Two of the most common words used in today’s language…well, at least in my opinion.
The problem is not so much using the words as it is how they are used.
They are automatically associated with some sort of mental illness. However, as far as I know, these are actually real emotions that as humans we are entitled to feel.
Sometimes life gets hard and we get down. If we are not paying attention to how we are feeling, we could easily slip into a depression.
Sometimes life also gets overwhelming and simply more than we can bare at a given time. If we are not paying attention to how we are feeling, we get anxious.
Here is the thing…
Life does get hard…we go in waves…our ups and downs.
If we stop to check in with ourselves now and then and pay attention to how something is making us feel, there is less chance of this feeling controlling us and a much greater chance of us controlling it.
It is completely natural to feel sad, frustrated, angry, happy, and so on…we have these emotions for a reason. It is when we sit in one of them too long that things become a problem for us.
This is when, what I like to refer to as those wasted emotions, start to show up and try to tell us how to feel – these are emotions such as worry and guilt and fear. I realize they feel very real in the moment, but they are wasted since they do not get us anywhere. They roam around in our heads in circles and only result in wasted energy, time, and quite frequently sleep.
I don’t know about you, but I really do not like anything interfering with my sleep!
Here is the other thing…
Those wasted emotions, they are not you and you are not them. They are an external part of who you are and you do have the right to tell them to go away. You have control over allowing them to control you.
This is all a matter of perspective.
First, start with your emotions. If you were lucky enough to be born into a safe and secure home, chances are in your early years, you were your most natural you. This is the time when you could cry when you needed to, laugh when you wanted, and express your frustrations before they turned to full out anger. Over time, we grow up and we are taught to be a little less natural…toughen up, don’t cry, stay positive and optimistic (even when you don’t want to), be unnaturally happy all of the time, and so on.
And we wonder why we live in an over-burdened society full of our so-called mental illness epidemic…
I believe if we give ourselves permission to be our natural expressive selves, as we are as children, those words…we can build a more balanced society.
Sometimes this is just a matter of believing and seeing things differently. Challenge what you have always been told if this means forcing yourself not to feel.