In New Jersey, the “Stay-at-home” order was placed on March 21st. So it’s been more than a month since the situation became very serious. Hopefully, we start to see the end of this soon.
In the last blog post, I asked to acknowledge your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. How did it go? If you are new to this practice, it might be challenging to remember to acknowledge them. Don’t disappoint yourself even if it didn’t work as you were hoping for. If you realize that you didn’t pay attention “acknowledgment”, you will soon start to realize you missed/close to miss the acknowledgment. Keep trying!
This week, I’d like to go one step deeper.
Day 5: VALIDATING
When you realize you have feelings such as sadness, anger, and/or frustration, many people think it’s bad. But how bad is it to feel that way? In many cases, it’s understandable. If you hear a case of child abuse, it’s normal to get angry. If you hear someone’s death, you should feel sad. You should not conceal those feelings. Validating is not telling you that it is good or bad, but just telling you it’s understandable to feel that way in a specific circumstance.
You can use this skill for yourself.
For example, if you get angry when you find out that your child is playing video games during the homeschooling hour, tell yourself “You have every right to feel angry because he isn’t doing what he is supposed to do”. Or if you are anxious about what is going to happen about your job and life after being away from work for more than a month. Instead of trying to calm yourself down, say “It’s absolutely normal to be anxious for my future. It’s uncontrollable, nobody knows when it is going to end, and there are so many scary stories in the world!”
By validating your feelings, you might feel less guilty to have those negative feelings.
Acknowledging that you have a feeling and validating the feeling is a set of actions. You acknowledge AND validate the feeling at the same time. Again, do not try to justify or give reasons for the feelings. Just acknowledge and validate them.
It’s okay to feel negative. You don’t have to see positive sides all the time.
Whatever you feel, it’s OK.
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I would love to hear your story.