You Don't Have to Choose Joy

"Choose Happiness"

How many times have you read or seen something that suggested our negative emotions and feelings have no place in this life? 

That feeling your feelings, outside of the bright and sunny, is just a waste of time?

That not only are you down in the dumps, but those emotions make you a less than fabulous  person for not choosing better?

Now don't get me wrong. I want to be happy and joyful and positive as much as possible. I am also well aware I live a very privileged life and there are conditions far worse than the minute problems I have faced. And I really don't enjoy having a bad day. However, at the same time I am well aware that bottling up our bad feelings and "throwing them away" (only for them to explode all over ourselves at a later time) doesn't seem like a good idea.

So here is my conclusion:

Everyone has a right to a bad mood, bad day, bad week...

Everyone has problems-big or small-that are worthy of having a full range of emotions over and reaction that is authentic and true to that person.

Everyone can and should have a good cry every once in a while (whether there are physical tears or not.)

Allowing ourselves to feel all of our feelings is a very basic, boring (note: not necessarily easy) form of self-care.

I'm not saying we should allow ourselves to dwell on the negative forever and ever. I just think we should give these less desirable emotions the space and room they deserve instead of trying to stuff them down or my least favorite phrase, "suck it up" or my most hated words ever said "man up."

So yes, I will always believe that we should always choose to chase joy when we can...

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... but not at the expense of allowing ourselves to feel. Deeply. Widely. Thoroughly. All the things.

After all, what is the human experience without a wide range of emotions? 

When was the last time you truly allowed yourself to feel your less desirable feelings? Did you feel better bottling them up or allowing them be?

Amanda is an anti-diet dietitian and nutrition therapist practicing in Bloomington, IN and virtually. If you are looking to work with a dietitian, she is currently accepting new clients. Check out her services or reach out to set your FREE discovery call today. She would love the opportunity to work with you!