It’s okay to not be ok!

“The Key to happiness is letting go of the idea of perfection” – this statement fetches light upon our tendency to create an illusion of our perfect self as people are always observing us. But what do we do when the self criticism gets too loud and feelings of worthlessness creep in? 

Society makes us believe that interrupting our troubled feelings is an awful act rather than reevaluating them. Clinging to an illusion of happiness keeps us caught up in an emotional prison. The overpowering force of emotions then becomes overwhelming leading to deterioration of mental health. 

In such circumstances, admitting that one is withstanding a frustrating and pressured phase, does not fit well with the perfect world we’ve carved for ourselves under societal pressures. But Perhaps, the ability to digest failure, and acknowledge our struggles is one of the most important skills we can learn. That’s what we mean when we say-

                   It’s okay to not be okay. 

A simple sentence, yet so cathartic!

In our society, displaying our emotions is assumed to be a sign of ‘weakness’ even though it’s one of the strongest things we can do. But as humans we are bred and hardwired a particular way and forget that behind the social masks plastered on our faces there are no real winners in this ‘emotional charade’ because – We all thrive some days and others, we survive.  

It’s said, life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. The only string left in our hands is our attitude which inevitably impacts our life. In such a case, while perpetual optimism indeed is a force multiplier, we must understand that we are not robots. As humans we in turn have the capacity to feel pain, to suffer, and to show vulnerability. And so we must, not only because it is empowering but also because the better we understand and embrace our negative emotions the closer we are to self-discovery, self-awareness and self-growth. Hence, an imperative embarkment on a journey is to unlearn the unhealthy societal expectations of suppressing our unhappy feelings. So by welcoming how we really feel can help us honor our emotional experience by being present for it, and seeking support. 

The current circumstances – the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented time of great uncertainty exacerbated by feelings of isolation, stress and malaise. Thus, It is important for us to remind ourselves that this journey is not going to be a simple one but every mini step that we take is going to bring us closer to our destination. Enduring uncertainty isn’t easy, but it’s a skill that must be fostered. 

Here are certain points on which we can bank upon to make us feel better –

Deep Breathing:

It is the single best way to get yourself centered. An underrated activity that can cure the physical aspects of anxiety etc. 

•Find a mantra:

Positive affirmations have consistently shown to make a major positive impact on both-performance and confidence. eg: I am whole, I am safe , I am here.

•Talk about it: 

Problems shared are problems halved. A third-party opinion in order to keep things in perspective are important at times. Reaching out to our loved ones, friends or even coworkers can help us. 

•Fuel your body:

If you’re hungry or not properly hydrated, many of these techniques won’t work. That’s why it’s important to slow down and get something to eat — even if it’s just a small snack.

Write it down:

If you’re too angry or anxious to talk about it, grab a journal and write out your thoughts. Don’t worry about complete sentences or punctuation — just write. Writing helps you get negative thoughts out of your head. You can take it one step further and make an action plan to continue staying calm once you’re done writing.

Very often we are unable to see an end to our pain, and are conditioned to think that we need to be an epitome of perfection that hurts more rather than helping us. Humans are flawed, and struggles are a part of life. The people who end up being the most successful aren’t the ones who don’t struggle, they’re the ones who know – It is OK to not be OK.