*Disclaimer: in this article I discuss “feelings”, but not referring to any clinical terms of diagnosis, and are different from situations that have reached the clinical level and need proper medical care.*
You define your own identify when you “feel bad” because you struggle to cope with “feeling” depressed, stressed or anxious. When meds or therapies don’t reduce the symptoms such as feeling at the verge, emotional numbness or checkout, panic attack or overwhelming worry, you then think that you “feel worse” thus “getting worse”.
Then here comes with a “disorder” that you either label on yourself by trying with online self-diagnosis tools or by receiving prescriptive medical cares.
The thing is: what happens when you accept the label of “disorder”? Doesn’t it validate the belief that you’re ill? Doesn’t it put you on the victim status and allow you to think “it’s ok to stay like that because I’m sick?”
Does this kind of validation serve any good purposes? Does it satisfy what’s missing within you, those unmet needs, wants and desires? Does it resolve anything? Does it have any connection with your true feelings?
You desire way beyond just getting rid of the symptoms, don’t you? You want to stop coping with emotions and really connect to them, instantly reduce feeling stressed, depressed and anxious, find out what you really want in life, and get your life back with how you FEEL and what you DO.
With meds that simply mask your symptoms you only feel a sense of distance from your feelings. In some cases, people get into the too-much behaviors where addictions place a fog between themselves and their emotions.
Here’s the secret: inside of you there’s knowledge and understanding of what is still missing in life, but you have learned to ignore it or deny it, so you feel bad for “feeling bad”.
But hey, ALL FEELINGS ARE GOOD! Sounds strange, right?
They are all good because they serve as CTA (call to action) and as a messenger, to deliver a message to alert you that, hey something is not quite right, do something to make a difference, don’t ignore it, listen to me!
With such a CTA, all the emotions are good if the cause of the feeling is coming from precise perceptions about yourself and others. Never ignore or deny the way you feel. If you don’t open or read messages, you know what’s like: you’ll likely miss out on something important that’s meant to let you know.
It is the ACTION of attempting to cope with the feelings without understanding the meaning of them that causes more pain, frustration or too-much behavior. That is, how you “react” to the feelings, rather than “responding” to them determines if you’ll feel more positively.
Feeling depressed = unmet needs or unresolved emotions still not wrapping up with the coping mechanism (or distractor), which leads to frustration of things not working, and then eventually feeling the heaviness. When the heaviness becomes unbearable, you “check out” and lose all the motivation, enthusiasm, interest and energy to yourself and the world.
This is a CTA to implant hope and need to get started again.
Feeling anxious = feeling insecure, worrying about something, meaning fear of something bad might happen. Ask yourself: what might happen next? Then what might really happen?
SO WHAT, if your “what if” happens? When you repeat the “so what, if…happens”, do you notice that the edgy feeling starts to wind down?
Feeling stressed = feeling overwhelmed by having too much to handle and handling everything well.
Do you have to do everything all at once? What’s the problem of taking smaller baby steps to move forward? Do you lose anything when you break things down to smaller and achievable chunks? Are you sure there are no other alternatives?
Learn how to listen to your emotions and what they are trying to tell you to do. Pain or tension = message; feeling depressed, stressed or anxious = response, coping mechanism = driving force. For example, the too-much behavior as a DISTRACTOR does not really address the response to the message. Instead, it drives you further into the unresolved feelings which create more pain.
There good news is: there is a healthy way to respond to feelings and emotions!
Take a progressive process that allows you to start taking back control of what you do: first identify the true feeling (i.e. give yourself the permission to feel what you truly are experiencing), second understand the root cause (i.e. why you’re feeling the way you feel), and third find a healthy way to respond to the feelings and meet the needs (i.e. identify the best alternative to reconnect yourself with the positive feelings).
Remember that what serves no purpose, will never meet the purpose…