How to Identify What Your Heart Needs When Life Really Sucks

Life sucks when you feel like you don't know what's going on inside. When you feel disconnected from yourself, and you can't figure out why. When you feel like crap but can't identify why you feel like crap.

I'm getting better and better at this, but I definitely am not done growing. Recently, I had about a three day stretch where life really sucked and I felt terrible. I was not connected to my heart, so I was barely aware of anything that was going on. 

Life was so busy that I didn't take the time to step back and realize that, "Whoa, there's something going on here that I need to pay attention to." I didn't take the time to listen to my heart and ask what it needed. I didn't have the mental space to realize that something was very off.

On the night of the 3rd day in this three day stretch, something finally clicked and I realized that I had been completely ignoring the warning signals that my heart was throwing at me. I had broken trust with my heart.

Now, this "heart stuff" might all sound really weird to you, but stick with me for a minute!

Your heart has needs. If those needs don't get met, you end up doing stupid, often dangerous things to yourself. You need to have a relationship with your heart, one where you are building trust with it by meeting (not violating) its needs.

If your needs don't get met, you end up doing stupid, often dangerous things to yourself.

Your heart will give your warning signals, or "triggers," to let you know that there is a need that is not being met.

My triggers are: being easily angered by very minor things, being constantly annoyed at everything, feeling alone, or by not wanting to be around people.

If I get triggered, I know that something is going on inside, and I need to ask my heart what it needs before I spiral out of control. 

Talking to your heart may sound weird, but get over it. Ask your heart what it needs. It will "talk back" to you. It might sound like a gut reaction, a thought, or intuition, or something different for you.

| Talking to your heart may sound weird, but it will respond if you know how to listen!

Typically, your heart's answer is not very complicated. Oftentimes it's get more sleep, drink more water, spend time with friends, take a day off, get some alone time, do something fun today, etc. Basic human needs, varying based on personality.

The next step is to be kind to your heart. How? Listen to what it says, and find a way to get that need met in a healthy way. 

If you've violated your heart and consistently ignored it in the past, it might take some time before it wants to "talk" to you again. Be patient. You have to restore the relationship by being kind to your heart and getting its needs met on a consistent basis. Rebuild that trust.

Now you have a template for what to do when life sucks and you don't know why, or when you feel terrible or upset or just plain weird and you don't know why. You now know that your heart has needs, and that if they go unmet, it will likely result in some form of pain.

You also know that you need to have a relationship with your heart, and you must be kind to it in order for trust to be established.

It takes lots of practice, and lots of failing, but over time you will get to know what your heart needs in almost every situation, and you are well on your way to emotional wholeness.

Practical Next Steps

Start the process of re-connecting with your heart. Talk to it. Tell it that you want to connect with it again, and give it permission to have a voice in your life. Your heart needs to be heard in order for you to live fully alive!

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Japheth Mast, Emotional Health Blogger

Japheth is a writer, photographer, and encourager. He currently resides in northern California where he is learning how to make life awesome every single day.