Happy is the new coffee. Everyday, we see more and more articles offering tips to be happier. And while that might help sometimes, I think,
We are almost deshumanizing happiness.
I’ve read about tons of ways to hack yourself into happiness, and to be fair, really few of them might even work.
I disagree with the idea that we have negative emotions, that we eventually need to fight against. Is God that mean, to make us able to feel unnecessary and “negative” emotions?
All emotions are actually nothing but healthy, if we actually listen to them.
Let’s take fear for example. Fear mainly come from the unknown. When we fear something, it’s likely our mind telling us, that we need to know more about something. If you know something, why fear it?
What about Sadness? Let’s imagine that we loose someone, and nothing change in our emotions. If you ask me, that would be a terrible thing. Feeling sad about something, shows we wish it was different. It means, something had value for us.
I remember a friend from years ago. He was going through a breakup and he was terribly sad about it. In an attempt to help him, I was giving him the advice, to move on and go on with his life, when he asked me:
What value do we give things, if we just move on from them in the next minute?
Hearing that was a game changer to me. Even anger is a very needed emotion, that shouldn’t be followed by shame. Some situations require our anger, to better things. This is a way for our mind to express how much we don’t marry something.
All emotions are actually triggered by a situation that call for them. We need all those emotions to acknowledge something about the situation that called for them.
Everything can’t and shouldn’t make us happy.
So why obsess about happiness every other day?
The problem is , we tend to either be overwhelmed or get too comfortable with our emotions. Then we let them take over everything. When our emotions reach a point where they don’t empower us to move and do better, then it starts to be a problem.
If you let your anger overwhelm you, then it ends up consuming you and even the ones around you. Happiness can also make us so content and confortable that we might just stay where we are.
Instead of chasing happiness like it’s all that makes life, here are some ways to get a better deal from our emotions, when they don’t empower us.
1. Acknowledge and accept the emotion first.
You can’t do nothing about nothing if you don’t acknowledge there is something. Feel the emotion, and let yourself feel it. Get comfortable with the inconfort.
2. Understand it’s there to tell you something.
All emotions are triggered by something. Understand how you got there. Keep asking yourself WHY, till you get to the very basic level of the root cause.
3. Actually do something about the cause.
Once you know why, approach things with honesty towards yourself. Act on the cause. And it’s surprisingly easier than we often think it would be. When we do that, we gain back control over what’s next. You’re not controlled by the emotion anymore. You now use it as guiding tool.
4. Learn for the future
Learn from your experiences with your emotions. What triggered the emotion? How confortable are you with it? How welcoming are you towards it? What action or attitude did it require you to have? What was the outcome? What can you do better for yourself in the future?
5. Remember that:
Emotions are part of us. They give essence and meaning to life. Just as we can’t run from our shadows, we can’t run from our emotions. Welcoming them can be a way to make life better for ourselves.
While emotions are much more than what is talked about in the post, I hope this brings a new perspective to dealing with them.
What do you think? What are some thoughts you had in the past regarding your emotions?