I know that you may be thinking... "no, not YOU. The one who's always talking about a positive mindset, unshakable joy and living a life around your passion." But it's true.
The other night I cried my eyes out.
You see, the thing about living a life centered around joy, passion and fulfillment is that it involves tears. It involves pain and suffering because like you, I'm human. Suffering in this life is unavoidable.
Despite living a life I love, doing work that lights up my soul, I still get punched in the gut from time to time... I still feel sadness, I still feel frustration.
The difference is that I accept it into my life with open arms, because if there's anything I've learned from my time on this earth is that pain, suffering and sadness truly push you to grow. They force you to be introspective, to explore your natural human emotions and to see what's not working. To question life, the people that are in it and the work that you're doing.
The difference between me now and me then? I embrace it. I welcome it. I feel it.
And I move on from it.
I'm a very deep and reflective person, and that makes me more susceptible to a wide range of emotions at any given time. Whether you're willing to admit it or not, I'd venture to guess that there's a very vulnerable and sensitive soul buried beneath the tough, strong or professional masks that you wear every day.
This front that you put out to the world... the one that says "I never cry. I'm not sensitive. I'm not emotional." It doesn't serve you, because you are sensitive and you are emotional... you're human. And all humans cry.
Resisting your feelings and emotions does not serve you!
It leads to stress, sickness, disease, broken relationships, fits of rage and bouts of deep, dark depression. Anyone who's experienced any of the above knows that these are simply no good... and when you're in the habit of NOT DEALING, it's near impossible to escape.
Being the emotional beings that we are, we're prone to a wide variety of feelings. When you can learn to just accept them as what they are -- a temporary experience or reaction -- then you're no longer captive to them.
You don't get depressed. You don't hold grudges. You don't stuff your feelings deep down until your stomach starts bleeding and you break out in hives.
You feel them. You tend to your needs in that moment. You process. You release.
And? You are capable of living a life of unshakable joy. Because when you get punched in the gut, hurt or simply feel a little off, you have the tools to bounce back (if you even fall down).
How to Accept, Deal With and Release Your Emotions
Let. It. Out.
Do not let a single thing fester, ever.
If someone is cruel to you, makes you angry, does something hurtful or crosses boundaries, let them know. Write about it in your journal. Vent to your friends and family. Scream into a pillow.
If a situation brings up emotions for you, express them. Let people know that you're not feeling it and why. Honor yourself and your emotions. Respond accordingly.
Know the difference between expressing and dwelling.
Expressing is outing your feelings or emotions. It's telling the world, the people around you, or even yourself that, hey, I'm feeling this right now. And it's okay. It's recognition and release in one fell swoop.
Dwelling on the other hand, that is rehashing, allowing emotions to fester, bringing up the past over and over again and happily forming a grudge. Grudges simply do not serve anyone. They don't make amends for the harm done to you and they don't make you feel anything but awful. Don't go there.
There is nothing in this worthy of holding a grudge or harboring negative feelings. Think about it... is there anything that someone's done to you that's worth giving up your life for? Getting a disease or losing everything over? No.
Stop being so prideful.
I don't care if you're running a successful company, have a rep for being the "coolest" one on the block or if you're a guy, get over yourself. You're a human being and we are all designed to feel anger, sadness and everything in between. We all cry and anyone who claims otherwise is either a liar or a major fester-pot of pent up emotions.
If you are sad, cry. If you are angry, scream. If you are happy, laugh.
It's natural, it's what you're feeling, so be human and just go with it.
Let it go!
In the same vein as not dwelling, you have to let these feelings pass naturally. If you feel sadness... cry. But when you're done (and you will know that natural point at which it's passed), stop.
Don't encourage the emotion to linger through sad songs, depressing movies or the like. Don't remind yourself over and over why you started crying in the first place... just let it run it's course and pass naturally.
And you do know that point... that moment when you just finally stop crying, the anger subsides or the frustration breaks. Make the conscious choice to leave it at that or to take healthy, positive measure to push through it.
Go for a walk, talk to a good friend, read a good book. Don't avoid! But do take steps to push through it when you've spend the necessary time feeling and processing.
Take Action Now!
Think of the last time you avoided or ignored your emotions. How did that feel? How did your body physically respond? Is there anything you're holding onto right now that you would be better off processing and releasing?
Share with me one way you'll commit to honoring, processing and releasing your emotions.
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to download her free guide, "The Unexpected Trick to Transforming Your Life With ONE Single Question."
For more by Stephenie Zamora, click here.