It's OK not to be Positive and HappyMar 11, 2022
At the end of last year, I hit a wall.
We’d finally been able to go away on holiday after a long period of lockdown and I felt immense gratitude, awe and joy to experience freedom again but I also dropped into moments of sadness, grief and negativity, which showed up when I slowed down and started to process the year.
There would have been a time in my life when I never would have allowed myself to feel these so-called ‘negative’ feelings. I would have gone into intense doing and busyness, reminded myself that I’m a positive person, that I have so much to be grateful for and that I shouldn't feel like this!
We all have our places we go to to avoid uncomfortable feelings (i.e. eating, drinking, shopping, overachieving, people-pleasing).
The problem with my old approach (which is the default for many of us) is that we dismiss how we are really feeling. We numb it, we ignore it and we downplay it because let’s be honest, who wants to feel the discomfort of those feelings?
Furthermore, we dismiss feelings because we feel like we ‘should’ be happy for all the wonderful things we do have!
The consequence of dismissing our feelings is that we can’t move through them. In fact, the emotions can get stuck in our bodies and in the worst case they show up as physical ailments and disease.
When I became a Mindfulness facilitator some key home truths landed for me:
- Acknowledging and feeling your full spectrum of emotions is healthy and can help you to create more space between a trigger and a response.
- Being non-judgemental, even towards the emotions we wished didn’t have (anger, jealousy, shame, etc) helps us to process and release them.
- Curiosity towards our emotions (rather than suppression or frustration) can allow you to take ownership of your feelings and discover the underlying pain point that is getting triggered.
So my message to you today is: if you are human you will have a full spectrum of emotions within you and it is normal and healthy to feel them and express them safely.
It’s ok not to be happy and upbeat all the time and in fact, allowing yourself to feel and be curious when you are not happy (i.e. are grumpy, sad, angry, embarrassed, flat etc) can keep you emotionally agile, more resilient and less reactive in challenging times.
P.S. - if you want to learn more about how your thoughts and emotions might be getting in the way of your momentum and clarity - be sure to join my FREE 5-day challenge. We start Monday!