Embrace The Pain: How Bad Feelings Can Help Guide You

Are you in touch with your emotions? Some people think that positive psychology is about being happy all the time—pippy skippy and prancing merrily through life. 

Well, let me tell you that this is the furthest thing from the truth.

The most important lesson in positive psychology, and to retrain your brain, is to be in touch with your emotions. 

I'm an emotional person. I get angry and cry sometimes, not often, but I can allow myself to. But recently, I've had so many feelings bottled up inside of me. I didn't let anyone else see, except for some of the closest people to me. And I had no idea what to do with all of these emotions, or feelings. I felt as if I were going crazy. 

When I told all this to my good friend and coach, Matt LaBosco, I could almost hear him grinning over the phone.

“Sandy, I'm so excited for you. This is such a breakthrough.”

He told me that it is okay to be human, and to feel these emotions. By feeling these emotions, you're able to 'take the temperature' on your own life. Am I acting in my best interests? Am I doing what's right for me?

Think of your mood like a thermometer—when you're feeling good, and free, or inspired, or joyful, things are great. But when you're feeling overwhelmed, or unhappy, or frustrated and angry, this is your brain's way of telling you that things aren't exactly right. You might have fallen off of sync with your trajectory, you might be making choices that aren't in your best interests. Your brain will begin to react, rebel, against these decisions, and usually this comes about by feeling bad

But feeling bad is a good sign. Realizing that you're feeling bad is the equivalent to taking your temperature, noticing that you're running a fever. 

Mental health and physical health aren't all that different—if you're not well mentally, it helps to take it easy, care for yourself, get plenty of sleep and take care of your body. But finding your authentic why, and being completely in tune with your emotions, is a little bit different.

This will require you to dig deep. Act as a an observer of your own brain and body. 

Own those emotions. 

I am feeling sad, and this is a human thing to feel.

It's absolutely normal that I feel jealous that someone else was selected for the role and not me, after I've worked so hard for it.

It's normal to be angry at my husband. I feel like I'm constantly doing the dishes and the housework! Can't he pitch in a little?

I'm feeling insecure. I feel as if I'm not in the place I want to be in life. I am frustrated, and uncertain with the future.

Ride with these emotions, for ninety seconds. You are human. You're allowed to feel them. Your brain and body are literally programmed to process these situations as emotions in this way. Ride with them, accept them, and observe them for ninety seconds.

You realize how I say observe them, right? Because these emotions aren't part of you—like a cold, they are only temporarily passing through you. And it's your job to understand them, realize what they're doing here and what they're pointing out to you.

The good news is that your intuition—when it is coming from a place of love and power, not fear—always knows the right move to make next. Don't confuse intuition with impulse—impulse might feel greedy, but intuition always feels like a gentle nudge. A wise, guiding light showing you the way. 

The right move will be shown to you—even if it's hard, or scary. You'll feel a sense of enlightenment and power. When you're feeding yourself from a place of love, gratitude, and acceptance, you can continue to move forward. And those around you will benefit.

Remember—you are not responsible for the happiness of others, only your own.

Much love and joy

~ SJW