When I talk about Gestalt therapy, or environment awareness in general, I try to help my patients really understand the emotions that they are feeling. I have recently noticed an uptick in patients feeling angry, disappointed, or riddled with anxiety…. at least this is what they tell me. When we talk and work through their emotions, the truth is they are sad. So, why all the mislabeling of emotions to cover up sadness? Well, I think society has a lot to do with it.
We, as a society, don’t like to admit to feeling sad. We use all kinds of excuses and different descriptions to avoid vocalizing the fact that we are – in fact- truly sad about something. As an example, check out this interesting link I found online. http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/adjectives/list-of-adjectives-to-describe-tone-feelings-emotions.html Sad is listed as a negative tone and it is truly associated with something terrible, which is why I think we spend so much time trying to dance around being sad. Being sad means something has either happened to us emotionally, physically, or there is an underlining medical and chemical issue that has us feeling this way. Regardless of the reason, sad almost seems shameful to say. By avoiding the feeling of sad, we are avoiding the root cause. We are altering how we interrupt and respond to an environment, which can do more harm than good.
In 2012 Oprah and Deepak Chopra dedicated time to the subject of coping with sadness. You can find the article here: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Why-Youre-Sad-How-to-Stop-Being-Sad-Deepak-Chopra While the article is well-written and interesting, I think it can be a bit misguiding. In fact, the article states, “It surprises people, but, in fact, the best cure for sadness is happiness. Anything that diminishes your ability to build your own happiness must be avoided or eliminated.” There is that word again… “avoided”… Why? Really take a step back and think about this commend.
It is OK to be identify yourself as being sad. Doing so will allow you to create an awareness as to why. And, if you can’t figure out the why, then there may be a chemical issue going on that needs to be addressed. Either way, you are addressing the issue- not avoiding it. Sadness isn’t to be avoided. Faking happiness isn’t healthy. Don’t sugar coat your emotions any longer or avoid them. Instead, embrace them for what they are. Then, in that infinite awareness of how you truly feel, understand the moments leading up to feeling those emotions so you can then understand the environment and actions that caused them (or didn’t cause them) to properly and most effectively respond.
Still have questions? I’m here to help. Contact me and let’s discuss your online therapeutic options.