At Viva we pride ourselves on being stigma fighters and advocating for a culture and society that prioritizes everyone’s mental health and wellness. This often means challenging mental health myths. Here is a common mental health myth people often internalize…
“My feelings don’t matter.”
This is one of the most disruptive lies that has been passed down through generations. As a therapist, I’ve seen how it has negatively impacted mental health tremendously. Think about it, how would one go about addressing any concerns you have if you can’t give yourself the freedom to acknowledge your honest feelings. How can you address a problem if you ignore the emotion underneath it?!
Our emotions always matter. ALWAYS. Feelings offer up important information that can help us decide the next steps to take in our lives. They can help us solve problems that cross our path and provide opportunities for us to improve upon our relationships.
This doesn’t mean that our thoughts and feelings are always “accurate” from an objective point of view. We are all prone to cognitive distortions and those certainly impact how we feel and the choices we make. But, we’ve got to stop moralizing emotions so we can actually start to deal with them. Each feeling is an important set of data that speaks to unaddressed needs.
For example, anger gets an incredibly bad rap, because it’s often used as a justification for abuse or violence. However, anger is a healthy and perfectly natural emotion. Specifically, anger is an umbrella emotion that masks hurt and sadness. When we feel anger it’s usually because we think there has been an injustice. Moreover, we get angry because we’ve been hurt.
Instead of throwing away anger as a needless and destructive emotion, what might happen if we used it instead? What if we let anger be productive?
It can lead us to problem solve. Anger can lead us to getting the apology we deserve. Anger can lead us to vote for candidates who actually reflect or views and values. The same goes for any other emotion that we may feel. Sadness might mean we’re in need of more comfort and support. Jealousy might highlight our own deep-seated insecurities and self-doubt we need to work on. Frustration might highlight our need for new steps on the path forward.
No matter the emotion, they all have value just as we do as humans. Instead of judging ourselves based on how we feel, let’s look at our feelings with genuine curiosity to see what that feeling means for us. How can we use them to your advantage?
Odds are that exploration will lead you on a path towards peace and relief.
If you’d like help on gaining more insight into your emotions and needs, submit a request via our New Client form and a therapist will follow up with you shortly.