Updated: Aug 24, 2021
We often hear this statement, “It’s okay to not be okay.” That’s true. When life throws us curveballs, we don’t have to avoid feeling “un-okay.”
When we don’t feel well, it is understandable that we naturally tend to seek emotional stability. What many of us don’t know though is that the remedy for our emotional imbalance is to allow ourselves to feel negative, painful emotions. Here’s why.
Feelings Don’t Just Go Away
Negative emotions will persist until we learn to deal with them, constructively.
While we do need to seek emotional balance, we cannot allow negative emotions to fester and accumulate. Suppressed emotions, like grief, anger and guilt, that destabilize our mental well-being, can become very toxic. In time, these can overwhelm us. So we shouldn’t run away from hurtful feelings but learn to deal with them.
Allowing ourselves to feel the broad spectrum of emotions doesn’t make us weak or negative. In fact, it makes us stronger and truer to ourselves.
If we allow ourselves to lean in on the pain feelings cause, we will be challenged to learn how to deal with the discomfort.
We can deal with the pain slowly, pushing our pain threshold one step at a time, until we finally overcome it. In doing so, we may learn new things about ourselves. We may find our resiliency and tenacity. Positive personal character discoveries tend to give us more confidence in ourselves.
Although it’s okay to be “un-okay” when life goes south, we still need to work on improving our “un-okay” state by recognizing, accepting and dealing with our bad feelings. But we also don’t have to be misled into thinking that to be successful and satisfied with life, we need to feel happy and content all the time.
There’s no one-size-fits-all remedy that can magically return anyone to a balanced emotional state. But we can do two more things. First, focus on ourselves without feeling selfish for doing so. Our relationship with others will benefit if we are good to ourselves. Second, we can change our perspective. We can look at negative emotions as a learning opportunity for personal growth, where we become stronger, more confident individuals.