How The Secret to Feeling Better Is in Feeling Bad
Have you ever thought about why you want to feel better?
It’s something to think about.
I’ll explain how the secret to feeling better is in feeling bad below, but before I do, click the box below to get exclusive access to my free coaching video and worksheet, which will help you put this information into action right away.
Why Do You Want to Feel Better?
When I ask my clients why they want to feel better, most say something like, “I just want to be happy.”
They’re constantly in pursuit of something outside of themselves because they think it will make them feel better.
Here are a few examples of seeking happiness outside of you:
- You want to be thinner
- You want to be more successful
- You want to meet the right person
- You want to have kids
- You want more friends
- You want to drink less
- You want more money
All of these goals—although valid—will not make you feel better.
Feeling better is something that happens within you from learning how to manage your emotional health.
So my challenge to you is exactly what I challenge my students with in my monthly coaching program, Self Coaching Scholars. Ask yourself why you want to feel better.
What do you think will be different in your life if you feel better? What do you think will be the same? Do you think that you’ll feel better only after attaining something outside of you?
Really think about this. If you don’t, you’ll seek success (something outside of you) in the hopes of feeling better, only to be disappointed.
Feeling Better Means Experiencing Positive and Negative Emotion
Most people think they’re either happy or unhappy.
The truth is there’s happiness we can experience and expand on. There’s a full spectrum of emotions that make up the experience of being human.
Instead of imagining happiness as only feeling great all the time, think about living a happy life in terms of experiencing negative emotions too.
You don’t actually want to be happy all the time.
When someone dies, when you don’t get the job, when your daughter doesn’t get into the school she wants, or when someone is abused, you most likely don’t want to feel good.
The way the human experience has been designed is to include the good and the bad.
In order to feel good all the time, you would have to want to feel good when bad things happen.
The world has been designed with good and bad. It has been this way since the beginning of time. If you fight reality, you will lose.
Instead of thinking about happiness in a way that means you should always feel positive emotion, think about it in terms of experiencing positive and negative emotion without resisting, reacting, or avoiding.
Most of us have tried to eliminate, hide, or react to negative emotion because we falsely think we shouldn’t experience negative emotion.
The way we do this is through overcompensating through false pleasures (what I call buffering). We overeat, overdrink, overwork, overNetflix, over (fill in the blank) in an effort to escape negative emotion.
This is where we get it wrong.
The Real Secret to Feeling Better
The real secret to feeling better is to feel better about experiencing negative emotion.
You need to embrace the fact that a portion (I believe 50%) of your life will be experiencing negative emotion.
Because you probably want to feel bad when bad things happen (death, abuse, etc.), you have to accept the fact that you want to feel negative emotion when bad things happen.
This is the secret to feeling better.
Knowing that the world was designed with good and bad and that you want to feel bad when something happens that you interpret as bad, is the secret to feeling better.
You can practice experiencing (instead of resisting, reacting to, or avoiding) negative emotion. When you do this, you’ll not only get really good at feeling bad (this is kind of funny to say and think about, but it’s true), but you will also eliminate buffering in your life.
When you truly learn how to experience negative emotion, you stop trying to escape your life with the overeating, overdrinking, overworking, overspending, etc.
How You Interpret Circumstances Is What Causes Negative Emotion
It’s worth mentioning that the events that take place in your life are circumstances, which are neither good nor bad.
Death, abuse, nature disasters—all of it is neither good nor bad.
It’s the thought that you have about these events that makes them bad.
Facts that make up the world are neutral. They’re circumstances. They don’t become good or bad until you add a thought to them.
Your thought about a circumstance is what makes it good or bad.
For example, if your sister dies, you will probably have a very different reaction than if someone is on the news talking about her sister dying. In both instances, the circumstance is someone died. What makes one more heartbreaking than the other is the thought you have about it. You want to be devastated when someone you love dies. You don’t want to be devastated knowing that people are dying every single day.
Understand that it’s your interpretation of the event that causes your negative emotion, not the actual event itself.
The reason this distinction is so important is that it allows you to see that you really are in control of your emotional life and that you’re choosing to be human. You’re choosing negative emotion on purpose.
The way you choose to interpret the world will determine your experience of it.
You have a choice of how you want to interpret everything that happens in your life. You may want to interpret it in a way that makes you feel sad or grief (for example, someone dies).
Remember, it is always your choice.
You are not at the effect of the world. The world is not causing your emotion.
You are causing your emotion in your mind.
You always have a choice with respect to how you want to feel. Choose wisely.
Join me right now in this coaching video, where you can download your free worksheet and learn how to start feeling better.
To learn more about my monthly coaching program, visit TheLifeCoachSchool.com/Join/.