In this society, we have been taught over and over again that yes, you can feel your feelings, but do it quietly. We feel our feelings at home and then we put a mask on and walk out the door so that we don't burden anyone with our problems.
But there's only so long that we can do that for before we finally crack. Before we end up having a breakdown over something so small and insignificant but to us it feels like the world is crumbling.
For me, that small incident was burning a bagel. I was so overwhelmed with work, friend drama, and just the overall pressures of life, that when I burnt that bagel, I just broke down. I left the burnt bagel in the toaster, walked over to an armchair, hung my head and I just sobbed, because in that moment, it felt like I could do nothing right.
So what can we do when we have all of these emotions building up inside of us to prevent us from crying over spilt milk. Or in my case, a burnt bagel.
Here are some things that I do when I feel like the pressures are getting to be too much.
For me, writing is cathartic. I have tried journaling, which works for some people, but not for me. And if you are sitting there thinking "Writing about your day every day? That's so not me." That's okay! I cannot sit and write about my day every day.
Sometimes it's enough for me to write about my feelings in an article on Vocal. Sometimes I sit down and create a character and write a story about someone who is going through what I'm going through. When I do that, it makes me look at my situation and assess it, maybe see it from a different perspective.
However, if you are someone who thinks that journaling is for you, go out, visit your favorite bookstore or stationary store, browse on Amazon, and find yourself a journal that connects to you. Something that looks inviting and that you cannot wait to fill the pages of.
Wherever you are, put your headphones on and find that music that communicates to you how you're feeling. Be it break up songs, f*ck you songs, grabbin' a cold beer songs, whatever it is. And let yourself feel that music. Listen to the words.
If you start crying because of the music, that's okay. I can promise you that no one on the street, in the subway, in your favorite cafe...no one is going to judge you. We have all been there—we have all just had times where we had to just take a moment for ourselves.
Talk to Yourself
You gotta learn to be honest with yourself. If you keep telling yourself "I'm fine" over and over again, you may trick yourself into believing it for the moment, but in your mind, all of those thoughts that were getting to you are still there and are just waiting for the moment to break out.
You don't have to talk to yourself out loud, although that's okay, too. But get in touch with your inner feelings. Address them. You may be able to figure out that there's more on your mind than you originally thought. You might find a solution and you might not. But denying yourself access to your own feelings is blocking you from having any kind of release or comfort.
Turn Your Feelings On
One of the reasons that we don't all express our feelings on the outside is because no one else is doing it. But that isn't a reason to keep things inside. It's about what you are feeling, not about what everyone else is thinking.
Don't be afraid of your feelings, don't be ashamed of your feelings. Feel what you're feeling and screw all of the rest. It's not worth crying over a burnt bagel.