Knowing how to resolve inner conflict is an invaluable life skill. The battle between our thoughts and our emotions can be exhausting if not dealt with effectively. Every day typically has at least one situation that doesn’t turn out how we expected. For many of us, this can lead to feelings of anger, stress, fear, and/or frustration.
Inner conflict can be related to any area of our lives. Indeed, it may relate to several areas of our lives! 😛 For example, you may know you need to end a relationship, but you keep talking yourself out of it. Or you may know that you need to adopt a healthier diet, but eating the foods you love is the only thing that gives you pleasure right now. Whatever the inner conflict is, not resolving it can block you from living your best and happiest life.
Discover 4 ways to resolve inner conflicts to be happier and more fulfilled.
1. Identify and confront inner conflicts.
You’re going to find it hard to address your inner conflicts if you don’t know what they are. 🙂 However, identifying and being aware of inner conflicts isn’t always easy. After all, it is much easier to ignore confronting the issues that make us uncomfortable. Especially if we lead busy lives.
The trouble is, however, when you ignore your inner conflicts, they often get worse or lead to bigger issues over time. So, the first step involves a bit of reflection. What do you want? What is holding you back? What is behind this action or inaction? Is it fear? Is it doubt? Often, we stay stuck in routines because it is our mind’s way of protecting us.
Once identified, you can address the negative self-talk in various ways. I personally have found Negative Self-Talk and How to Change It, by Shad Helmstetter, PhD to be a useful method.
2. Balance your thinking and emotions.
Our daily lives are a mix of thoughts and emotions. Our thoughts typically involve our planning for the day and the how-to’s of getting things done. Our emotions are how we feel about what we’re doing and what’s happening throughout the day.
Both things–thoughts and emotions–serve a purpose, and they tend to influence each other. You need to be able to balance rationale and emotion. If you tend to focus more on your emotional needs and desires, your rational thinking will be compromised. Similarly, if you were to focus only on being rational, your emotional needs would suffer. To make the best choices, learn how to balance reasons and emotions.
An example of a situation that is best served by balance would be something like this made up scenario. Say someone at your kid’s school ask you to head up a project. Logically, you’re thinking it’s a worthy project and that it’d benefit a lot of people. But emotionally, you feel overwhelmed with stuff going on in your life. If you react just based on your thoughts, you might say yes, and then experience a lot of stress. If you react just based on your emotions, you might say no, but lash out in a dramatic way 😛
Ideally, you are aware and recognize the inner conflict, and this awareness allows you to give a balanced response. One that honors the thoughts and emotions the request elicited in you. Maybe you can contribute to the project but not be in charge of it, thereby honoring your emotional side that feels too busy, and your thoughts that recognize the value of the idea. That’s balance.
3. Avoid making rash decisions
As in the made up scenario above, and generally speaking, to make a decision purely based on a rush of emotion is not a good idea. 🙂 If you feel that flood of emotion rising, try to postpone the decision. Almost any decision can be put off–even if just for 5-10 minutes. Use the time to breathe and release the rush of feelings and to invite your rational thought in for consideration. Remember to base the final decision of what’s best for you and your self-care needs.
4. Practice meditation
Resolving inner conflict is easier the more relaxed and calm you feel overall. A generally “at peace” mode of being typically gives you the ability to pause and consider situations and daily tasks to resolve any internal conflict more easily.
The best tool out there to attain such equanimity is, unsurprisingly, meditation. Meditation gives you the peace and mental clarity needed to respond more peacefully to day to day challenges. There are a lot of great meditation techniques out there–something for every one, to be sure. Mindfulness is a really great one that can really be practiced any time and anywhere.
Breath related meditations are good also. This one by Dr Weil is a particularly well-known and effective one. watch the video for a good explanation.
So these are some useful ideas about how to resolve inner conflict. If you want to live a happy and fulfilled life, dealing with your inner conflicts is essential.
Best of luck!
Meditation is one part of the 30 Days to a Happier Life Challenge–learn more HERE!