Developing an internal dialogue
This will be a follow-up to another article I wrote called ‘The rise of the physical’ (http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/counsellor-articles/the-rise-of-the-physical) as feedback from those of you who had a chance to read, it was requested that I clarify what I meant by the internal world and to give ways to develop this aspect within us.
Rise of the physical looked at the imbalance that I felt was being created between our inner and outer worlds; inner being all that we feel and outer being all that we see, thus things that are products of the physical realm. I explored how there was a divide between these two elements, in the sense that more emphasis was being placed on our external/physical environments and less attention was being given to our internal worlds. I felt it was necessary to highlight this internal neglect as how we feel on the inside can have a strong influence on the things that we create in our lives.
What is meant by internal neglect?
Internal neglect speaks of how we disregard or do not pay attention to our inner worlds, which is the realm that encompasses our deep-rooted thoughts and feelings about everything that we experience in world. This is particularly associated with perceived negative and painful experiences that we often find difficult to deal with and/or process. To not neglect this aspect would be to create time and space to attend to what you experience internally.
Internal neglect can create the following issues:
- low mood
- low self esteem
- long periods of trauma/pain.
The internal dialogue – what is this?
This speaks of the relationship that you have with yourself, your ability to check in with your own feelings and to work things through. When attending to our inner worlds becomes a part of daily practice, it will help to create an internal dialogue as there will be space that has been created to process what is happening with you on the inside. It will help us to more readily tackle issues that we often feel paralysed by and therefore delay resolving.
Building a dialogue with self:
1) Slow down – The world moves so quickly, there is always some demand to give your attention to; the more you are pulled this way and that way the less time you truly have to build a relationship with yourself. To slow down you might want to try meditation, yoga, prayer, silent retreats, heck you might even want to try a silent disco. Why a silent disco you wonder... because you have to learn to dance to your own drum. “Sometimes you have to dance to your own drum.. or your own tune like the whole world is in one big silent disco. I might appear to be out of rhythm to you because your listening to hip hop and I am listening to jazz or blues.” Slowing down is a part of getting in touch with your own momentum.
2) Check your feelings - Get to know what you feel, do not be afraid of what you feel. There is something about accepting what is true about how you feel, if you are angry do not try and push it away. With space you can first realise the truth of what you feel, and then try to learn more about it, i.e. why do you feel the way you feel? What angered you the most? This is all a part of understanding yourself better, being aware of what you feel and acknowledging the things that might be contributing to this. If you have no space to reflect, it is easy for things to become a part of an unconscious pattern, nothing changes because there is no insight; there is no space for the insight to occur.
3) Tackle your problems – Procrastination is very tempting, especially with things that we do not want to acknowledge. You will find that the more you allow yourself to be able to think about something, the more chance you have of resolving issues rather than sweeping it underneath the carpet and temporarily forgetting about it. Take baby steps, change and resolution are works in progress, so set yourself small challenges to manage and overcome your problems. Each journey always begins with one step!
4) Get creative! – Seek avenues to express your internal world, it will be an external representation of you and may in fact give you an insight to what you are feeling if you are unable to articulate it at in point. Some people find drawing or writing useful to express how they feel. You do not have to show it to anyone, this will be a task that is for you with the aim of building a deeper understanding and relationship with yourself.
It is time to become your very own ally, developing relationship with self to gauge where you are, to inform what you need, to be the best you can be! Health is wealth and your happiness and well-being matters! Feel free to share your views by commenting or emailing me.
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