Side Effects of Avoiding Negative Emotions

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (12)

Do you typically avoid negative emotions or embrace them? Embracing the complexities of the human emotional experience is a good thing. It helps you to build a healthy relationship with yourself by validating and allowing yourself to feel. Of course, not every feeling needs to be acted upon especially if you find yourself repeating unhealthy behaviours. However, avoiding any negative emotions is an act of violence against of well-being.

I often see that people conflating emotions outside of joy as being a bad thing. In my opinion, I believe that this is undermining and dismissive. It also shames people for feeling genuine emotions over real-life situations. As much as you may do your absolute best to feel great all the time, you are going to have crappy days. That doesn’t make you a negative person. In fact, by embracing your feelings and accepting them is a sign of emotional maturity. It demonstrates that you are validating your emotional experience.

Problem with emotional avoidance:

  • The feelings you suppress come out later in life as unaddressed pain
  • You are not practising self-care and self-love
  • You may find yourself experiencing random outburst of sadness
  • You may subconsciously project your negative feelings onto others
  • You may be avoiding finding solutions  to your problems

When you approach negative feelings with ‘stay positive’ rhetoric, you end up preventing yourself from feeling your feelings. Behind your emotions may be unaddressed pain that manifests emotions like sadness, anger, etc. When you don’t allow yourself to uncover the truth behind your feelings, thoughts, and actions, you distract yourself from doing necessary healing work.

Additionally, I am a firm believer that you can’t fool the universe. What you avoid will always find a way to confront you eventually. Your negative feelings can manifest in the people you attract, the situations you find yourself in and so forth. Wouldn’t you rather deal with the temporary discomfort of your feelings instead of taking months/ years to clean up the damage caused by suppressing your feelings? I would choose the first option!

Here are some tips on how to deal with emotional avoidance:

  • Learn to hold yourself when feeling low- What would you say to a child who’s feeling low? You wouldn’t shut them down by saying ‘stay positive’ (well I hope not). You would try to affirm them maybe by saying that ‘it’s okay to be sad, but things will be okay’. Learn to comfort yourself just like you would to a child and assure yourself that things are going to be okay.
  • Breathe- Do some breathing techniques to calm yourself down. You could try the 4-7-8 breathing rule or any other ones that you may find useful.
  • Journal- Write about how you are feeling. Focus on writing down the situation and emotions that cropped up for you. Then write down what methods you can try to make yourself feel better at the moment.
  • Remind yourself of your values- If you haven’t already, write down your values. Are your actions/emotions currently in alignment with the type of person you want to be? This helps you to put things into perspective and reminds you that in the longer-term certain emotions shall pass.

Life comes in cycles. We must become comfortable in seeing our life that way. Some days are harder than others but that’s life. We truly need to have moments of sadness so we can understand and appreciate life and its joys. Acceptance is where you become emotionally healthy and therefore practice self-validation.

A question to you:

Do you avoid negative emotions or embrace them?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

Much Love, Ash xx

FEAR OF MISSING OUT: SOCIAL MEDIA WOES

Copy of The ugly truth about self love (8)

 

Have you ever been on social media and saw people having the time of their lives and felt like you were missing out? The fear of missing out aka (FOMO), often derives from feeling like others are experiencing better things than you are. It has become more prevalent in the age of social media where you are constantly paraded with the highlights of other people’s lives.

Social media exacerbates this feeling of missing out. It leads people to compare their ordinary lives to others online who they perceive to be leading more abundant, fulfilling lives. Sites like Instagram and Facebook place emphasis on the reel highlights of someone’s life. People use it as a tool to brag about all the amazing things they are doing, intentionally leaving out all the very normal things that most people experience. This creates space for people to feel envious and dissatisfied with their own life’s.

You suffer from FOMO if you do or feel any of the following:

 

  • Feeling like everyone is having more fun, and experiencing more joy than you
  • Overcompensating by posting content to make you feel better about your life and to convince others that you have it all together
  • Constantly watching what other people are doing and keeping tabs to feel like we are a part of the action
  • Feeling pressured to be visible on social media
  • Feeling like no one can relate their struggles

This fear of missing out can harm people’s self-esteem. It can make us feel like we are not good enough and unfortunate in comparison. The constant wave of picturesque pictures and celebratory statuses can make us ungrateful for the life that we lead.

I think in some way many of us fear missing out. If you are a content creator, the pressure to be constantly visible and produce content can keep us in a constant hamster wheel. I know I’ve felt like I can’t take a social media break or that I must engage in certain conversations in fear of missing my window of opportunity to promote my brand. As humans, we have a desire to be valued and loved. Experiencing joy is fundamental for self-preservation and being a part of something makes us feel less lonely. However, the feeling of missing out leads us to seek validation in unhealthy ways by constantly ‘performing’ online. It brings us back to the very school-like dynamics of feeling left out and trying to fit in.

The reality is even if you were able to acquire the things you envy from others (i.e. a relationship, a great social life or material success), it doesn’t guarantee that your life will be more fulfilled. You may end up in a loving relationship but may not be enough because you lack self confidence. Also, things aren’t always what it seems online. There have been times when I posted myself going out but wasn’t feeling that great about myself. You can’t make assumptions based on what you see online.

If you are suffering from FOMO I want you to remember this: 

People are online showing their reel highlights. We all have them. Comparing ourselves to other people’s highlights is unfair and unkind. You never know what others are going through. All that matters are that your life is in alignment with what you envision for it.

Remember, you get to live life on your terms. Your life is incomparable to others and you slay in your own lane. Nothing can fill a void that’s within you other than you. Find peace and joy within your own life and make a declaration that other people’s lives will not disrupt that peace.

Now over to you! Questions for you: 

Do you suffer from FOMO?

What are your thoughts?

Much love, Ash xx

 

Copyright © 2019 AshAlves All Rights Reserved