Emotional unpacking list
January 8, 2017 3:31 PM   Subscribe

Exciting and wonderful things are happening in my romantic life. I'm also depressed in a way that changes how well I feel emotion. In building a daily habit of meditation and reflection, what questions can I ask myself to make sure I'm staying honest with myself?

Questions like "how do I feel?" are too open ended right now.

"Am I nervous/scared about anything that will be happening this week?" is more what I'm looking for, because it has guidance about which areas of my mental landscape to examine.

What other questions for emotional self-examination can I ask myself?
posted by itesser to Human Relations (7 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
Who/what am I spending the most time thinking about? What is the emotional tone of those thoughts?

Is there anything I've been stewing over or carrying resentment about?

How have I been using my favorite coping mechanisms (food/alcohol/Netflix etc.)?

What is giving me the most pleasure? What am I looking forward to?
posted by ottereroticist at 3:43 PM on January 8, 2017 [13 favorites]

And the most helpful one IMO:

When I feel anxious or sad, what hurtful thoughts go through my head about why this is so and what it means?
posted by ottereroticist at 4:00 PM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I always like "what do I feel in my body" to help ground me. Sometimes the answer is unexpected.
posted by instamatic at 5:51 PM on January 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

Not sure if this is the case for you, but as a depressed person who also has anxiety, it has been really helpful for me to focus on learning how to distinguish my anxiety from my actual intuitions or gut feelings.

"Am I feeling discomfort/fear/anxiety about this thing?"
"Am I experiencing it as 1) a sudden worried feeling, which I have to soothe/do something about right now or the world will end oh god, or 2) more of a long-term, steady uneasiness?" 1) is more likely to be anxiety, whereas 2) might actually be a helpful intuition about something that's you should pay attention to.
posted by stellarc at 7:49 PM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Take three deep breaths then ask yourself, "How does my belly feel right now?" In my life, a tight belly = unhappy emotions I might not have noticed yet.
posted by spraypaint at 8:03 PM on January 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

+1 body scan meditation, specifically your forehead, throat, chest, abdomen and lower belly.
Once you notice you're feeling something, then you can start to ask yourself questions.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:36 PM on January 8, 2017

Possibly it is too simple, but your question made me think of You Feel Like Shit: An Interactive Self-Care Guide.
posted by Cheese Monster at 12:59 AM on January 9, 2017 [6 favorites]

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