Negative Feelings? Own It. Process It. Release It.

It is impossible to be happy, positive, inspired, and fully productive for every moment of every day without significant effort. Even the most positive people on the planet have their moments of disappointment, discouragement, hurt, or emotional response to a challenge.

For a significant portion of my life, I secretly had this warped thought that if I felt sad, discouraged, faint, uninterested in being positive, tired, fearful, anxious, hurt, or insecure that I was not an overall positive, motivated, determined, strong, spiritual, confident individual. Somehow I came to believe that possessing those feelings for more than a “moment” meant that I was an artificial version of a successful person, and therefore needed to hid those feelings from other people behind smiles, laughs, and conversation. If you dared insinuate that I was sad, hurt, insecure about something, fearful, anxious, or pessimistic, I would charismatically become defensive, deny it, or denounce any affiliation with such corrupt ideas or feelings, fully convinced that my actions would make them disappear.

One day as I randomly watched ‘behind the scenes’ footage of a famous singer, I found my freedom. She said that she allows herself a day to be sad, cry, or “bum” around when she feels negative, disappointed, hurt, or is experiencing other “foreign” feelings. After which, she tells herself “it’s time to move on.”

I am not telling you that every feeling deserves time to be “processed.” Some feelings you just need to immediately correct. However, for mental health purposes, there is a time and place to embrace your honest emotions. For one reason or another, many of us are not taught how to deal with these emotions. Or worse, we are taught that having them are signs of weakness or a lack of emotional, mental, or spiritual maturity. Life has taught me the exact opposite. The inability to control the emotion’s influence on you for an extended period of time is the sign of immaturity, not simply feeling them.

Today I grant you the freedom to be openly realistic about your feelings. They may not always be the “right” feelings to have, but the truth is, you have them and they are real to you. So, in those moments…

Own It. Be honest with yourself and the people around you. “Yes, I feel this way right now. But, I’ll let it go tomorrow.”

Process It. Determine a short amount of time to allow yourself to “feel” whatever you feel. Then, take some time, in your own way, to work through those emotions. Take a bath, listen to sad music, exercise, watch a movie, write in a journal, cry, turn off your phone, go to bed early, or just stare at the wall. Whatever it is, think though the emotions and always let positive logic prevail.

Release It. After you’ve taken your time to process, it’s time to let it go…or better said, let it’s influence on you go…

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