We all cope with emotions in different ways. Learning to understand and accept your emotions for what they are and what they can teach you is an essential life skill, one that can show you a great deal about yourself and help you grow as a person. Choosing to ignore or push aside your emotions, instead of accepting them for what they are, is a sign of mental health trouble and can lead to serious health consequences, too.
One of the most common reactions to emotions, especially negative or uncomfortable ones, is to ignore them or reject how they make us feel. Because they make us feel bad, we choose not to handle them, which means we are not adequately dealing with them. Instead of accepting and processing these feelings, we may stuff them down or numb their effects with self-destructive behaviors like drinking or using drugs.
While it is not healthy to walk around feeling bad all the time, that is not what emotional acceptance it all about. Emotions are feedback from your mind and your body. They give you valuable information that you need to pay attention to. When you ignore or dull these feelings, the problem still exists and will find another way to manifest in your life.
Emotional acceptance is allowing your emotions to occur without judging yourself for having them or trying to change how you feel. It requires that you stop trying to control your feelings because the emotions themselves cannot harm you. You have control over how much they influence your choices and decisions, so allowing yourself to feel them cannot harm you.
Emotional acceptance is not giving in to your emotions. It is, instead, a decision to stop struggling against them. You are putting down your weapons and allowing yourself to feel them so that you can move on from them in a healthy manner.
Acceptance v. Resignation
Accepting your emotion does not mean you resign yourself to always feeling this way. Just because you are sad now does not mean you give up and want to remain wretched forever. It is not about wallowing in your pain or negative emotions. Instead, acceptance means that you are aware that this is how you feel right now. It is what is necessary for you in your life currently, and in the future, things will change, and you will feel better. When you accept your emotions, you do not hold on to these feelings but instead experience them in the present and become ready to move past them later.
Why You Need to Practice Acceptance
Emotions are not something you can discard just because you do not like them. Your mind and body feel these emotions for a reason. Erasing them completely would not be healthy for you. Emotions are there to tell you what to avoid, what to value, and what makes you happy.
They help us decide who is essential in our lives and how we should spend our time. Therefore, learning to listen to and accept your emotions can teach you a lot about what is essential in your life, if you know how to listen and stop trying to push them away.
Emotional acceptance frees you from the constant stress of struggling to mask or ignore what is troubling you and instead releases your emotional energy for healing and affirmative action moving forward. Identifying how you feel and then determining the purpose of this emotion can tell you a lot about yourself and your life. Learning to accept your feelings is crucial for your emotional health and well-being.