Bad Thought: There’s something wrong with me because I feel depressed.
A recent article in Greater Good Magazine, called “What You Think about Your Emotions Matters,” tells us that people who feel bad about themselves for having bad-feeling emotions fare less well than those who view their bad-feeling emotions as a normal part of being human. Aren’t we all depressed sometimes? Aren’t we all anxious on occasion? Don’t we get angry, frustrated, resentful, and impatient every so often? Yes, of course. These are normal human emotions in response to life’s challenges. There’s no need to feel bad about yourself for having these feelings.
A good book by hypnotherapist Cal Banyan, called The Secret Language of Feelings, discusses the purposeful nature of each major emotion. For instance, we become angry when we feel mistreated. The anger is telling us to figure out the nature of the mistreatment and to do whatever is appropriate to end it, usually by speaking to someone or leaving a situation. Obviously, we want to express anger in appropriate ways (not through physical or verbal violence), but we should know that the anger itself is not bad; it’s a useful warning system. There is such a thing as inappropriate anger, of course, which may be based on unfair expectations or misinterpretation, but that is for another day, and I think you get the larger point being made here.
When you’re feeling, say, depressed, remind yourself that it is a normal human emotion, which typically comes in response to some bad news or a difficult set of circumstances. And, unless the depression lasts unduly long or prevents you from a reasonable degree of functioning, you can simply accept it as part of life. You certainly don’t need to condemn yourself for feeling it. As the study discussed in Greater Good Magazine (see below) suggests, the impact of your depression on you is more likely to be minimal if you simply tell yourself, There’s nothing wrong with me even though, right now, I feel a bit down.
You're reading the Bad Thoughts Blog, which maintains that feeling good is as simple as thinking a better thought. I'm Debbie Covino, hypnotherapist, coach, and creator of the Master Your Own Mind self-hypnosis audio program and the All Day Hypnosis audio courses, available at https://www.hypnotic-wellbeing.com/digital-audio-programs
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