Are Emotions the Enemy?
*Unpopular opinion alert* Negative emotions are not your enemy! Most of us love experiencing joy, peace, hope and love. If you are a human being like I am, you may (or may not) run away from sadness, fear, anger, for instance. By now you probably realized that our efforts to avoid those negative feelings are often in vain. We end up feeling whatever we are feeling, while also feeling bad for feeling how we feel. Tricky, right?
What if feelings were neither positive nor negative? What if instead of saying “I shouldn’t be sad (mad, anxious, overwhelmed)” you could acknowledge your feelings and explore them in a safe and nonjudgmental space? It is true that some emotions are really uncomfortable to experience. Still, what if our feelings had a purpose? What if sadness is trying to tell us that we are in need of comfort? What if fear is giving us energy to seek safety? What if anger is a sign that we are facing injustice?
I wonder how much weight you can take off your shoulders when you acknowledge your feelings without judgement. Validating your emotions will empower you to deal with pain and discomfort in ways that are healthy and productive to your well-being without the burden of shame or comparison. Next time you feel an overwhelming emotion, instead of shutting it down, ask yourself, "What is this emotion trying to tell me?"
If you are overwhelmed with emotions and don't know where to start, scheduling an appointment with a counselor is a great way to begin the journey to emotional awareness. Impact Counseling exists, in part, to help people understand their emotions and learn to meet their needs in healthy and God-honoring ways. Don't wait any longer to gain control over your emotions!
Article by Patricia Silva, LPC- A