Nothing wrong with feeling bad

Leonardo DiCaprio cryingEverybody feels bad sometimes – sad, lonely, upset, worried, even angry. OK, except Tibetan monks, maybe, but only after 20 years of meditation and a strict diet of warm water. The rest of us sometimes feel bad.

The problem with feeling bad is not so much that we find something hard to deal with, but that we have been brought up not to feel bad, so we feel really bad about feeling bad. That, of course, makes everything worse, because now, we are feeling bad about ourselves and blocking ourselves from processing and letting go of the original bad feeling.

When I was growing up, I was often told that only girls cried. “Take it like a man”, people said to me and to all of my friends who were boys. The girls were not supposed to take it like men, but they were instructed not to bother others with their feelings and to “show their happy face” like “a good girl” should. So happiness was clearly good and resentment, anxiety, regret and sorrow were bad.

Read more about how to be happy

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