All too often I see on my Facebook feed, social media in general – false positivity, proclaiming that something is awesome as a way of hiding that in private you are hurting. I’m not saying we shouldn’t share our positive thoughts, but we should not falsify our feelings.
It is crucial to your emotional health to recognize your feelings and to process them accordingly. Think of it this way, if I broke my arm and said “oh, I’m just going to stay positive, no need for medical attention” sounds silly right!? Well that is exactly what we are doing when we say positive things but don’t mean them and don’t address what is really going on beneath the surface.
So how should I deal with my emotions?
- It’s OK to tell people you are hurting, it gives your friends an opportunity to listen and help.
- It is OK to show vulnerability. I encourage clients to share with friends how they feel and it often deepens those connections.
- Look at your emotion through an analytical lens, ask yourself what made me feel this way? Is there a pattern to my thoughts that trigger this?
- Journal your thoughts, writing allows thoughts to flow freely and can be a cathartic release
- Talk to a psychologist, who can listen objectively and help you to recognize certain patterns or different ways of processing emotions/thoughts
All of these steps are leading to a way of living a more mindful, engaged life. The mindfulness approach focuses on the present, the here and now which can also diminish anxiety about the future. If we simply wait for life to fill us with meaning then we miss out on the simple joys of life. Therefore positivity most often comes when we live in the present and become aware of our thoughts and feelings. This is not a new concept, as one of my beloved cartoon strips shared this little wisdom …
A cute little anecdote, people think that you only go to see a psychologist when you are sad. On the contrary! I once had a client come to my office and say “I’m happy! I want therapy because I want to make sure I continue to be happy as I’m moving to a new city in a few months.” This is an example of living life with intention, the client was aware of her emotions/thoughts and wanted to continue living life in a mindful way.
Ultimately the path to happiness is paved with a daily commitment to living with intention, engaging the mind and body.
In my everyday practice, I journey with people to help them “get their happy back” and sometimes to simply ensure that they stay happy. Whatever your needs are, I am always here to listen.
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