Friday, January 26, 2018

Honoring Your Feelings VS Positivity: How To Find A Balance

During the past few years, positive thinking has become a hype. And there are some very good reasons for that. Positive thinking makes you more cheerful, helps you to appreciate the good things in your life and makes you more likely to take new opportunities.

However, I believe there's also a downside to society's new obsession with positivity. You'll know what I'm talking about if you've ever been through a really difficult time and someone told you: “Why don't you just think positive?” or worse, “Just get over it.” Of course such comments aren't helpful at all. Rather, their underlying message is that your emotions are inconvenient and should just be ignored.

Because we were told that we should stay happy all the time, many of us started seeing negative emotions as “bad.” As a result, we ignore our sadness or fear, getting lost in all kinds of distractions so we don't have to deal with our deeper issues.

Yet feeling sad, tired or scared is just a normal part of human life. There's no need to be afraid of these completely natural emotions. For us humans, it's almost impossible to always be happy. And when you feel guilty for not being positive all the time, you just make yourself feel worse!

On the other hand, when you always let your negative feelings run free, they'll pull you down and make harder to be happy. That's why it's important to find a balance.

That means being as positive as possible when you can. But at the same time it means noticing when you feel miserable, so you can honor your feelings, heal them and release them.

Here are some steps that can help you create more balance between positivity and honoring your darker feelings. Of course everyone has a different journey, so this is not the only way to go about it. But these tips can inspire you to to find a routine that works for you.

Frequently spend some time with yourself, without distractions

To become more in touch with your genuine feelings, it is important to pay attention to them. But out in the modern world, there are millions of other things that call for your attention every minute! That's why, to honor your true feelings, it is important to take some time for yourself to get to know them. I would recommend doing this a few times a week, or maybe every day, depending on your schedule.

When you're alone, just take some time to notice how you feel. Do you feel tired? Sad? Scared? Or maybe you're doing just fine? Whatever it is, just pay attention to it. You can do this through meditation, or you can just sit down and think about it. You can also write your feelings down in a journal.

At first spending time alone might be confronting for you, because you suddenly can't escape your uncomfortable feelings anymore. Maybe you even feel a bit scared to sit in a silent room, all by yourself. That's okay. Be compassionate with yourself. You're already brave for setting the intention to connect with your feelings at all! Honoring your negative feelings also means honoring your fear of them.

After a while you will find that the times by yourself will improve your mood during the rest of the day. You may feel more connected with yourself, which makes you less likely to be angry.

However, if you find that spending time alone brings up some disturbing memories and you don't know how to deal with it, don't be afraid to find a professional therapist to help you. It's their job to help people heal their emotions. You don't need to do everything all alone!

Find an outlet

Sometimes it can help to express your feelings so you can get them out of your system. There are many different ways to do this. One of my favorite ways is journalling. I've been journaling since I was young to deal with anxiety. It helps because you take the dark thoughts out of your head for a while and put them onto the paper. That makes it easier to look at your thoughts with a clear mind and, eventually, to let them go.

Sometimes, while writing things out, you also find out new things about yourself that were hidden somewhere in a corner of your mind. These insights can help to release your emotions, because you suddenly understand where they came from or how to heal them.

If you're afraid of sending out negative energy by writing down your emotions, please don't worry about it. You can simply put a crystal on your journal later to purify it. Clear quartz or smokey quartz are very suitable for this, but really any crystal will work just fine.

I also stick a note to the first page of my journal saying: “May all positivity in this journal be magnified, and all negativity transformed to light.” Some people also like to rip the piece of paper they wrote on to shreds to symbolically release the emotions.

If you don't like to write, another great outlet for your feelings is drawing or painting. Simply think about your feelings. Do they look like something specific in your mind? Maybe they are black and dark, or red and fiery. It doesn't matter: just draw what they feel like. It doesn't have to be beautiful or high quality art! As long as it helps you to express yourself.

When you become more used to expressing your feelings in this way, you might even be able to turn them into art one day. Maybe you can write a poetry book out of your journal entries as inspiration that many people will relate to. Or maybe drawing about your feelings gives you ideas for a beautiful painting.

Talk to someone you trust

Many of us have a habit of bottling up our feelings, instead of expressing them. This can turn our unexpressed feelings into a heavy burden. Often we overthink things and our emotions make everything seem worse than it really is.

Getting those heavy feelings off our chest by talking to a friend or family member helps us to process them. And other people often have a completely different perspective on our problems. It is after talking to a friend that we realize how silly it was to worry so much!

Maybe you don't talk about your feelings often because you don't want to bother your friends. But it's important to realize that when you say "I'm fine" when really you're not, your friends will notice that you're hiding something anyway. They will simply wonder what's wrong, without really knowing how to ask you. Most of al, they'll want to help you!

After all, when you notice that one of your friends is not being their usual self, don't you wish you could help them, too? Most people are actually quite happy when you tell them your honest feelings, because then they know that you trust them. It makes us feel valuable and helpful.

Having said that, there is a difference between complaining and sharing your honest feelings. No one likes being a dump for negativity: so if you respect your friend, don't just complain and complain about everything that's wrong with your life. I mean, everyone does that once in a while, so it's okay to rant sometimes, but it shouldn't be something you do ALL the time.

Instead, if you're experiencing some heavy feelings and you want to share it with a friend, you can say something along these lines: "Hey, you know, there's something I've been struggling with, and I'd like your advice on it." That way, you let them know that you're seriously opening your heart to them and that you value their advice and opinion.

You could also say something like this: "Hey, do you ever feel like ... (insert your feeling or situation in the dots)?" Maybe your friend can relate to your experience and actually feels the same way, and has some valuable advice to share with you! Yet if they can't relate to it, you still have opened the conversation and you can explain to them why you feel this way. A true friend will listen to you with respect, appreciating that you are opening your heart to them and being vulnerable.

Your feelings are messengers 

Our feelings don't exist for no reason: feelings are signals, designed to make you pay attention to something. When you don't feel so well, often it's a sign that something in your life is not working anymore.

So when you just can't seem to get out of your funk, stop ignoring your feelings and ask them: what do you want to tell me? And then just pay attention to whatever comes up.

Maybe you're bored because your day to day routine lacks purpose and you should find more meaningful activities. Maybe you're grumpy because you don't spend enough time on self care. Maybe you feel scared because you overthink things and could use a more mindful lifestyle.

It could be anything, there's absolutely no right or wrong here. Just ask yourself what's wrong and listen to your feelings. The best part is that, when you know what's wrong, you can do something to change it. Maybe you feel guided to take a meditation class to be more relaxed, for example, or to do charity work to feel more purpose in your life.

Sometimes it takes some time to discover what exactly is wrong. That is perfectly fine: when you haven't connected to your feelings in a while it can be slow at first. But when you are simply open to their messages, you will surely receive them after a while, maybe even through an unexpected epiphany!

Think self-care instead of "positive thinking"

Positive thinking can sometimes feel like an obligation, especially when you're in a bad mood. And sometimes trying to stay positive in a bad mood is just not what you need.

That's why self care is so important. In its essential form, self care simply means: paying attention to your own needs and doing what you can to fulfill them.

This includes noticing when you don't feel so well, so you can take time to honor and process your sadness and pain.

But this also includes making the effort to cultivate healthy and positive thought patterns in your mind, especially loving thoughts about yourself.

When your primary intention is self care (rather than only positive thinking), you will often ask yourself: what do I need right now? Then just feel and listen.

Sometimes the answer is saying positive affirmations about yourself, watching your favorite show on Netflix and taking a herbal bath. Yet other days your soul will tell you to yell in a pillow or write an angry journal page stained with tears. It's all part of healing.

If you're not sure what you need at a certain moment, just try out different things and notice how it makes you feel. There is no right or wrong way to do this, everyone is different.

When you ask your body and soul what they need on a regular basis, it will be easier and easier to know how to take care of yourself. The intention is what counts.

Honor your emotional cycles 

There's days where it's easy to be happy. One those days, with just a few positive thoughts you're already in a good mood. You always find fun things to do and you're overflowing with gratitude.

But there are probably also days when you try to be positive, but it just feels blocked. When your emotions are heavy and you're very sensitive. Those are the days when it's best to spend some time with yourself, go within, and practice even more self care than usual.

So, the key is being mindful about your emotions. Notice when you are very happy, but also when you're sad. You will know that it's time for some self-reflection when you're doing something that's normally fun to you, but now it just feels boring and like you're ignoring something.

For me, I noticed after some time that my emotional cycles are for a large part in sync with the cycles of the moon. Usually, when it's the full moon, it's as if all of my fears and issues come to the surface! It's helpful to know this, because now I can do more self care when it's the full moon, and I also have a reminder that the feelings won't last forever and things will be okay again soon.

Lastly: remember that honoring your darker feelings is positivity!

To love every part of yourself, even the parts that might scare you a little bit, isn't that true self love? Doesn't that create true positivity? Imagine how unshakeable you will be if you can even accept the uncomfortable parts of yourself.

I hope these tips inspired you to cultivate a closer connection with yourself and your emotions! Do you ever spend time alone? Do you accept your feelings are they are, or do you usually try to push yourself to be more positive? 

~Mayte ଘ(੭*ˊᵕˋ)੭*


  1. Yes, you are so right, thank you for sharing! xoxo

    1. Thank you so much! ♡ I'm glad you liked it!
      - xoxo Mayte ଘ( ˊᵕˋ )ଓ