© Michelle Chan
No feeling is ever "bad," because feelings are...feelings! Being aware of our emotions allows us to know whether or not something fits us. Feelings give us insight as to who is important to us, what we want or don't want, things that bring out the passion and drive in us, how much an experience mattered to us, and many more!
So why are feelings considered to be a negative thing in our lives?
Well, our thoughts, our feelings, and our behaviors are all interconnected. So the only reason why feelings get a bad rep and are considered "bad" is because of how we choose to react (e.g. behaviors) to the emotions that we experience. So really, it's not the feelings that are problematic, but the socially inappropriate and unacceptable behaviors that may result from it that cause issues. The answer is definitely not to become numb and devoid of all emotions. We just need to find healthier ways to process our emotions, such as exploring alternative ways to express our emotions. By doing so, we'll be able to work towards the outcomes we want to see in ourselves, in our environment, and in our relationships.
At the core of it all, our emotions give us insight into ourselves. How do we know if we like, love, dislike, hate, or are indifferent to someone? We reflect on the feelings that arise when we think of that person or when that individual is in our presence. How do we know if we want to pursue a certain path in our schooling or in our careers? By following both the logical side and the emotional side of our minds of course!
When you feel angry, is your go-to behavior yelling, screaming, throwing things, and/or cursing? Or maybe you shut down by removing yourself from the situation or staying quiet instead? You probably already know this... But if you don't, I'm here to tell you that whatever issue you're experiencing will (most likely) not be resolved by engaging in these behaviors. So what can you do to be more self-aware? Start by doing these two things:
First, don't guilt-trip yourself. Don't tell yourself that you "should" or "shouldn't" feel a certain way and discount your feelings. No matter what you're feeling, know that it's okay! Whether you think something "should've been insignificant" or not, your feelings are valid and should be accepted as is. Acknowledge your feelings and know that it is okay for you to feel the way that you do.
Second, you can try to pay attention to your feelings, your internal thoughts, and your behaviors. Try to see how they may all interconnect, because I promise you, they do. Whether or not you know what the connection is between all of them. This may help shed some insight as to how your internal thoughts and feelings are influencing how you act upon them outwardly.
These may seem like easy instructions, but like most things, it's much easier said than done. But once you have these first two steps down, you can then start to evaluate whether your behaviors and reactions to your emotions are positively or negatively impacting your relationships with those in your life. If you think you may need some help in further exploring what's going on within, and/or how to make necessary changes, feel free to contact me and see if I am someone who can provide the support that you need!
“You’ll be fine. Feeling unsure and lost is part of your path. Don’t avoid it. See what those feelings are showing you and use it. Take a deep breath. You’ll be okay. Even if you don’t feel okay all the time.” –Louis C.K.