By: Amelia Lin

Sometimes when we find ourselves in moments of conflict or hardship, a very common defense mechanism kicks in and we ignore our emotions. This could be because we’re afraid to confront the uncomfortable, afraid to add salt to the wound, or just afraid. We tell ourselves that there’s simply not enough time to deal with another problem, that a dull discomfort isn’t worth facing or finding a solution to, or that this to shall pass.

In the short term, this suppressing of emotions may seem like quite the band-aid. But feelings have a weird way of getting out, and sometimes it isn’t very pretty. So maybe the problem can be put on the back burner for a couple of days, but after a while, it becomes clear that this way of coping is unsustainable.  

It’s okay to not be okay. Life is too long to hold a smile for every second of it, and too short for us to live that way. Letting ourselves feel the emotions we have, instead of pushing them away, might just be what we need to figure out where to go from from there.

Taking the time to check how you’re feeling and understanding why you’re feeling that way is not a sign of weakness. You’re advocating and standing up for yourself during a time when being left alone is already hard enough. Now THAT’S strength. 

If we can ask others why they are feeling down and how we can help with that, what’s stopping us from giving that same type of care to ourselves? If we can go to the doctor when we’re sick, get glasses or contacts when we can’t see, or go to the dentist for a tooth ache, then we can’t we seek out mental health care too?!

There is no scale that determines which or whose feelings are more important! WHY?! Because every one deserves the same amount of attention. So the next time you find yourself ignoring how you feel, give it some attention. You might be surprised how much you can learn from yourself. 

Lastly, remember that the staff of Owens Counseling is always a phone call away!