What is constructive wallowing?
It’s being free to feel your emotions, exactly as they are, without fear (unless what you’re feeling is fear. You can’t exactly feel that without fear!).
It means protecting your emotional and physical health by bringing some ease and compassion to your daily life.
The phrase came to me in the shower one day — that magical place where all great ideas and many not-so-great ones seem to take shape.
I was thinking about a client who was going through a painful breakup but insisted, “I don’t want to wallow!”
And I thought, ‘Why not? If only people knew how truly constructive it is to wallow in feelings, they might not feel so bad about doing so.’
We all know that taking action is not always a good idea when you’re having strong feelings; but I hope to convince you that it’s always a good idea to let yourself fully experience your emotions by wallowing in them.
That means no more pretending — at least not with yourself.
No more trying to look on the bright side, or trying to see the situation from the other person’s point of view.
Those are good things to do, but not right when you feel bad. You can do those things later.
The first thing to do with a feeling is to feel it. Wallow in it, if you will.
The reward for consistent wallowing in your true feelings is nothing less than becoming whole again. No more feeling empty, alienated from self & others, or chronically unhappy.
There are a number of posts on this blog under the Constructive Wallowing tag if you’d like to learn more about how to deal with stinky feelings while being kind to yourself.
I’ve also written a book that spells everything out and provides exercises, in addition to answering the most common questions. You can check that on Amazon.com, or at your local library or independent bookstore.
For audio and video about Constructive Wallowing, see my Media Page.
In the meantime, please let me know what questions or concerns you have by leaving a comment below.