It’s Okay Not To Be Okay (Embrace Your Emotions, Even the Negative Ones)

No, this is not a review for the recent Korean drama, but that TV series certainly highlighted the importance of embracing our own emotions instead of suppressing them. 

Contrary to the common belief that suppressing our emotions is the solution for maintaining peace and harmony, it actually runs counter-productive for long-term development.   

The key is not about suppressing emotions but embracing them and finding the appropriate manner to manage them.  Whether they are good, bad, happy or sad, facing them head-on is the key to personal growth. 

Embracing the Emotions – Feel Your Way Out

I am an advocate for positive thinking, but this Cannot be applied to a person who is struggling to manage the pain.  It is like telling a depressive person not to be depressed, duh!

Remember that our emotions are often triggered by our subconscious mind (which is linked to memories and experience), it is not something that most people can control.

Of course, I am not encouraging everyone to throw their tantrum in the name of releasing negative emotions or dial it down by acting completely positive but embrace a process to managing these disturbing triggers.


It is Okay to feel lousy

It is Okay to feel angry

It is Okay to feel disappointed

It is Okay that you are just not in the mood to love everyone today

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay

We are human, we have emotions.  We are meant to feel every bit of emotional triggers in this lifetime, this is what we are supposed to experience so that we can learn and evolve.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to be happy and cheerful in every circumstance to be a good person.

You don’t have to be positive all the time to be a successful person.

Even the most enlightened people on earth will feel the ups and downs of their emotions.  The thing that sets them apart from the rest is how they can self- regulate.

Don’t Suppress Your Emotions, Just Manage Them

Being a Highly Sensitive Person, everything around me can feel more amplified and more dramatic than for most people.  This is why I choose to have more alone time to manage my energy, to meditate and to understand my triggers.

You don’t have to manage your emotions the same way that I do but seeking a method that works for you and your lifestyle can make a world of difference.


Acknowledge Their Existence  

Giving ourselves enough time to process our emotions is the first step to managing them.  This includes crying out loud, venting to a sensible friend (please don’t talk to irrational ones who will make you take regrettable action!) or seeking the help of a counsellor.

It is a way of acknowledging our pain and struggle instead of hiding behind a tough exterior.  This is a serious matter because suppressed emotions can implode and cause mental and physical conditions at later years.

Love Yourself, The Rest Can Wait 

Love yourself enough to steer clear toxic situations or people who will trigger you.  Be honest about your expectations and how far you are willing to compromise, knowing your limits will save you a lot of heartaches.

Check out my blog on Self-Love.

Much like acknowledging your emotions, exercising self-love is an important step to achieving balanced emotions.

Understand Your Emotional Triggers

Our emotions are mostly triggered by memories, conditionings, and experiences.  If you are constantly bombarded by negative emotions, perhaps it is time to face your own demons.  Don’t worry, we all have some.

Such triggers can come in all shapes and sizes.  It can be about career, money, relationships or anything under the sky.  Importantly, they are linked to an unpleasant past that has caused pain or hurt and when they are not processed objectively, the emotions would get stuck in our subconscious.

Perhaps you were bullied as a kid and made you extra sensitive to colleagues around you (even when they are just trying to help!)

Or perhaps you were cheated on in the past hence you are always second-guessing your partner’s behaviour.

Believe me, people are not always out to get you.  Slay the demons and your emotional world will become a better place.   

Emotional Self-Regulation

You can read up on the long explanation of how to self-regulate on Wikipedia, but my understanding of emotional self-regulation has got to do with a large dose of mindfulness, empathy, and self-awareness.

When we can self-regulate, we can take control of our emotions and manage our action, behaviour and reaction towards others more appropriately.  We don’t need to be a Zen Master to do this, we just need to be mindful of the triggers and catch them before we turn into a bull in a china shop.

Why empathy then? Empathy allows us to acknowledge another person’s state of mind and see things from their perspective before jumping into conclusions.  Like I said before, not everyone is out to get you, taking a pause, taking a step back will allow us to see if our negative emotions are even necessary.

Similarly, having empathy for ourselves can sooth our emotions and nurse us to recovery more effectively too.  There is no need to blame yourself for getting caught up in your negative world, instead, treat yourself with a large dose of empathy and learn from the experience.

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