Self Improvement

Lessons From a Therapist: It’s Okay to Be Not Okay

posted on February 18, 2013 | by Amanda Holstein

Lessons From a Therapist: It’s Okay to Be Not Okay

One of the first things I tell myself when I’m in a bad mood or something is frustrating me is, “It’s okay to be not okay.” I realized for most of my life whenever I was in a bad mood, I felt pressure to get out of it and be happy as quickly as possible. And guess what? That only made it worse. I would basically say things like “something’s wrong with you” or “you shouldn’t feel this way” and that just added a whole new layer of negativity to the bad feelings I was already experiencing.

Once I started realizing there was nothing wrong with being in a bad mood, even if I didn’t know exactly what caused it, part of me could actually begin to relax a little. I could learn to accept having moments of unhappiness, which are completely normal, and allow myself to process the feelings and get through them on my own time. Forcing yourself to be happy, or to feel any emotion for that matter, never works. Just as you listen to your body when you’re tired or hungry, you need to listen to your brain when you’re not happy and allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling.

What’s a mantra you tell yourself when you’re going through a difficult time?