Why is it so difficult? Why is it sometimes soooo hard to sit with our disappointment, sadness, or anger? Tell someone to feel the ‘wins’ in life, the successes, the happy moments, the fun times, and there’s no issue. In fact, most would say “I can’t get enough of those days!” But tell someone they’re going to go through a rough time; they won’t get that promotion, their best friend is going to let them down, or that relationship they had hopes and dreams for is going to end abruptly, and we all immediately recoil at the thought. Not just because of the events themselves but because of the emotions often connected with these types of events.
Pushing Through Doesn’t End Well
I mean, it’s understandable. Happiness, pleasure, excitement, joy, these are all feelings we equate with positive emotions. Who wouldn’t want their days to be filled with an endless supply, right? But that’s not reality. And to make matters worse, we live in a society where we seem programmed to push ahead, to put your head down and plow through. The goal is to get to the other side of these upsetting events as quickly as possible. How many of you, after a breakup for instance, haven’t had a well-intentioned friend give you the advice to start dating again asap? Move on to the next relationship in attempts to forget about the one that’s just ended. It seems we’re much more apt to fill our time with distractions as a means of numbing the hurts, ignoring them, and moving on to finding the next ‘happy’ moment.
The Cost of Distractions
But what’s the cost here? What’s the cost of pushing past the sadness, disappointment, or hurt without really acknowledging it? Choosing instead to fill your time with nothing more than, what I like to call, “noise.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for taking time out for yourself and doing things that bring you joy and fill you back up, but when we constantly ignore the hurts, the losses, the pain and the sadness, we rob ourselves of truly understanding our emotions. It may not be easy, but when you understand your emotions, particularly the negative ones, you are better able to build your esteem and take control of your well-being.
Why It’s Worth It
It’s important to understand your emotions and to take control of them, since avoiding them can lead your emotions to control you. When we don’t know how to process our anger or our sadness what begins to happen is our emotions start to dictate our responses and reactions to situations. Plus, a failure to truly sit with your emotions has the potential to lead to several mental and emotional issues; anxiety, depression, and self-harm, to name a few. So, although it may not feel good at the time, the payoff is immense and totally worth it! Don’t be afraid of negative emotions. It’s okay, they’re just feelings. Sit with it, feel it, and then use what you’ve learned to make you stronger and better equipped for the next challenge life throws at you!