Tuesday, February 14, 2017

When Valentine's Day isn't all sunshine and roses....

Valentine's Day is full of love, happiness and romance....but not for everyone. This "hallmark
 holiday" can trigger stress, frustration and all kinds of negative emotions that make us want to hide from our feelings, emotions and pain.

As a therapist, I help people focus on the positive and the good in their lives everyday. I encourage gratitude and mindfulness daily practices like Fill Your BAG Happy  and teach skills to re-frame negative thoughts and interpretations to more positive and realistic ones.

That being said, you would think that I would tell you that to be happy and healthy, you should eliminate or avoid emotional pain or negative feelings. That would make sense, right?

Well, I’m actually going to tell you the opposite

Avoiding emotional pain and building those emotional walls can often do more harm than good. Understanding and accepting life in all of its' imperfect beauty offers us a healthier way to experience life. 

If you are someone who finds this day difficult, know you are not alone. Many people feel like you do. Did you know that much of our suffering is caused by our efforts to get away from emotional pain and less from the original feelings themselves? Avoiding negative emotions may not be as healthy as you think. In the book Radical Acceptance:Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha, Tara Brach asked
"What would it be like if I could accept life--accept this moment--exactly as it is?"
In answering this question, keep in mind that all emotions have a role to play in our lives, even those that don't feel good at the moment. It can be okay (and even healthy) to allow yourself to experience negative emotions. An important thing to remember is that those emotions do not define you. What you are feeling and who you are, are different. Feeling negative emotions and practicing self-compassion and care are keys to embracing and accepting life as it is with it's ups and it's downs.

To learn more about benefits of negative emotions, continue reading my latest article "5 Reasons We Shouldn't Avoid Emotional Pain" in EveryDayPower Blog HERE!