It has become the norm to expect happiness or to constantly strive for happiness. This can leave many of us feeling like there is something “wrong” for feeling certain negative emotions.
Of course, we want to work towards a sense of peace and enjoyment of life. However, it’s impossible and unnecessary to always feel happy. We are human and we will experience a range of emotions throughout our lifetime.
Do you allow yourself to feel emotions other than happiness without judging them as bad or wrong? Are you resisting your negative emotions and then shaming yourself for not being happy? Do you value your experience of happiness over others?
Embrace Your Negative Emotions
“Being a positive person doesn’t mean you don’t feel negative emotions. It means you have faith in your ability to get through tough situations, hope for better days and the willingness to see beyond the drama.”~ Leticia Rae
If you answered yes to any of the above, join the club! Most of us prefer feeling happy over feeling sad, stressed, angry, or depressed. The obvious reason being, it feels better to be happy. However, happiness is not one dimensional – there are layers to what we call happiness. There are layers that include many feelings that aren’t considered joyful.
One of my biggest learnings is that resisting my painful emotions meant that I stayed stuck in them for much longer. The more we avoid, ignore, and despise these feelings the more they show up. This is why it is so powerful to choose to embrace these emotions instead of always chasing happiness.
We can begin to accept and trust that our days will be filled with transition and change and that includes a rainbow of emotions, thoughts, and energy. Most importantly, we can handle it and we can get through it.
We are “normal” and “safe” even if we feel unhappy at times. And here are 6 ways to embrace your negative emotions.
6 Great Ways to Embrace Your Negative Emotions
1. Normalize Your Negative Emotions
It is normal and healthy to have a variety of feelings. We are impacted by various stressors and experiences throughout the day. There is no need to jump to conclusions about life when you’re having an off day.
2. Stop Labelling Your Negative Emotions
We tend to link happy with good, happy with success, happy with love, happy with attention. Likewise, we link sadness with loneliness, sadness with tears, sadness with uncertainty. However, these emotions are NOT black and white.
3. Be Present
This is the answer to everything. If you are truly present, you don’t label or attach to anything because when you are present your mind is not dictating anything.
4. Change is The Only Constant
Meaning you can embrace and appreciate everything because you know it won’t last forever. The happy times will evolve, the saddest times will evolve and so on.
5. Allow All Emotions, Even Your Negative Emotions
Enjoy your happiness and accept your unhappiness. Begin a new experience where you accept times of sadness, stress, and uncertainty. You might not enjoy it but you trust that they are part of life’s beautiful experience.
6. Get Support
Some of our biggest transitions and darkest nights do not need to be experienced alone. Invest in yourself by reaching out to a coach, therapist, or online group. Be vulnerable and ask for help from your church, family or friend. With loving support and the openness to share you can change your life.
I hope this supports you in connecting deeper within yourself. You are unlimited and such are your experiences of happiness, sadness and everything in between.