Happy Motivation Monday!
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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?