabs a basket full of stuffed toys. She throws it down at her feet, picks up one of the stuffed toys, and throws it really, really hard against the wall across from her.

[00:03:28] Now, Jo is shocked. Like, what is happening? And her therapist looks at her and says, Are we both consenting adults? And Jo says, Yep. Then her therapist says, Are we okay if we agree to throw things at walls? Not people, just the walls. And Jo says, Yep. And then they, you know, proceed to throw things at the wall, these stuffed toys, and they end up having quite a bit of fun, actually.

[00:03:57] The point is, there's this thing called healthy anger. You can feel things while controlling your behavior, right? You can feel angry, but you don't let that control your behavior. I know this, you know this. Most of us have had to learn how to feel things while not acting on them. But I think the thing that a lot of us do is we try to also not feel the thing we're feeling and that episode, it made me realize that perhaps I could just control my behavior and not try to dampen the actual feeling.

[00:04:31] And that perhaps instead, I should find healthy ways to let it out.

[00:04:36] So sometimes when I'm frustrated, I throw a cushion against the wall. I do it with consenting adults in the room and no one who will be frightened or misunderstand what's happening. I convert my frustration into motion, kinetic energy that releases my feelings.

[00:04:53] And usually, you know, you throw a cushion with down in it, you know, all those feathers against a wall and some feathers come out and it's kind of a comical moment and then you just end up laughing and you feel better. Your feelings are your feelings. They deserve respect and grace, and unless you're a psychopath, they are almost always a signal about something.

[00:05:14] About someone else, or about yourself, typically about yourself. And if you allow yourself to really check in on them, you might learn something useful. And you also need good ways to release them. And turns out sometimes throwing random crap at a wall safely is one of the ways you can do that.

[00:05:38] Thanks for listening. Same time tomorrow?