Very often clients ask me: “Is it normal how I feel?” or “Am I being normal?”. 99% of the time, my answer is “Yes”. I think everybody has the right to have feelings and thoughts, whether they are positive or negative.
Not everybody manages to handle negative thoughts or emotions. Nowadays we are busy with work, the household, our family and hobbies. There is no time for intruding feelings. There is no time for feelings and thoughts that bother us and stop us from doing daily things. Besides, we tend to think that when others (especially the partner) do not understand us and our feelings, something must be wrong with us. We might feel uncomfortable talking about how we feel, because maybe our partner of friend does not understand us. It could also be that we experienced negative reactions or felt like our needs were not being met.
A very easy and convenient solution is to ignore those feelings, pretending that they are not there, or not worth talking about. All this with the hope that those negative feelings will pass, like nothing happened.
Unfortunately, often reality shows that ignoring your feelings and push them away, does not do any good to you. You might be succesful in not thinking about it, but your body might start reacting instead. Examples of this are feeling resless, irritated, worried, not being able to fall asleep or waking up several times during the night.
Whenever you feel that the negative thoughts or emotions are taking over and affecting your life, it would be good to talk about it with somebody. This does not necessarily have to be a professional. It could also be one of your parents, your partner, your best friend or somebody else you feel comfortable with.
I guess the most important message is that it is essential to take care of yourself, and acknowledge your thoughts and emotions. Everybody has the right to have feelings and thoughts. More than anything, everybody has the right to feel good and reassured.
– Esther is an assistant psychologist at Willingness. She works with adults and couples. She has a special interest in mental health. She can be contacted on email@example.com.