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Why It's Okay to Feel Like Crap: A Guide to Accepting Your Negative Emotions

Hey, it's okay to feel like crap sometimes!

We all have bad days and moments where we feel overwhelmed, sad, angry, or just plain blah. In fact, it’s totally normal to experience negative emotions. But why is it so hard for us to accept this and allow ourselves to feel these emotions? Instead, we often try to push them away or feel guilty for not being happy all the time. Well, it’s time to change that. In this guide, we’re going to explore the importance of accepting your negative emotions and provide a few tips on how to do so. So, if you’re ready to embrace all of your feelings, keep reading!

A woman thinking by the beach

Why it's important to accept negative emotions

Negative emotions, just like positive emotions, play a vital role in our mental and emotional wellbeing. They help us process difficult experiences and navigate complex situations. For instance, feeling angry or frustrated can motivate us to change something that's not working in our lives, while feeling sad or down can allow us to grieve and heal after a loss.

Refusing to acknowledge or accept negative emotions can lead to a range of problems, including anxiety, depression, and even physical health problems. If you are not able to express yourself when you are feeling upset, you are bound to blow up eventually. It's essential to recognize that feeling negative emotions is a natural and necessary part of the human experience.

By accepting your negative emotions, you can develop a more balanced and resilient perspective on life. Instead of striving for unrealistic levels of happiness all the time, you can learn to ride the waves of your emotions with more ease and compassion for yourself.

A group of friends hanging out

Don't let positive thinking culture pressure you into being happy all the time

While it's important to maintain a positive outlook on life, the culture of positive thinking can put pressure on individuals to be happy all the time. This pressure can lead to feelings of guilt and shame when negative emotions arise, making it difficult for individuals to accept and process these emotions.

The culture of positive thinking can lead to a dismissive attitude towards those who experience negative emotions, creating a toxic environment where people are expected to hide their true feelings and put on a happy face.

It's important to remember that negative emotions are not a sign of weakness or failure. They are a natural part of the human experience, and it's okay to feel like crap sometimes. By accepting and acknowledging your negative emotions, you can learn from them and use them to grow and evolve as a person.

Tips for accepting and coping with negative emotions

1. Recognize that negative emotions are a natural part of life – Accepting negative emotions as a natural part of life can help you feel more comfortable with experiencing them. It's okay to feel sad, angry, or anxious sometimes.

2. Practice self-compassion – When negative emotions arise, practice self-compassion by treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and empathy. Imagine yourself comforting a friend who is going through a tough time and try to extend that same kindness to yourself.

3. Explore your emotions – Instead of avoiding or suppressing negative emotions, take some time to explore them. Journaling or talking to a trusted friend or therapist can help you gain insight into why you are feeling a certain way and how you can address those feelings. Sit with your emotions and notice what you're feeling in your body and what thoughts are coming up

4. Practice mindfulness – Being present in the moment can help you stay grounded and better manage negative emotions. Mindfulness practices like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can help you stay centered and calm in the face of challenging emotions.

Remember to be patient with yourself as you work on accepting and coping with negative emotions. It may be uncomfortable at first. It takes time and practice to develop new habits and ways of thinking, but with dedication and persistence, you can learn to embrace the full spectrum of emotions that come with being human.

Surround yourself with supportive people who validate your feelings

Surrounding yourself with supportive individuals can help you accept and cope with negative emotions. While you should definitely explore your emotions on your own, having someone to confide in can help you feel less alone. In addition, a supportive friend or family member can give you perspective and guidance when you need it most.

It's important to note that supportive people validate your feelings, not necessarily agree with your emotions. A true friend or family member will listen to you, acknowledge your feelings, and offer comfort and support. They won't tell you to "get over it" or dismiss your emotions as unimportant.

If you don't have supportive people in your life, you may need to seek out a therapist or counselor. These professionals are trained to provide a safe and non-judgmental space for you to express your emotions and work through them.

Practicing self-care by resting

Embrace self-care practices that help you feel better in the moment

While it's important to explore and accept negative emotions, it's also important to take care of yourself and find ways to feel better in the moment. This can include self-care practices that help you relax and release tension such as:

- Taking a hot bath or shower

- Taking a walk outdoors

- Listening to calming music

- Practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises

- Engaging in a creative activity such as painting or writing

- Doing something that makes you laugh, such as watching a funny movie or television show

Remember that self-care is not selfish. Taking care of yourself is essential for your overall well-being and can help you better cope with the challenges of life. By embracing self-care practices that help you feel better in the moment, you can learn to accept and cope with negative emotions in a healthy and productive way.

Remember that feeling bad doesn't make you a bad person

It’s easy to slip into the trap of thinking that feeling bad makes you a bad person. But the truth is that negative emotions are a natural and normal part of the human experience. Everyone feels down or anxious from time to time, and it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you. You are not your emotions. Accepting that feeling bad is a natural part of life can help you move past shame or embarrassment and learn to live with and manage negative emotions.

It's crucial to remember that feeling bad doesn't define you as a person. It doesn't mean you're weak or insufficient. It's important to take a step back and objectively evaluate your feelings. Try to identify what's making you feel down, acknowledge it, and address it constructively.

You can practice positive self-talk to remind yourself that your negative emotions do not define you. Tell yourself that feeling bad is just a part of life, and you are capable of handling it. Accepting negative emotions, acknowledging them, and taking proactive steps towards managing them can help you lead a more fulfilling and productive life, free from the burden of negative self-judgment and criticism.

Conclusion: You got this

Learning to accept your negative emotions doesn't mean you should wallow in self-pity or give up on trying to improve your situation. On the contrary, it means you're strong enough to confront your emotions and take action to address them constructively. Remember to practice self-compassion, be kind to yourself, and seek help if needed.

By embracing your negative emotions and learning to manage them, you can live a more authentic life and experience greater emotional resilience. With time, patience, and perseverance, you can learn to live with and manage your emotions in a healthy and constructive way.

To learn more, visit the Imperfect Mellow Podcast :

A mental health coach

Check out this week's freebie!

Mindful Acceptance of Emotion Template + Emotion List. Worksheet to help with learning to identify your emotions and processing them instead of pushing them away. Get yours here:

Emotion List
Download PDF • 391KB

Mindful Acceptance of Emotion
Download PDF • 222KB



Welcome to my blog!

This is where we get real about how we can reframe our thinking and negative beliefs about ourselves. A casual self-empowerment blog all about self awareness and self-care. 

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