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Noticing What is Bothering Us

The benefits of paying attention to how we are feeling

· Insights,Attention

Yesterday afternoon I was feeling really tearful and out of sorts.

Over the last few weeks, I have got used to the unusual stillness and silence around me. Nothing but birds singing and occasional traffic noise. It was blissful and I felt incredibly fortunate.

I didn't really know what was up with me until I acknowledged that the level of noise around me had been significantly higher than usual for a few days.

The fields next to the house, having previously been hay pasture, were being prepared for planting potatoes. It's a huge job which involves a lot of farm machinery. The tractors had been busy for days trundling up and down the fields with various attachments to break up the soil and plant the potatoes. I was aware they were there but hadn't really paid much attention, other than noticing hundreds of seagulls hanging around, presumably anticipating a feast of juicy worms.

Yesterday, the cumulative impact finally took it's toll and the tears came. It was out of my control, and so unpredictable. The rattling and crashing of the machinery as the tractor turned at the end of each run, just meters away from where I was working, was too much and my nerves were jangled.

The key was in the noticing. I needed to be curious. To check in with myself. Why am I feeling this way? Suddenly it was obvious, and I knew what I could do to help myself. Now I aware it was the noise that was causing my discomfort, I could make a choice to go for a walk, or put my earplugs in. I chose the walk, and by the time I returned, to my relief, the farmers working day was over.

Today the work in the fields continued. But, as I was now conscious I needed to take more care of myself, I adapted my day to minimise the impact of the noise. I even managed to cope when the tractor noise was joined for an hour by the loud buzz of a chainsaw next door.

In this unusual time I wonder if there is something that is bothering you, that perhaps you haven't acknowledged. Are you feeling out of sorts? Be curious about what might be causing those feelings. It could be something that has gradually increased over time, or something that normally you just accept as part of life, or maybe like me you have been extra sensitive in the new found stillness around us, but something is disturbing that.

It may be, that once you have noticed what is bothering you, there is nothing more to be done, just being aware is enough. Perhaps with your new awareness, you can make a choice to do something differently.  I know for me, it always better when I feel I have a choice, and I am not just a helpless victim of whatever is happening.

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