Updated: Aug 1, 2020
Think back to one of those days where you felt sad, low, or vulnerable. When you were visibly not doing good, and someone says, “are you ok?”. Now, the rational and sensible thing to do would be to be honest. To say no, explain why and allow support to happen. So why don’t we? So many of us would rather just say we’re fine to avoid showing our emotional vulnerability or of making our concerns or doubts a reality. We feel by projecting them into the universe that they will either come true or be bitterly dismissed. So, we just stay quiet.
Sound at all familiar? Then keep reading. If not, then keep reading anyway because some of your loved ones probably do this.
For those that are close to me, they know I am a very honest person. If I am in any way vexed or irritated, I do not hesitate in expressing that. If I’m mad, I kinda can’t control what my mouth says, which is a blessing and a curse because I don’t hold anything in, but it never ends well. But, if I’m sad then it’s a whole other ball game. It’s like a mental block that completely prevents me from explaining what’s wrong, so I just don’t. I do this with pretty much everyone by the way, except my best friend. What’s even weirder is that I know full well that I’ll feel better if I talk to someone. I always feel a weight lifted if I’m just honest when I’m upset, yet I still don’t. My classic is “I’m just tired”, which anyone I‘ve said this to knew it was straight up bullshit, yet I would say it anyway knowing it was a terrible lie (my mums had to put up with this for the longest btw).
The main times this would occur for me, would be when I was anxious. The smallest most insignificant thing would happen, and my brain would hit overdrive and shit would just spiral out of control. Then before I knew it, I was just holding back tears and sometimes I’d even forgotten why I was even sad - all because of some insignificant trigger.
Recently, I’ve attempted to change this and have forced myself to be more honest with my loved ones. Now if I am sad, even if I don’t want to explain why, I’ll be more honest and say “I’m just having a bad day”, then at least the other person knows and can try and comfort me in some way.
So, the next time you’re sad try these:
1 - Remember the feeling - Try to think back to when you have been honest about your negative emotions. Remember the feeling of relief? Like a weight had been lifted? Remember how the person was supportive and said "Why didn't you tell me?". Think back to that, let it encourage you be open.
2 - Be Honest - If someone is asking you if you’re ok, even if you feel like you will burst into tears, let yourself. It is not weak; it is not embarrassing. It takes strength to admit that you’re not ok and that you want some help. It’s even harder for a loved one to help you if you don’t tell them how.
3 - Feel it - Don’t suppress how you’re feeling. Feeling sad is completely ok, so if you need a duvet day with some shitty films and shitty food - do it. There is no shame in putting yourself first, learn to understand your emotions and to feel them in their entirety without any guilt.
4 - Hugs - According to Ditch the Label, hugging has been scientifically proven to make you feel better (https://www.ditchthelabel.org/the-science-of-hugging/). So, when you feel sad, just ask for a hug. If someone is offering you a hug, don’t refuse it because you want to feel alone. The psychology behind the human touch is healing, it will make you feel warm and safe, so let it happen.
So if you ever feel like holding back your feelings again, try these. See if opening up makes you feel any better - I can almost guarantee that it will.