The general advice we receive when we are down is to stop being sad and be happy instead. Or worse, go on a road trip or something. What ends up happening instead is even if you gain momentary pleasure on the trip at some point, you’re going to be miserable throughout the trip.
Why does that happen?
Happiness is an emotion. A positive one. And it happens on its own. You’re happy when you’re happy. Like all emotions, it’s temporary in nature. But, the more you try to suppress your negative emotions, the more depressive symptoms you exhibit.
If you have to try to be cool, you will never be cool. If you have to try to be happy, then you will never be happy. Maybe the problem these days is people are just trying too hard.Mark Manson
The thing with emotions is that they come and go. When you are angry. You experience the anger. You write an angry tweet or fumble with your anger and after a while it’s gone.
But you cannot always act on your emotions. When you are angry at your professor, you can’t go and break his neck. Our actions can have far greater consequences. And, some consequences that we will have to live with the rest of our lives.
What you can do instead is
- Understand the emotion you are feeling whether it is sadness, disgust or anger.
- Acknowledge it but don’t act on it.
- Don’t try to push it away. Just acknowledge that you are feeling a certain way. Yes, you are sad. And, It’s okay.
Emotions come by quickly and they’re there until they are gone. You can’t go on chasing certain emotion. That will make you more miserable. The more you try to push away your emotions, the more bottled up they become. The societal pressure of being happy is only making you depressed. If you’re not happy then you’re not. Accept it.
When most people seek happiness, they are actually seeking pleasure: good food, more sex, more time for TV and movies, a new car, parties with friends, full body massages, losing 10 pounds, becoming more popular, and so on.Mark Manson
The thing is our negative emotions are equally important in our lives as the positive ones. They are indicating that something is not right and there is something we need to fix.
Accept yourself. You are feeling whatever you are feeling. It happened. The way you are feeling may not be in your hands. But you can still take control over your actions until those feelings are gone.