15 Jun Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay
As the saying goes, it’s OK not to be OK all the time.
As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the most important catch cries in the mental health domain.
We can aim to be happy and we can work to create a positive life, but none of us will enjoy happiness or joy all the time.
And that’s OK.
And some of us, who’re highly sensitive, will experience even more “big feelings” which can be hard to handle, but there are strategies that can help …
via the Next Big Idea club by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy …
Liz Fosslien is the Head of Content at Humu, a company that uses behavioral science to make work better. Her writing and illustrations have been featured by the Economist, the New York Times, NPR, and Freakonomics. Mollie West Duffy is an organizational and leadership development expert who has helped companies and start-ups such as Casper develop good workplace culture. She writes a blog about start-up culture, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Quartz.
Below, Liz and Mollie share 5 key insights from their new book, Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay. Listen to the audio version—read by Liz and Mollie themselves—in the Next Big Idea App.
1. Emotions can be hard, but they’re not good or bad.
Starting at a young age, most of us are taught that feeling bad is bad. In the spring of 2021, as part of our research for this book, we invited readers to take a survey about their emotional experiences. More than 1,500 people responded, and 97 percent said they have heard big feelings described as “bad” or “negative.”
While big feelings are uncomfortable—at times, they can even feel unbearable—they aren’t inherently positive or negative. When we take the time to understand them, big feelings like anger and regret can serve us. Anger fuels us to advocate for what matters, and regret provides us with insight into how to craft a more meaningful life.
When we change the way we relate to big feelings, we take away some of their destructive power. Research shows that when we acknowledge and accept what we feel during challenging moments, we start to feel better. As UC Berkeley researchers put it, “Feeling bad about feeling bad only makes you feel worse.”
2. Envy can reveal what you value—if you know how to decode what it’s telling you.
In your most envious moments, it’s easy to wish you were making a million dollars a year from the corner office, and ignore the responsibilities, stress, and long hours that come with the job. But you need to compare specifics.
A few years ago, I learned that a friend of a friend had been promoted, and would soon be leading a team of 200 people. I was overcome with envy. That night, I lay awake questioning all of my career choices. I have always found days of back-to-back meetings exhausting; I’ve never aspired to run a team of hundreds of people. But there I was, sleepless and miserable about not running an enormous department. “Does my jealousy mean I should shift all my plans?” I wondered. “This whole time, have I been wrong about who I am and what I want?”
“It’s useful to understand that you may not actually want your friend’s big house, but instead covet the sign of prestige it communicates, or the financial security it symbolizes.”
The next morning, I awoke with the certainty that I was still the same meeting-avoidant person—and that I didn’t want to trade places with my newly promoted acquaintance. I wasn’t actually longing for the day-to-day that came with being a manager of managers; I just wanted the prestige and social validation of being able to announce a big, exciting accomplishment.
Thinking through a day-in-the-life helped me realize that I didn’t need to shift my entire career, but instead should keep going on my current path and look for more opportunities to become more visible. It’s useful to understand that you may not actually want your friend’s big house, but instead covet the sign of prestige it communicates, or the financial security it symbolizes. And then you can figure out a better path forward for you…
… keep reading the full & original article HERE