Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Feelings Are Friendly If You Let Them Out

Life is never easy. Sometimes you have temporary problems; a blue day; a headache; the flu; someone you can't seem to get along with, no matter how hard you try. Some challenges are permanent. You become disabled. You lose a loved one. You survive a natural disaster. Anything that changes you drastically. How do you go on? Life isn't the same anymore.

But, no matter what the challenge, life is a happy thing. That's why I created DanniStories. My characters go through a lot, but one thing's for sure: They learn that no matter what, they can learn to enjoy life with its new limits.

I try to choose major life changes to write about. I've lived through some of them. I've had good friends who had others. Or, I've read the stories of people who lived the rest. Grief, tragic happenings, loss. They aren't easy.

What is happiness worth to a person? Lifestyle changes? Effort to accept what one cannot change? Learning to emphasize the "Can List" instead of the "Can't  List"?

Only you can decide how to overcome your difficulties and reach for the happiness. It's there. It's real. And, it's doable! Never give up on happiness.

The first step to happiness is let yourself grieve whatever isn't there anymore. Crying isn't happiness, but true happiness is the difference between sorrow and happiness. Without your trials, you couldn't know happiness. Everything would feel the same.

The second step to happiness is let yourself feel what you feel at the moment. Sad? Don't fight it. Don't give in to it, either. If you feel so devastatingly unhappy that you want to leave this life, GET HELP NOW. Call that number inside your phone book or look up Suicide Help Line online. Talk to that person on the other end of that phone call and let them help you. Or, call a close friend or relative who understands.

Quit pretending to be happy when you're not. Learn to recognize and express your feelings in constructive ways.

Angry? It's okay to say, I'm angry! Grrrrr! It's okay to warn folks close to you, "I'm feeling angry right now. It's not you. I'm just giving you a little warning that I might be grouchy, so I don't hurt your feelings." It's okay to pound your pillow, or pretend that the object of your anger is in a nearby chair and tell it off! It's okay to write an angry letter, then tear it up. It's okay to paint an angry picture or create an angry sculpture. Art and music are great ways to express feelings. If you express them while they are small [or smaller than they would be], they are easier to express. If you wait until anger consumes you, or hold it all in until you become your own personal volcano erupting all over your loved ones, that's not okay! Express it as it comes, and you can use the energy to do something creative or constructive. Clean your room or your house!

Anger turned inwards becomes deep sadness or depression. In effect, you punish yourself for daring to feel angry. This is only one cause for depression, but it's a big one.

Feeling afraid? Fear, worry, and self-doubt can be paralyzing. Try to learn about whatever it is that scares you. I am terrified of wasps, so I learned a little about them and their ant cousins. I learned not to fear bees [but not killer bees] because honey bees are not aggressive and they are vegetarians. Fear of failure can be a big problem because humans learn from their mistakes. If we never made a mistake, we couldn't learn how not to repeat that particular mistake, now would we? Allow yourself to make mistakes. Fight self-doubt by remembering things you did or do well. Let yourself fear, but don't let fear stop you from doing what you need to do. What's the worst thing that could happen if what you fear, happens? If it's not illegal or immoral, such as asking for a raise, a date, or help with a task, try taking a small step towards doing it. Make small talk with your boss. Open a door for the lady, or let him open the door for you. Tell someone that you're having trouble doing whatever it is that you need help doing, and see if someone offers to help.

Sadness, that's a tough emotion. No one seems to understand it. But, you can help them understand it. It's okay to say, "I'm feeling sad right now, because" whatever you're sad about. Maybe someone said something that hurt. Maybe you're missing a person or pet who died or has gone. Maybe you're feeling blue and you don't know why. But, if you tell someone, you're not alone with it now.

There are many other emotions, but they often lead to these three, if they are uncomfortable. Expressing them can help a lot, maybe more than you think if you do this on a regular basis.