How I acknowledge and work through my negative feelings

This week I’ve been more silent than usual.

I’ve been slacking on my photos for Instagram, felt unmotivated all week to write a new blog post, and generally felt less interested in scrolling through my feed. I kept feeling this nagging sense that I needed to do something that I didn’t want to do. Honestly, I was confused. What was happening to me?

It may seem weird that a change in my social media behavior would prompt me to take a moment to reflect. But like any kind of behavior, change in one direction or another is a sign that something is happening. This could be positive, negative, or somewhere in the middle. So I asked myself: Why am I withdrawing? What’s going on in my mind? What am I feeling?

I thought about what happened on Monday. I woke up to a text from Vadim saying that there was an explosion by where he works, but he’s okay. My first text was “OMG” but then I woke up some more and texted back with, “I’m so glad you’re okay.”

Then I thought about my dad and realized he also works in the area. Turns out my dad was stuck on the bus for an hour because of what happened. I instantly felt helpless. There was nothing I could do. I couldn’t help but think about how angry, claustrophobic, frustrated, and terrified I would have felt if I was on that bus. My dad is not a man of many words or emotional expression, so I just assumed he must have felt helpless too. It’s not like any amount of explaining or expressing would have helped the situation anyway.

Luckily, everyone was safe and sound. So, time to move on, right? I thought so at first. But I couldn’t turn off the news. I usually avoid, but this time I wanted to tune in. Ignorance wasn’t bliss. Two of my family members could have been hurt or worse, if the situation was just a little different. But then I had to get a move on with my day. I headed out to dinner with my friend, Kim and had a really nice time catching up. I came home and realized I didn’t have a photo to post on Instagram for the day. I also didn’t want to post anything. I let it slide because honestly, it’s not a do-or-die situation. There also won’t be any real negative consequences, so I didn’t beat myself up over it.

But then Tuesday came and went, and still nothing. I didn’t write a blog post or take any photos. I felt like I was hiding. I wasn’t ready to be my usual self on social media again. I did wonder though, how I would have responded if I had a full-time job. Having a job to go to might have been a helpful distraction. But alas, that is not my situation. I found myself with more time to entertain my thoughts.

It is okay to admit that you are not feeling okay

Wednesday came and I forced myself to do the uncomfortable thing and admit that the incident hit me harder than I expected. It was uncomfortable because I thought, who cares? People don’t need to hear whining or complaining from me. But was I doing that? Or was I just being honest? When I remove the judgment from my thoughts, I know I was just being honest. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Once I admitted that I was working through my feelings about the incident on Monday, it felt like a huge sigh of relief. As if I was holding my breath in for the past two days and finally allowed myself to let it out.

What I’m trying to say is, things happen and sometimes they will affect you in ways that you might not expect. We cannot judge ourselves when we are not responding in the manner that seems “normal”.

Working through the feelings

Sometimes the easiest way to notice that something is happening within, is to see it in our behavioral changes- no matter how small they may be. Change is usually a good sign that something is happening.

Acknowledge it and work through it. You could talk about it with someone you trust, write about it, or simply give yourself the space to think about it. Maybe you need to take a walk, sweat it out in a gym session, or maybe you just need to curl up in your bed. These are only a few suggestions. After all, you know what works best for you.

For me, writing usually helps. Talking about it does too. And every other day, I try to clear out my mind by working out. I know that most of the time I can rely on these things. I also know that if none of these things were to work, I could go to therapy. Whatever it may be, it’s important to be honest with yourself and to work through your thoughts with as little judgment as possible.

Figuring out what works is incredibly important because negative feelings are inevitable. We are human, after all. We must remove our own judgment, acknowledge that we are experiencing negative feelings, and give ourself the space and time to work through them.

What helps you work through feelings? Do you like talking about feelings or do you tend to avoid?

I’m thinking of doing a Food for thought post every Friday where I talk about something that’s been on my mind. Would this be interesting at all? Would love to get your feedback!

Thanks for stopping by. See you in my next post!

Sophie 🙂