Embracing Your Emotions: Why It’s Okay to Feel and Express Your Feelings
As human beings, we experience a wide range of emotions, from happiness and joy to sadness and anger. However, society often tells us that certain emotions are acceptable while others are not. We may feel pressure to suppress our feelings or put on a brave face even when we're struggling. However, embracing your emotions and allowing yourself to feel and express your feelings can lead to greater emotional well-being and a more fulfilling life.
Please note that in this article, there are references to gender stereotypes. The writer does not believe in the stereotypes written, she supports everyone in however they wish to be.
Please also note that emotions will be categorized into positive and negative in this article purely for the sake of differentiating between happiness and sadness quickly and efficiently. No emotion is better than another, they are all just emotions.
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Emotions Are Normal
Feeling a range of emotions is a normal part of being human. It's important to remember that everyone experiences emotions, and there is no “right” or “wrong” way to feel. By embracing your emotions, you can better understand yourself and your experiences.
The Most Common “Wrong” Feelings
Both men and women are taught to suppress certain emotions. Why? Because society has viewed them as wrong in the past, and certain individuals with rather loud voices may still view them as wrong. The fact is that we should be able to share all our emotions, right or wrong.
Men's Biggest “No-No” Emotion
Perhaps the biggest “unacceptable” emotion for men, that still has an impact on our society is the feeling of sadness. This comes from the belief that men must be the strong protector, that they must only provide for their families and be constantly ready to go to war for their families. Sadness was seen as a sign of weakness, but it shouldn't be.
So how do we change this? Be there for the men in your life. Unfortunately, it is not something we can change overnight, clearly. But providing support and safe spaces is the way to bring about new generations of humans who can all show sadness and cry freely.
Women's Biggest “No-No” Emotions
Anger. Women are not allowed to get upset at men, for they are then either on their period or deranged. Women were taught that they were beneath men, that they belong only in the kitchen, and never to question authority. Nowadays, women have taken back their human rights, they are independent and have high-paying jobs, yet when they question men they are still seen as aggressive and out of place.
So how do we change this? Stop telling women to suppress their anger and seek out why they are acting this way. Find out the root of the issue and help them fix that problem. Nine times out of ten it's a small issue that has been pushed to the side time and time again because of their gender, perceived lack of authority or their emotions.
Emotional Suppression Can Be Harmful
When we suppress our emotions, we can experience negative consequences, both physical and emotional. Emotions that are not dealt with can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. By allowing yourself to feel and express your emotions, you can release pent-up feelings and improve your mental health.
Emotional Damage From Suppression
When we are taught to bottle our emotions up, we are teaching ourselves to not speak out when something doesn't feel right, when we don't want to do something or when our feelings are hurt. We are teaching ourselves to be the people pleasers and to always do what others think best.
Bottling up our emotions can lead to explosive emotions that are bigger – sadness turns to depression, annoyance turns to anger and hurt turns to betrayal. On top of that, bottling your emotions teaches your subconscious that no one is there for you, and that you have to cope with everything on your own, which should never be the case.
Authenticity Promotes Connection
When we express our emotions authentically, we can cultivate deeper connections with others. When we share our experiences, we allow others to see us as we truly are, which can lead to greater empathy and understanding.
How Connections Work Through Emotions
When someone hurts your feelings and you tell them, it allows the person to understand your boundaries and limits better. Telling someone your feelings towards certain events helps them gain insight into what makes you tick and how you feel about certain situations.
When a situation makes you stressed and anxious or even sad, telling your loved one can open up a new level of communication you may not have had before. Letting a loved one help you through a situation or letting them find a solution with you can give you a deeper connection, it can help with their compassion and empathy towards you and the feeling of security that you feel from their guidance.
Emotions Can Be a Source of Strength
When we allow ourselves to feel our emotions, we can use them as a source of strength. Emotions can motivate us to take action, stand up for ourselves and others, and make positive changes in our lives.
Big Emotions Mean Big Changes
You would be more inclined to say yes to someone asking to marry you if you are feeling intense love and closeness towards them than to say yes to someone you see as a neutral acquaintance, hence, big emotion for a big event.
You would be more likely to change jobs and take a pay cut if it meant fulfilling your life goal than a job that didn't make your soul happy.
You are much more likely to make a big life-changing decision if your emotions are big because of that decision. Just like you are much more likely to avoid certain decisions and in turn results and consequences if they cause you large emotions of sadness and stress.
Emotional Intelligence Is Key
Embracing your emotions and expressing them in a healthy way can lead to greater emotional intelligence. When we are in touch with our emotions, we can better regulate them and make more informed decisions. Emotional intelligence can lead to greater success in all areas of life, including work, relationships, and personal growth.
How To Voice Large Emotions
Embracing your emotions works for both the good – happiness and joy, and the bad – sadness and anxiety. There is a better way and a not-so-good way to go about expressing any emotion.
For example, if you won a game against someone else, the worse way to show your joy is through gloating, through putting down the other person and dancing a-top the tables. The better way is to show your happiness through your face, encourage the other to keep trying and do a little happy dance within yourself.
If your emotions put someone else in a big negative emotion, chances are you went about it in a not-so-good way. We can voice every emotion with the grace of announcing a new baby into the world.
Voicing “Negative” Emotions
Voicing sadness, depression, anxiety and anger are all the same. There is a not-so-good way and a better way. If you are angry at a situation, you can rant and rave and scream so that no one understands what has upset you, or you can voice to those around you that you are angry or annoyed, that you are going to need a few minutes to calm yourself and then you will be back to talk about why you got angry and how to avoid the situation becoming that way again.
Now don't get me wrong, screaming and ranting can be a great way to get through your emotions, and sometimes you may need a really good scream to help your body release the intense emotion, but the more you seek to go about voicing your emotions in the better way, the more progress you will make with those around you.
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