Emotional Pain is Not a Sickness

August 31, 2011

There is nothing wrong with feeling bad.  It does happen.  But there seems to be someone going around giving emotional pain a bad name.  It is all right to feel depressed, sad, upset, angry, miserable, gloomy or unhappy.  In fact, there are times when it is appropriate to have these feelings, like when you lose a loved one, leave your favorite place, or leave home for the first time.  Those are times when you are expected to show those emotions, since they are a natural reaction to a situation.  But there are many people that don’t let bad feelings happen.

With Alabama’s population being around 4,447,100, it is a sure bet that you can find at least a few people that are feeling some of those emotions right now.  But quite often, you are told not to feel bad.  People keep saying, “Cheer up!” or “Sleep on it.  You’ll feel better in the morning.”  They are well-meaning people that care about how you feel, but it is important to feel these emotions in the moment.  You have to acknowledge these emotions, and realize that they are a natural part of being human and are necessary for personal growth.

If you continue to have persistent feelings of depression, sadness, or anger, then it time to seek help.  Otherwise, allow the feelings.  For example, when a loved one dies, it is necessary to grieve.  The grief might appear in the form of depression, sadness, or anger, but that’s fine.  The sadness might feel out of control, and that’s fine, too.  There is nothing wrong with extreme emotional pain.  It is natural, and doesn’t have to be fixed.  You have to give yourself permission to feel bad.  The next time you feel rotten, go ahead and feel rotten.  It will pass.  And it will probably pass more quickly if you don’t fight it or pretend it doesn’t exist.

Often, other people have a hard time letting us feel bad.  They are usually worried that they did something wrong, so they want to make it better.  They want you to quit feeling bad.  Tell them you will.  Let them know that you will feel good again, but for the moment you just want to feel bad.  Good mental health is only possible if you allow yourself to feel bad as well as feel good.  And you don’t have to have a reason.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Alabama, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Huntsville, Alabama. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @DaleCarnegieALA.

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