Emotions are often categorized as good or bad, but they are neither. Sad, angry, and the like, are usually considered bad, while happy is considered good. Humans are wired to experience each and every emotion. When we don’t, we build walls, become callous, unforgiving, and even bitter. Each emotion, including depression, is just an experience; treat it as such.
Picture this: if we vacation, we take in all of the experience, enjoy it, and progress forward, sharing with friends, family, and social media followers. If we’re depressed, however, we often skip that feeling, sometimes becoming suicidal, and sharing with no one. However, depression is also an experience that doesn’t define us or provide an end point. Like a vacation, it’s an experience, and neither determines our value. Depression is a part of our story, one that strives for as much attention as the vacation. We should absorb the feeling, but not become the feeling.
Witness it. Allow it. Release it. Permit it to be a part of our story and allow it to help someone else. But first, we must accept it, to gain the confidence to share it.
Here’s a tip to help view emotions in a more neutral and beneficial way. Recognize they are neither good nor bad, but helpful alarms that provide insight into our true feelings. Viewing emotions as an alarm is helpful in determining the work needed to become a mentally and emotionally healthier individual. Not taking emotions personally, but using the information they provide, could make the difference between being healthy and unhealthy. We cannot become our true selves without the correct perspective. The things we cannot change require us to change our perspectives.
I challenge you to change the way you view emotions and feelings to help you become the best version of you.
Brandie Jones, MMFT
Brandie Jones is a Marriage & Family Therapist at Lantern Lane Farm Counseling Center.