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5 Reasons To Say Honestly, “I Am Unhappy.”

5 Reasons To Say Honestly, “I Am Unhappy.”

I’m fine…I’m good…everything is OK.

These are some of the typical responses we give when someone asks how we’re doing, regardless of how we are actually feeling. When we are truly frustrated, angry, sad, or even depressed, we tend to deny those feelings, both to ourselves and to others.

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When you lost that baseball game, your dad may have told you to “suck it up” and try harder next time. Maybe your well-meaning best friend warned you against having a heart-to-heart with your beau, lest you push him away.

Although you were socialized to believe that you are a burden, weak, or a downer for expressing your feelings, the truth is that talking it out is the first step towards boosting your mood. Here are five reasons why speaking up is the key to your emotional well-being.

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1. You need support from your friends.

When you are feeling low, the last thing you want to do is go out dancing at that new club with your friends. You avoid being social, fearing that you’ll have to lie again when someone asks you how you’re doing. Stop lying and tell them how you really feel! They are your friends, and they want to be there for you. An added benefit is that getting out and having fun may get you out of your emotional rut.

2. Help yourself, help someone else.

Everyone experiences setbacks and challenges that lead to feelings of defeat and discouragement. In fact, someone you know may be going though something tough and also need a shoulder to lean on. When you share your feelings, you invite others to share theirs. You may find yourself giving good advice to a friend or family member, giving you the confidence and motivation to work through your own issues.

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3. Improve your relationship.

Communication is one of the keys to a lasting, healthy relationship. Failing to share your feelings with the one you love is a surefire way to alienate your partner. When you enter a relationship, magical thinking often comes into play where you assume that the other person should know how you’re feeling because they should know you. Your partner may be many things, but a mind reader he is not. If you are not happy with an aspect of your relationship, you must speak up about it. Not only will it liberate you, it will also give the other person a chance to work on the problem with you to improve the relationship.

4. Your health depends on it.

Studies show that bottling up your emotions can have negative effects on your physical health. Wondering why you can’t sleep, eat, or have nagging headaches? It could be because you are stuffing your feelings. In addition to perpetuating your emotional turmoil, keeping mum about your misery can also make you sick. If you have ruled out serious health conditions, you may want to consider opening up to a close friend or loved one about your unhappiness. It could reverse some of those physical symptoms you’ve been having.

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5. You deserve to be happy.

Positive psychology tells us so. But, on a practical level, you really do deserve the same happiness and contentment that others have. Why? Because you are alive! You can make an impact on others’ lives, whether it is on a global scale, in your community, or in the small circle of your family and friends. Stifling your feelings not only robs you of your right to happiness, it also keeps others from having the opportunity to experience the benefit of having a relationship with the real you. Take control of your emotions and share your feelings with someone today!

Featured photo credit: ira-5 via flickr.com

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Malika Boyd

Social Worker

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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