Sadness? Fear? What are Those?
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Emotions… we literally can feel them tingling in our bodies. There are so many different emotions we can feel every single day, & each give off a slightly different sensation. Happiness makes you warm & fuzzy inside; sadness & grief can make your heart feel like it’s fallen to the bottom of your stomach; surprise can make your belly fill with butterflies; anger can make your stomach go all twisted & everything inside you is like a raging fire.
Our emotions tell us what we are passionate about & they tell us what values we hold. They are a globally known language that helps us express ourselves through voice & actions. Yes, globally known. Every singly human on this planet feels every type of emotion. Yes, they are natural. They are completely healthy & natural, yet we are taught to repress the negative emotions to only show positive ones…why?
Accepting Our Emotions
Why are a society are we taught to not explore our emotions too deeply? We, as a society, have seem to become so fixated & obsessed with being “happy” & constantly engaging in “positive thinking”, & though this is good to a degree, it sometimes becomes a problem.
You’re probably asking, “Harriet, what do you know about emotions & life at 18 years old?” Well, I just do. After dealing with some pretty awful things of my own, situations with other people & just generally horrible things that can happen in life, I have had to learn that to grow from experiences we have to let go of anger & fear & learn.
You’re probably now asking, “Why is repressing emotions such a problem? Positive thinking creates a positive outlook & therefore a positive life, right?” It’s the Law of Attraction theory, which works for some things like chemistry & physics (I think, I never really got into those subjects so correct me if I am wrong), but this is reality & by repressing our true feelings we are ignoring something we are passionate about, something we value, something we want to change.
The Value of Anger
It’s important to know that we don’t get angry about things we don’t care about. We don’t get sad by things we don’t care about. By repressing these emotions & feelings, these thoughts & needs, we won’t ever really learn anything about ourselves, & we won’t ever let anyone else learn about us.
We are often told to just “think positively” when something distressing happens in our life, but the issue with this is that by sending out the message that our thoughts are the sole responsibility of our wellbeing & mental health. Thinking positively does not guarantee a carefree life. You are healthy until you are not. You’re living with the person you love until you are not. You will enjoy something until you don’t. We all find ourselves in situations where sadness, grief & anger are passionately felt.
Our inner self is our greatest teacher; we know ourselves better than anyone else on this planet, correct? When we study our emotions, & let ourselves experience the full diversity of our emotional spectrum, we are actually building our overall happiness, developing resilience, increasing our inner stability & we become more courageous. So to pretend that these certain emotions don’t exist, to lock them away inside our mind & never let them out to know that someone hurt us, that something upset us, we will never be able to fully develop these vital techniques of living.
What I am trying to say here is that unless we feel our every emotion and we study our every emotion, how are we meant to have the ability to feel comfortable with the full range of our emotions. How are we meant to become resilient when we don’t have any practice of dealing with distressing emotions?
One of the most important attributes to being a healthy, content & hopeful person is to realise that life isn’t all sunshine & rainbows; life is fragile & diverse which it what makes it beautiful. Life is not a utopia & we can’t walk around being happy all the time. We are strong enough as a human being to feel all our emotions, to deal with our emotions, to express our emotions. We are not weak enough to just let them fall behind, hidden & unlearnt.
Learning in Mindfulness
When we feel a distressing emotion we need to learn to go through the Mindful process of “Stepping out” instead of “positive thinking”. Stepping out is distancing yourself from an emotion; before you act on this emotion you question it & the values behind it. You identify beliefs & behaviours important to you before acting on anything. By doing this we can finally move past the emotion, having positively dealt with it.
There is a difference between positive thinking & positively dealing with an emotion. Which one is going to make your personal growth a success? Which one is going to bring you true contentedness & appreciation for what life throws at us & for what we live through every day? Which one?
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