Negative emotions can creep up on us at any moment. We can regularly feel them as we’re trying to sleep, when we’re alone with our thoughts, or when we’re watching a tv show that we may have started with a friend who we don’t talk to anymore.
I would like to preface this by saying you are by no means alone in how you feel; feeling sadness, anxiety, or grief is completely normal, and it is okay to feel like that and it is even more okay to want to feel those emotions.
I see so many people, including myself (I am human), scrambling to find a new thought the moment a bad feeling starts to show itself. Do you know what I’m talking about? You can feel that pit in your stomach and the only thing on your mind is how to get rid of it, how to stop feeling like this, how to stop feeling like you want to throw up. But:
Feelings are not problems to be solved, they are experiences to be had.
Don’t shame yourself for not being happy. You are allowed to be sad and upset and anxious. Suppressing those emotions means you’re only lying to yourself. Forcing yourself to be happy works for a grand total of 0.2 seconds.
When we run away from our emotions, we miss an opportunity on feeling our feelings and instead we try to solve them. For some reason we are taught that if we are not happy there is something wrong and we should jump to fix it, but that’s not reality. Throughout life everyone will always feel 50% negative emotions and 50% positive emotions. No matter what. We should value sadness as much as we value happiness when it enters our lives. The most important thing to remember is that all feelings fade, and you will never feel one way forever.
If you run away from your emotions, you are missing out on an opportunity to learn this amazing skill of being able to feel your feelings instead of reacting, resisting, or avoiding them. Some people think by being harsh with ourselves it will make us pull our act together, but it is the complete opposite. By having compassion for yourself you can have so much more compassion with other people you encounter. Treat yourself how you would treat a younger you, your inner child.
Don’t fear those icky feelings. Relieve the pressure to feel good which helps you change your thoughts to create better feelings with the right intentions.
Sadness is okay, let it be there. It will be there multiple times in your life and when those feelings come don’t judge them, don’t cling to them, allow them to be there and look at your thoughts. Look at the choices and actions you take from an observer’s standpoint.
Practice recognising the initial panic when those emotions seem to hit us before we react impulsively and cling onto them. When you recognise it happening, I want you to breathe and truly feel your feelings. What do those emotions look like? Where is it in your body? What colour is it? What shape is it? Sit with it for a second. And I know you want to sit with it for a second, you want to be sad when there is sadness you just don’t want to hold onto it.
Your thoughts aren’t you; they don’t define you and they are not real. I want you to take those feelings of sadness and hug it really tight and be grateful for them and let it go.