Allowing Yourself to Feel

Hi everyone! We’re doubling up the posts on the blog this #WellnessWednesday!

I wanted to address a topic that many young people, and in particular young men, struggle with at times: to feel our unpleasant feelings.

It makes sense to want to avoid sadness, bitterness, anger, and jealousy. These cause pain. Festering negative emotions for too long is unhealthy.

However, negative emotions are important to feel. Pushing away your feelings by ignoring them or using other means to avoid them (alcohol, excessive sleep, TV binging, etc.) is also unhealthy.

The ability to sit with all your emotions, including the negative ones, is part of true emotional wellness and emotional maturity. Processing them helps you establish peace with the source(s) of the emotion (a bad situation, relationship, etc.). In this way you can better understand how to approach a situation and become better adapted to deal with it. In addition, if you allow yourself to feel you can better understand and identify your emotions when they arise.

You don’t have to process your emotions on your own either. You can talk to people you trust like friends and family. There are also plenty of resources here on campus, like CAPS or even the Wellness Ambassadors, if you need a place to start.

In short, give yourself a chance to cry once in awhile. Feel angry about something. Don’t push these emotions away before you process them. Feel them for a while and then let them pass.

If you allow yourself to feel every now and then, you can learn from the situation and more about yourself.

Relevant links:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mindful-musings/201611/3-reasons-let-yourself-feel-your-emotions

https://jodiaman.com/blog/allow-yourself-to-feel/

https://www.psychalive.org/should-you-feel-or-flee-your-emotions/

- Jon