“It is within your control to interpret your experiences and attach meanings that either empower or disempower you.” – Vered Kogan
In a world where we’re often encouraged to put on a brave face and seek quick fixes for our problems, I’ve realized there’s immense value in acknowledging our emotions, even the ones that challenge us. This is a journey I recently embarked on, and I’d like to share with you the insights I’ve gained, particularly when it comes to understanding the message behind these feelings.
I’ll start by saying that it’s okay to experience challenging emotions. Not only that, it’s a natural part of being human. There were moments when I questioned my right to feel down because, on the surface, I might have been luckier or more privileged than others. However, I soon realized that this perspective needs to be revised. Emotions, both the positive and the negative, are an integral part of our shared human experience.
The Hidden Wisdom of Stress
Stress, in particular, tends to get a bad reputation. We often view it as a sign of weakness or inadequacy. But what if we reframe our perspective on stress? I’ve come to see stress as a messenger trying to communicate with us. It’s like a signal that we may have too much on our plates, like attempting to take on a challenge that’s just too big to handle. Instead of brushing off or ignoring stress, I’ve learned to listen and, more importantly, to learn from it.
Unearthing the Message Behind Stress
Stress, like any other emotion, is trying to convey something essential. It’s attempting to reveal that our lives might be out of balance, our priorities may need reevaluation or changes in our daily routines. By acknowledging stress and striving to understand its message, we can take proactive steps to address the underlying causes rather than merely managing the symptoms.
The Mindset for Positive Change
Understanding the deeper meaning behind our emotions ties into a broader mindset of embracing progress over perfection and working on long-term betterment rather than quick fixes that aren’t sustainable. Addressing our emotional well-being is not just about surface changes. It’s about recognizing that external fixes are like garters; they can make you look better temporarily, but the fundamental transformation occurs from within. The internal change, like nutrition, diet, and exercise, shapes your physical well-being. You won’t need external “garters” to mask your feelings if you work on nurturing your emotional health.
The Practice of Self-Compassion
One invaluable piece of advice I’ve embraced is treating ourselves with kindness and compassion, especially when we’re going through challenging emotions. I’ve learned that just as we celebrate our successes, we should have time to acknowledge our feelings, even when they’re far from pleasant.
Self-compassion allows us to accept ourselves and create a safe space for healing and personal growth. I’ve incorporated an excellent exercise into my daily routine in October – the Self-Gratitude Pumpkin Challenge. The point of this challenge is to take a moment each morning to remind yourself of the incredible person you are. Write down one thing you’re grateful for about yourself or something you’ve done for yourself. This simple practice can be a powerful reminder of your worth and a nurturing step in the journey of self-compassion. Just as we feed our bodies with nourishing food, this exercise provides our spirits self-love and appreciation. If you haven’t joined us, consider this your invitation to practice self-gratitude for a month and journal what you’re grateful for each month. You can download our digital pumpkin and share your experiences with us.
In a world that often suggests quick fixes as the solution to everything, I’ve come to understand that our emotions, including stress, are not problems to be eliminated but messages to be understood. Embracing these feelings and diving deeper into their meaning helps with self-discovery and personal growth. So, the next time you face challenging emotions, I encourage you to listen to what your emotions are trying to tell you. You may discover a path to a more balanced and fulfilling life.