It's Okay To Not Be Okay
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Most of us carry the mindset that we can handle everything life throws at us. Most of us have also grown to associate negative emotions with signs of weakness. When something doesn't go our way, we repress, forget about it, and move on to the next pressing matter, sound familiar? We push away anything that isn't "up to standard" and create a front so that everyone around us can think "Wow, they really have their life together," when in reality, it couldn't be less true.

If you're anything like me, you tend to repeat the phrase "It's fine, I'm fine" to yourself about 20 times a day. Chances are, when faced with a problem, you distract yourself so you don't have to actually deal with it. This goes on and on until eventually you're left with a plethora of unresolved tension and involuntary destructive behavior. Not coming to terms with "the bad things" only makes the situation worse, so why do we do it? To not disappoint our loved ones, our own self? Maybe we don't know how to properly process? Or is it that we just want to cling to the feeling of stability for as long as possible? There's no one reason, yet we beat around the bush and do everything but face our issues head-on.

As we go about our everyday lives, we unknowingly have this urge to be the best possible person we can be, we WANT others to see our successes and just sweep anything that is less than perfect under the rug. You don't have to admit it, but sometimes we try to overly impress others in order to compensate for our inner feeling of inadequacy. A more common example of this is humor. Most people are opposed to asking for help or talking about feeling overwhelmed, so what happens? The stress is managed through the form of self-deprecating jokes or poking fun at situations that are of concern. Truth be told, sometimes we can't actually handle dealing with our problems, so we instead find a way to make them appear less threatening.

However, the downside to this is that you're not actually solving them, just putting them on the back burner for later. Know that it's okay to have a bad day, bad week, or even a bad month. We all have mood swings or just need a mental break, you don't need a concrete reason in order to feel "justified" as to why you're upset, sometimes you just are.

You're human. You weren't meant to always be in tip top condition and have a smile on your face. You're SUPPOSED to cry, be upset, and sulk, there's not a more effective way to release built-up aggression. You may think you're okay by just holding it in, but deep down, you know you're not. But it's easier said than done, how do you fall out of that cycle? How do you just "magically" come to terms with your emotional turmoil? The thing is, I can't tell you, it's something you have to figure out for yourself.

No matter how you proceed, the first step is recognizing when you feel upset and what may be causing it. Most importantly, let yourself express those emotions and figure out a way to put your mind at ease. Maybe you're someone who feels better talking and being around other people, in that case, call up a close friend or family member and let them know you're having a rough time. Personally, I always feel better after spending time alone and journaling so I can gather all my thoughts. Let yourself have a day where you just sit in bed and decompress, your mind doesn't have to be occupied and productive 24/7.

Trying to run from your baggage can only get you so far. In the long run, numbing your pain will only cause it to snowball until one day you explode and a whole range of emotions you didn't even know you had will come out. While it's perfectly fine, and even encouraged, to embrace those negative emotions, don't allow them to influence the world around you. By this I mean that if you're feeling distressed, don't use it as an excuse to bring those around you down to your level. You should strive to not only look out for yourself, but for your loved ones as well. Look for a positive side when faced with a difficulty, think "How can I learn from this experience?" By deciding that everyone has to be upset just because you are simply makes the problem grow worse, leaving you stuck in an emotionally toxic environment.

In the end, no one can force you to change your ways, there's only so much advice one can give but ultimately, it's up to you to make the decision of choosing whether to not to acknowledge the negative areas in your life. You can keep on repressing, slowly diffusing on your own, just know that you don't have to always be fine, no matter how much society thinks you should. I know it's scary to let yourself be vulnerable and not feel in control, but just take a deep breath and focus on what you can actually control in the moment.

It'll be okay, I promise. I'm really rooting for you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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