Emotional Pain is not a Sickness

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Emotional Pain is not a Sickness

Here are some good ways to feel bad:

Give yourself permission. Most of us have been taught from the time we were little not to feel bad.  Send yourself a reverse message.  Say to yourself, out loud if you can, "It's alright for me to feel the way I do" or  "I feel bad and that is good."

Don't worry about reasons. Sometime we allow ourselves to feel bad if we have a good reason.  "Well, I feel very sad because i just found out my best friend is moving to Madagascar."  It's all right to know the reason that you are sad, and it is fine not to know.  You can feel bad for no apparent reason.  The reason doesn't matter.

Set a time limit.  If you are concerned about feeling bad, if you are worried that you need to "fix it", give yourself a little time.  Before you force yourself not to feel the way you feel, set a time limit.  Say to yourself, "I am going to give myself until Monday at noon, and if i don't feel better by the, i am going to try to fix myself."  Sometime, it is appropriate to fix a bad feeling.  There might be a a problem that needs a solution.  You can use feeling bad as your  motivation to solve the problem and sometimes it helps to just feel bad for awhile.

Tell others.  Sometimes other people - friends or family, for example - have a hard time letting you feel bad.  They might be worried that they did something wrong and they want to make it better.  They want you to quite feeling bad.   Tell them you will.  Assure them that you will feel good again, but that, for now, you just want to feel bad.

This is no joke.  Sometimes students think this idea of letting yourself feel bad is a joke, reverse psychology, or something.  It isn't.  This suggestion is based on the notion that good mental health is possible only if you allow yourself to feel the full range of your emotions.  So, have a rotten day.

Ellis, Dave.  Becoming a master student; Canadian Third Edition; p. 306. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000