Stress. This is an emotion that I feel like I haven’t felt in a really long time. But the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s not that I haven’t been feeling it – it’s that I’ve been distracting myself from it before it gets to a breaking point. I am known to put a lot of stress upon myself and the moment I feel it coming on, I suppress it by distracting myself with things I enjoy like watching YouTube videos. This then becomes a vicious cycle in which while watching videos make me feel better in the short term, it makes me even more stressed in the long term because I’m not spending my time productively.
Ironically, while writing this blog post, I came across the same issue because this is a hard topic for me to talk about. I wasn’t sure what I was comfortable sharing and it started to stress me out so I ended up procrastinating by doing other things, like watching TV shows, instead of writing this post.
Quite honestly, I’m still not sure what exactly this post will be about. I was hoping that by reflecting on the way I’ve been dealing with my emotions, I could help others realize they aren’t alone in trying to figure out how to deal with their own emotions either.
Thinking back to the way I used to manage uncomfortable emotions, whether it be sadness, anger, embarrassment, shame, or stress, I tend to push those feelings away and stash them in the back of my mind. I didn’t want to feel those emotions because they were unpleasant and painful. I think part of it is that I’m trying to think less negatively, so not only do I push away those thoughts, I also end up pushing away all the negative emotions that come with it. A lot of factors will obviously contribute to the habits I created in dealing with my negative emotions, but one thing is for sure – what I’m doing is not healthy. And I know it. But just like any other bad habits, they take time and effort to break.
Reading through this Lifehack article about how to handle negative emotions (Yes I googled this.), I realize my biggest obstacle is accepting the emotion. Accepting it for what it is and then moving on. My instinct is to suppress any negative feelings I have so I don’t have the chance to accept that this is just how I feel right now. Then the more I try to push those feelings away, the more I end up thinking about it.
I’m going to set a goal for myself for the month of November: everytime I start to feel myself push away any negative thoughts or feelings, I’m going to consciously stop myself, tell myself that it is OKAY to feel how I’m feeling, and then think of a productive solution to change things around.
I will try and report back a month later to see how this experiment worked!