There are days when I wake up and, out of nowhere, I feel awful. I have the tendency to wonder, "Why do I feel this way? What did I do? What happened?" Usually nothing happened to upset me at 7AM. When the melancholy suddenly arrives with no reason at all, I try to allow the sensations to ‘flow’. Not accepting or wanting to acknowledge a current state makes for a worse moody day. Letting yourself feel uncomfortable feelings is not easy, of course. You aren’t alone in the struggle.
With that in mind, do not be harsh with yourself when you’re finding it hard to be at peace with unhappiness. You’ll get better at riding the waves of tough emotions. No one wants to be that kind of friend who says, "Just be happy!" to a person who is upset. And so it would only make sense that we shouldn't be that kind of friend to ourselves either. Leaving yourself as is in the moment is choosing to be tender and kind to yourself.
Do not suppress your emotions. What you’re going through is extremely normal. Unhappiness is not wrong. Your brain might be telling you to slow down for the day. Let yourself rest but if your day is all scheduled up, take it easy. Do something that makes you feel more at ease with yourself. An unanticipated melancholy mood is a fantastic opportunity to listen to sad music and really feel into the lyrics as a healthy catharsis. I like to vent out through journaling or writing a letter to myself using FutureMe.org.
Photo Credit: Piper
Have you eaten? If you haven’t eaten in awhile, then there's no wonder you feel down. Eat a healthy snack or meal. Healthy foods are not always within reach. Eating junk food in moderation to get through the day in that case is okay. Investigate the root cause of why you feel sad and come up with wholesome coping techniques to work through it. You can read up on the problem you suspect is the reason behind the sad mood by checking out our other articles on Teenagers with Experience. When I felt sad due to social anxiety, I loved reading “Tongue-Tied” by Jahannavi because of its practical tips. You can find a variety of other topics on our website.
You do not always need a reason, however. Unless the emotions are making it hard for you to get out of bed, to take care of yourself, to pay attention in school, or other side effects that might look like symptoms of depression, know that in a short amount of time you’ll move on to another emotion.
Without some negative, we would be missing out on important aspects of the human experience. The world does not hold in its vomit. With that in mind, we should not hold in our angst, anger, melancholy and run after joy with a butterfly net. You'll find that every emotion you feel faints away and a wave of yet another sensation rushes over you. We grow with every wave. When we're chasing down happiness, we're trying to avoid fear, anger, sorrow or whatever emotion it is that we have trouble over. Untying the expectations that you have of yourself to feel a certain way gives you the room to breathe.
When these negative emotions impede your day-to-day for weeks, you feel them worsen, and/or you have thoughts of ending your life, please seek out support and talk with a mental health professional. If you live in the UK, you can find support in the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Therapist Directory: https://www.bacp.co.uk/. If you live in the US, you can find affordable counselling in your state by checking out Open Counseling: https://www.opencounseling.com/.
Your emotions are valid, no matter what!