Have you ever felt sad, but were unsure why? You really wanted to be happy, yet you couldn’t quite get there. Well, that was the situation with one of my friends recently. All in all, life was great. The job was going well and the family was healthy, yet there seemed to be this cloud of sadness looming above. There didn’t appear to be any real reason for it, yet it certainly turned blue skies grey.
Upon talking about it further, we came to the conclusion that there was an underlying issue for the sadness and it had to deal with the fact is, that while it may feel like a not-so-pleasant emotion, being sad did actually serve a purpose. When my friend was sad, it drew attention to her and made everyone in his life actively rally around to provide support and love in an effort to remove the sadness. My friend wanted and needed that quality of embrace from those closest to her, and her sad state brought it on full force. In this way, the sadness helped fill the void my friend was most definitely feeling.
This is true for most any emotion that we experience, even when we may not initially understand why. Upon further inspection, further probing, you will better understand what is making you feel that way. The next step then is to find a way to get that same response, but in a more positive way so that you don’t always feel like you’re struggling.
For example, many people wonder why they have such a hard time losing weight. They blame it on their willpower or pure love of food. However, if they took the time to more closely examine their food-related struggles, they may notice that eating helps them pass the time when they’re bored, it makes it possible to stuff their emotions deep down inside when they feel too intense, or it’s a way to keep their hands busy if they’re feeling anxious or scared.
Recognizing these emotions, as well as the not-so-healthy behaviors you’re engaging in to deal with them, is the first step. From there, the next priority is finding newer, more positive ways to get the same effect, thereby easing the struggle because you’ve removed the hurdle that is preventing you from becoming the person you want to be.
Sticking with the weight loss example, if you tend to eat when you’re bored, ask yourself what else you can do when you feel restless and don’t have anything to occupy your time. Could you call a friend and pass time that way? Take up a new hobby? Join a local group or organization to keep you busy on nights when you typically find it hard to avoid the kitchen?
By figuring out what purpose your emotion is serving and coming up with ways that you can achieve the same result but in a better way, you’ll actually resolve your feelings without creating more issues for yourself. You’ll be able to advance in a positive, healthy manner which provides more benefits to you physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
So when you’re feeling something that isn’t pleasant, take the time to decipher what emotion it is and what benefit you draw from it. From there, come up with alternative ways to feel better by taking actions that satisfy the same purpose but in a more positive way. This will help you become the person you want to be without having to struggle to do it. That’s a good end result if you ask me.