Hi everyone, welcome back!
It’s been a while, but I’m back and feeling creative again. I’ve been missing writing here as an outlet, but I’ve been balancing online school and a job for a few months now. Now I’m FINALLY on my Christmas break!
(Disclaimer: I’m not a therapist! This is simply my knowledge and experience!)
Today’s topic is something I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about lately...why do we always try to “fix” a bad mood or force ourselves into a good mood? You can’t heal what you don’t let yourself feel... this is something I am constantly reminding myself. In our world, we have subconsciously labelled each emotion that exists as good or bad. Emotions like sadness, fear, and anger have been labelled as bad or negative emotions simply because they’re uncomfortable to feel. In reality, nothing about these emotions is inherently bad; we’ve just been made to believe this.
So when we find ourselves experiencing an uncomfortable emotion, we should resist the urge to try and avoid feeling the feeling. We have to let ourselves feel the way we feel and really get used to being uncomfortable, because it’s how we process things in a healthier way. We all know by now that suppressing emotions and not dealing with them only does more harm than good.
Again, this won’t be comfortable, and it will take some getting used to, but it’s worth it. When allowing yourself to process things, depending on the emotion you might be feeling, the number one thing to ensure is safety. So if I find myself feeling super anxious and afraid, the first step is to identify safety cues so that my mind can begin to realize that I am safe and not in danger. For me, identifying safety cues can look something like this: “I am in my safe home and everything is ok, my heart rate is elevated but it is not dangerous, I may feel like something is wrong but there is no imminent danger right now.”
That’s how it usually goes for me, but if for example you find yourself processing the feelings of deep sadness and loneliness, safety cues might look more like this: “I feel sad and lonely but I know there are people here for me if I need them, these feelings are hard but they are not dangerous, these feelings will pass.” Essentially we are reassuring ourselves enough for our brain to feel safe again and come out of that fight or flight response that often occurs.
If you find yourself unable to identify safety cues to regulate your mood, it might be best to share what you’re experiencing in the moment, with someone else who can help identify those cues for you. Once I’m more grounded and regulated, I focus on unpacking the emotions I’m experiencing typically by journaling and really trying to understand the root of my feeling. It can be difficult to totally break these things down by ourselves because we don’t see things from any other perspective. For me, this is where weekly therapy comes in because anything that has come up for me during the week, I will journal about it in the moment and then come back to it and dismantle it further with the help of my therapist because hey, that’s their job!
This isn’t an easy process or habit, and sometimes we can find ourselves feeling guilty or negative when putting this in to practice. This is simply due to the constructed notion that these emotions are “negative”, and not because it’s true.
Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad for experiencing your feelings. We have to remember to be gentle with ourselves and to hold space for all emotions and not just the “good” ones.
(disclaimer I’m not a therapist by any means, this is simply my experience and advice! and my DM’s are always open to chat🤍)
so much love,
I'm Maddi and Im a full time student (studying Child and Youth Work), Here I have my blog and my shop, I hope you enjoy!