by | Nov 10, 2014 | 10 comments

Happy Motivation Monday!

motivation monday the lyons share

I’ve always been one of those people who bottle up their emotions and rarely show what they are truly thinking.  I cannot remember crying at a movie (except in middle school when everyone was crying at “Titanic” and I pretended to cry just to fit in), and most of the time I put on a happy face, regardless of what I am truly feeling.

smile symbol of strength

(picture source … I used to think this, but now I’m not so sure!)

In a lot of situations, this is good.  I truly believe that smiling on the outside has positive benefits on our actual emotional state (the “fake it until you make it” mentality is actually proven to be true!), and that just a simple smile can make someone else’s day much happier.  It’s never fun to be around someone who is complaining all the time, seeing the negative side of every situation, or down in the dumps all the time.

Even while there is a time and a place to put on a happy face, though, it’s not healthy to bottle up all of your emotions inside and pretend that you never feel anything but happy.  I talk to my girls at Girls on the Run about the fact that emotions might be “comfortable” and “uncomfortable,” but they are not “good” and “bad.”  Being angry, frustrated, sad, overwhelmed, or anxious might not be the most pleasant way to feel, but those feelings are valid and should be expressed rather than smothered.

you can be sad

(picture source)

As I work on relieving my own long-term stress and trying to live a more balanced life, it’s amazing how many more ups and downs I’m feeling.  So much of it is joy, happiness, and truly enjoying life, but there are unpleasant emotions, too.  Last week, I teared up in a networking meeting because I was so, so grateful to be living the life I have always imagined and creating a business out of my health coaching.  Over the past weekend, I cried twice (a combination of personal, family, life, and work things all piled up into a feeling of overwhelm).  I couldn’t help but recognize that I never would have let those emotions show to the outside world just a year or two ago.  To me, this is a representation of becoming more emotionally healthy and truly being in tune with my feelings.

don't apologize for your feelings

(picture source)

This week, I encourage you to recognize your emotions and give yourself permission to truly feel them.  No, don’t break out into tears during the biggest work presentation of your life, and don’t bring others down all the time.  But when the time is right, it’s OK to grieve, feel anxious, and even feel angry or scared.  By recognizing those emotions and why you are feeling that way, you’ll be better able to process them and move back to a more pleasant emotional state.  We all want to be happy, but when you’re not … that’s OK, too.  It’s OK to feel.  Recognize that, feel it, work through it, and move right on back to happiness.

break down in tears

(picture source)

So tell me in the comments … do you tend to bottle up your emotions or let them all out?  What can you do to improve your own emotional health?


  1. Michael Anderson

    I have struggled because every comment I have tried to write came out … well, pretty harsh. Hopefully this one will be constructive.

    Feelings and emotions are NOT optional.

    Emotions are like the food groups, like all of the components of an exercise routine. Sure we could live on a fake smile and denial … just like we could live on TV dinners, McDonalds and our exercise being walking to and from the couch to do stuff like go to work and get TV dinners and McDonalds.

    But what kind of life IS that? A pretty crappy one, in my opinion.

    As a health and wellness coach, I have always thought of you as someone who tries to help others live the healthiest total life possible. Experiencing the full and natural range of emotions is part of that life. It simply has to be.

    Hope that wasn’t harsh … it really wasn’t meant to be. 🙂

    • Megan Lyons

      You’re so right, Michael! And please, don’t apologize for being harsh, I know you mean the criticism in the most helpful way possible.

      You are spot on when you say that I am making a living coaching others to embody ALL aspects of health – and that emotional health is of the utmost priority. After all, who cares if you’re at an ideal weight if your life is miserable, or even if you feel clouded and closeted with your emotions? And, to not be able to achieve true emotional health for myself as I was coaching my clients to achieve their emotional health … well, yes, I realized that I needed to take a dose of my own medicine! I have spent significant time and energy over the last 6 months really working on my own emotional health, and expressing my emotions more freely is just one of many successes that I’ve achieved. I often describe myself as a really knotted necklace … I got myself in a real bind working far too many hours in a job I didn’t love, and not respecting my emotional health. Like a necklace, I have been picking at little pieces of the knot … with each pick, a bit unravels, and sometimes you pick a little and it’s the wrong way, and the knot becomes even worse. Slowly, though, the entire necklace is unravelling … it just takes time.

      As far as the ‘hypocrite’ thing (not that you said it outright, but it was implied), I am trained on how to coach people towards emotional health, just as I am educated about what foods are generally healthier and not. Knowledge, and being able to help others achieve a goal, is a separate thing than attaining that goal yourself. I have clients who are smaller than me and want to improve their nutrition or “lose a bit of belly fat,” and I am comfortable improving their nutrition even though I myself am not trying to get smaller. In a similar way, I can use the tools I have to help others achieve emotional health, even if I’m not quite “there yet.” As long as I’m improving myself, and my clients are finding value in the improvement I’m delivering to them, I feel good about the position I’m in! Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Kammie @ Sensual Appeal Blog

    Oh girl, I totally feel you. I’m the same. I’ve always been a “hard ass” bottling my emotions up, not feeling, not letting others see the true me and what I was feeling… I didnt want people to have the upper hand by knowing. But yeah, it’s not a good strategy. It’s totally okay to feel and in fact, it is important to do so we can feel the GOOD.. otherwise, eventually we wont feel anything at all.

    • Megan Lyons

      So glad you relate, Kammie. It’s so interesting to me that so many people are more comfortable bottling up our emotions, but it’s so freeing when we learn to let loose a bit!

  3. Bre @bumpandrunchat

    It’s great that you’re letting your feelings come out. It’s a fantastic way to really get to know yourself as well. Now that I’m a mom, I find I tear up when it comes to my daughter much more than I did before I was a parent. But much like your tearful mtg it just is an expression of how much love you have for something. I hope you continue to find new emotions as you really start to express yourself!

    • Megan Lyons

      Thank you for that reassurance, Bre! It is truly amazing how much more I’ve been feeling! How cute that you tear up with your daughter frequently:)

  4. lindsay

    emotions are good to go through, as hard as they are, it helps us clear our mind!

    • Megan Lyons

      Yikes!! Explosion of bottled up emotions sounds dangerous!! Try to feel a little more day-to-day so you don’t deal with the explosions 🙂



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Megan Lyons Headshot

Hi! I'm Megan Lyons,

the voice behind The Lyons’ Share. I love all things health, wellness, and fitness-related, and I hope to share some of my passion with you. Thanks for stopping by!
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