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Happiness Tip: Lean Into Difficult Emotions

“What do you do when you feel sad?” people often ask me.

(Some even ask, “Do you ever get sad?”) Yes, OF COURSE I feel sadness, anger, anxiety — sometimes downright misery — just like everyone else.

Leading a joyful life does NOT mean always trying to be happy. At the same time, I’m not really one for rumination. Meaning: I make an effort to feel my feelings—often deeply—and then, if the feelings are negative, I move on. (Did you know that most strong emotions last only 90 seconds if you accept them?) There are a host of benefits to not overthinking things; check out my post on Positively Positive for more about what to do when we’re unhappy.

Take Action: ACCEPT difficult feelings that arise for you. The key is not to deny what we are feeling, but rather to lean into our feelings, even if they are painful. Take a moment to be mindful and narrate: I’m feeling anxious right now, or This situation is making me tense. Hang in there with unpleasant feelings at least long enough to acknowledge them.

See if you can objectify your feelings a little bit: where in your body to you feel them? Do they
have a color? A texture? A shape?

Join the Discussion: Does this help your negative feelings dissipate? Share in the comments below!