Acknowledge Your Emotions
“Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.” -Baruch Spinoza
While I may not openly display as an overly emotional person and tend to keep up a front, you’d be shocked to know that I feel things quite intensely. In fact, sometimes I feel things ten times harder than what I think the average person would. Though people will call me an ‘asshole’ and a ‘savage’, I actually do believe that I’m one of the most deeply emotional people I know.
I may not show it often, but when I’m sad, I’m really sad. When I become stressed, I’m really stressed. When I’m angry, I’m really, really angry. While some people may see this as a flaw or as me being dramatic, I remind myself that it is simply a genuine aspect of my personality.
Over time and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that I mostly make a terrible habit of masking how I truly feel or downplaying it significantly. Sometimes, I will even make it a joke. I honestly think that I spend 90% of my life trying to remind myself that I am in fact human and that all of these are trivial parts of life itself.
I mean, no one is a ray of sunshine every single day and it would be awful to expect that of people. One thing I’ve had to remind myself of is the fact that as humans, we all want to be happy and feel good and when we feel down in the dumps we want to feel better as soon as possible. However, one thing that remains the same is that no matter how far you go to convince yourself you’re fine, you will always feel worse if you don’t acknowledge your emotions.
One of the worst ever habits I picked up was thinking that I was irrational for feeling so deeply. I would tell myself that I was being pathetic, dramatic, or even that I was being selfish while a storm was going on in my mind. I would close myself up and very rarely share anything of depth, especially when it came to my emotions. Sometimes, I revert back to this, but with time, I am beginning to acknowledge, accept, and move forward with my emotions.
It is very, very rare for me to sit down and talk about my feelings because I always feel obligated to be strong and carefree, but the truth is, it shouldn’t be that way at all. The first step to fixing this is identifying that you have this problem and by acknowledging your emotions, your whole world will change. The idea isn’t to push them back or get rid of them, but more so to be able to be comfortable with exploring them and learning to manage them.
If this is something you relate to, here are some helpful little tips to help you manage and move forward with your emotions. We are only human, after all.
1. Acknowledge your real feelings
The first steps I always take when exploring my emotion is to not only acknowledge them but to acknowledge how real they are. To do this, you need to push past the facade and the walls you’ve built over your true emotions and figure out exactly what you’re feeling. Are you hurt, angry, anxious, confused?
Pour your feelings out in front of you and make them heard. Admit to yourself that you’re feeling them instead of pretending your fine. It is okay to feel bad and you have already made significant progress by simply admitting that you are not okay.
2. Find the source and address it
What led you to feel the way you do right now? Did someone say something unkind to you? Are you anxious about an event you must attend? Is there too much noise in your space?
Whenever someone says something unkind to me, I have a tendency to close up and sometimes even react in anger. Then everything seems to snowball and soon enough everything that person does seems to annoy. If you need to right a wrong with someone, even those that have caused it, communication is the best option.
3. Be vulnerable
After writing my previous blog, ‘Becoming Vulnerable‘, I have realised how important that truly is. It is so okay to be vulnerable and when you being to address your feelings or smooth out a conflict, it is so important to be honest instead of sugar-coating things. Sure, let yourself be hurt, embarrassed, angry, and anxious, but do it without accusing yourself of being pathetic or irrational.
Your feelings are yours and yours only and to let yourself feel them and get them out of completely okay, as long as you are dealing with them. The only thing that is irrational is dealing with your feelings in an unhealthy manner.
They’re called feelings for a reason, right? It can take a long, long time to heal and if you’re going through a rough time, it is important to not force yourself to get better or convince yourself you’re fine when you’re really not. No feelings are final, so cut yourself some slack and take time to heal. Sit with your emotions and allow yourself to truly feel, even if it may be confronting at times.
If today or any other day you are feeling a negative emotion, don’t push it away, smother it, or convince yourself you’re fine. Just let it be because it will only get better when you allow it to do so. In this life, there will be good days and bad days, we are only human. Let yourself feel and let yourself be. Most of all, be kind to yourself.