Doing What DOESN'T Come Naturally
Feel sad? Down in the dumps? Tough to get out of bed?
Feel angry? Churning inside? Ready to blow a gasket?
Feel worried? Distressed about what’s happening in the world? Tormented about the virus spreading to you or your loved ones?
If these are your emotions, you need to experience them—not deny, distort, or suppress them. Indeed, sadness may be the only genuine response to losing someone you truly care about. Anger may be the only honest response to what's happening in the world today. Worry may be the only forthright response to averting disaster.
That said, there are times when people hold onto these negative feelings too long. They don’t just feel them, they embrace and exaggerate them—until the feeling transforms into an identity.
When that happens, they don’t just feel sad, angry, or worried; they become people with despair in their heart, a chip on their shoulder, fear in their soul.
Yes, there’s a huge difference between feeling sad and being a sad person; feeling angry and being an angry person; feeling worried and being an anxious person. If you believe it’s time for you to let go of emotions that are stealing your life away, do what DOESN’T come naturally!
Acting contrary to the way you feel will seem counter-intuitive to you. Yet, that may be exactly what you need do to bolster your mental, emotional and physical being. Yes, I know, it’s hard but give it a try.
If you're down in the dumps and in danger of becoming a pessimistic, joyless soul, take action. Force yourself to work, to play, to do, to fix, to smile, to laugh—anything that will get you out of your doldrums and into experiencing whatever is good in life.
If someone has gotten you ticked off, and you’re finding it hard to let go, rather than using up your energy on the one who has wronged you, take that precious energy and do something nice for yourself or for someone you love.
If your worries are distressing you, act differently from the way you’re feeling. Though you may not feel like speaking up, taking a risk or trying a new activity, do it—despite your fears.
Courage is not the absence of fear. It is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
Linda Sapadin is a psychologist and personal coach in private practice who specializes in helping people enrich their lives, enhance their relationships and overcome self-defeating patterns of behavior. For more information about her work, contact her by email or visit her website at PsychWisdom.