Emotions can often confuse and distress; here are some myth-busting facts to help you deal with them
Myth: Some feelings are good, others are bad
Fact: All feelings, no matter what they are, have their importance in our lives. Although feelings, such as sadness, anger, jealousy, grief etc. are termed as “bad” feelings, they are necessary to help us cope with life’s difficulties. These feelings also help us identify that something around or within us is probably not as it should be and that we might need to make a change.
Try this: Even though feelings are not good or bad, some of them can be more difficult to handle than others. Instead of avoiding difficult feelings like anger and sadness, try figuring out ways to tolerate and manage them instead.
Myth: You must be happy all the time
Fact: Wanting to stay “happy” at all times is an unrealistic expectation. Happiness or joy is just one of the many emotions that all human beings experience. In fact, research shows that those who experience a wide range of emotions lead more contented lives than the people who don’t allow themselves to feel sad, jealous or any other difficult emotion.
Try this: Instead of striving to always be happy, work instead toward increasing instances of happiness. Do more things that give you joy and create a life that is overall more pleasurable than painful.
Myth: You will always feel the way you are feeling now
Fact: Fortunately (and unfortunately!), feelings change. Although you might feel that your sadness or anger or joy will last forever, every emotion reaches a peak, then starts to dip. Of course, the time it takes for a particular feeling to shift varies from situation to situation as well as person to person. But rest assured, in all likelihood, what you’re feeling now, will not be what you’ll be feeling later.
Try this: To make the most of pleasurable feelings, try and immerse yourself in the moment as much as possible so that even if you’re not able to prolong the duration, you can still increase the intensity of the joy you experience. In the case of more difficult emotions, remind yourself that this too shall pass and tomorrow will be another day.
Myth: Ignoring your feelings makes them go away
Fact: Keeping emotions bottled up inside can actually increase them instead of making them go away. Although, not attending to feelings can feel comfortable in the short term, they will eventually show up somewhere, somehow when you least expect them. For example, the more you push down your anger, the more likely you are to give into an anger outburst later.
Try this: Acknowledge what you’re feeling even though you might not know exactly what to do with that feeling at that moment. Once you accept that you’re feeling a certain way, you can then figure a way to handle that feeling instead of focusing all your energy on pushing the feeling away.
Myth: Experiencing feelings or “being emotional” is a sign of weakness
Fact: Being in touch with your feelings is actually a sign of strength, not weakness. It signifies that you are in tune with your inner self and your needs. People who are open to experiencing emotions are higher on Emotional Quotient than those who avoid them.
Try this: Feelings can be a great way to instinctively understand what you need or want. So instead of feeling burdened by the number of emotions you experience, use them to your advantage by exploring what they could be telling you.
Emotions are what make us human. Embracing them can go a long way in building a life that is fulfilled and content.