Feelings, we all have them. Yet, we don’t talk about them.
…until someone genuinely asks.
When we feel down we tend to suppress our feelings. Sadly, that strategy often backfires and we end up feeling the emotions EVEN STRONGER. What neuroscientists recommend is labeling negative emotional experiences. Why? Labeling reduces the impact the emotion has on you.
We asked people to express a difficult feeling in just a word or two. People reacted in roughly five different ways:
1. “I just can’t talk about feelings”
Even when asked, many still struggle to express their feelings.
The one word: “…”:
“I’ve been thinking about this all day trying to figure it out. Find one word. Just one. I came up with nothing and 100 words all at the same time. When it comes to feelings and emotions I shut down.
The idea of actually saying a feeling out loud or thinking about mine makes me physically nauseous. I do deal with things, just generally not at the time that it happens. And I never realize that I’ve dealt with something until much later.”
2. “My feelings are about self-doubt”
Many of us have feelings about how we feel insecure about ourselves, our skills and our looks. Some of the feeling-words from the community:
LONELY, SHY, WORTHLESS:
“Every day is a rollercoaster of emotions for me. I’m a naturally shy and quiet person but I really enjoy social situations therefore I often feel like I’m stuck between two parts of me … I’ve never been able to shift the part of me I don’t like … I often feel these three things: lonely, shy, and worthless. But I fight them every day. Loneliness, shyness and worthlessness may be part of my everyday life but it doesn’t mean that they have to control my life.”
“Not a good day. I’m overtired and trying to deal with teenage angst.”
“I’ve been trying to be happier with myself lately, it can be so difficult to like who you are when you look in the mirror, I struggle with it every day, but the world is too obsessed with unattainable beauty. Everyone perceives beauty differently and no one is perfect, but everyone is beautiful and you don’t have to look like a model on a magazine cover in order to be beautiful or loved.”
3. “It’s okay to feel”
“So for now I’ll continue to remind myself it’s okay to not always be okay. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel and not feel. And most importantly that it’s okay to let people in and be open about how I’m feeling. Something I am absolutely terrible at doing!”
4. “My negative feelings aren’t eternal”
In the end, feelings come and go and what you may have felt yesterday may be okay today.
The one feeling-word: “HOPEFUL”:
“If this action came yesterday, the outcome would have been very different. Honestly at that point I felt tired staying positive and I don’t know why I felt so low … Today I woke up and I can see blue sky again despite the haze, there was not much traffic to make me cranky and slowly things are changing. So I’m choosing to feel hopeful today.”
5. “When I open up, people actually support me”
Do try this at home:
Feeling stressed at work, have negative thoughts about something, or feeling a bit down? Express it and start dealing with it! And if you’re a bundle of happy feelings – expressing those will only increase your sense of wellbeing!