“It’s ok to not be ok.” You have probably heard this statement said plenty of times before. Nearly everyone says it’s okay to not be okay; but then many of them proceed to judge others when they express their negative emotions or open up about their struggles. Most people going through a difficult time also find it hard to believe that it is okay to not be okay. This is because today’s world is obsessed with positivity. Captions and posts on social media often feature people urging others to be positive and focus on the brighter side of things. But, even though it is good to have a positive attitude, no human can manage to be happy and optimistic all the time.
One of the hard truths about life we all have to accept is that life is full of ups and downs; hence we are bound to go through difficult times at some point. Trying to have a positive attitude during such times could easily turn into toxic positivity as you may end up denying or bottling up your negative emotions. Perhaps nothing seems to be going right in your life currently, you have a health problem, or maybe you lost a loved one or your job. When facing challenges such as these, you may feel like you have to pretend to be okay, strong, and positive even when it is probably impossible e.g. when grieving.
The people around you may not help either as they could keep telling you to be positive or utter unhelpful toxic phrases about how whatever happened was for the best. When others are being too positive, they could make you feel even worse for having negative emotions. It is time you learned how to overcome toxic positivity from yourself or others and realize that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. Here are some reasons why it’s ok to not be ok all the time.
Why It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
- Negative emotions are normal
As humans, we all have emotions – they are our natural reactions to the things happening to us and around us. Since life is composed of good and bad moments, it only makes sense that we experience both positive and negative emotions, and that is why it’s okay to not be okay all the time.
Unfortunately, due to the prevalence of toxic positivity, many people often deny or bottle up their negative emotions. You may feel guilty or ashamed for having negative feelings, even though you are experiencing challenges. You think others will see you as weak or pessimistic for not being able to see the positive side of things.
What you don’t realize is that those emotions are your natural way of processing the events in your life. You shouldn’t feel guilty or ashamed for feeling the way you do. So, stop worrying about what others think. It’s okay to not be okay all the time.
READ ALSO: 10 Things You Should Never Apologize for
- It is the first step to solving your problems
As mentioned above, negative and positive emotions are normal reactions to what we are going through in life. Hence, if you choose to deny or bottle up your negative feelings instead of embracing and managing them, you could be doing more harm to yourself. Sure, pretending to be okay even when you are not okay may feel good for a while. But the thing is that you are only pretending and not addressing your problems.
Acting like everything is okay when it is not doesn’t make your problems disappear. In most cases, the longer you take to address your issues, the worse they become. Ignoring them will only keep you stuck in life and miserable for longer. It is best to accept that it’s okay to not be okay when going through tough times.
Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling, then get your shit together and find a way to heal and deal with your problems instead of ignoring or avoiding them. If it is hard to do by yourself, you can always seek professional help to be okay again.
- It strengthens your relationships
If you are not okay, tell others so, instead of faking happiness. Whether at work, with friends, or at home with family, being vulnerable and admitting that you are not okay can help you create deeper connections with others. But not with everyone; some people may feel awkward when you open up and say you are not okay. Some may even desert you to avoid having to ‘deal with your negative energy’. But that’s okay.
The people who remain by your side when you say you are not okay are the kind of people you need in your life. It is better to know those you can count on when you hit rock bottom now than be surrounded by many people who only want to be around you when everything is fine. Forming better relationships with others is one of the reasons why it’s okay to not be okay all the time.
- Hardships promote personal growth
Many people confess that they experienced the most growth during a tough time. For example, someone who messed up and failed at something could learn from their mistakes and bounce back stronger than before. Though you may be feeling down right now, accepting that it’s okay to not be okay will help you heal faster and get back on your feet.
You probably have struggled with other things before and managed to bounce back. So why can’t you do the same this time to feel okay again? The resilience, patience, empathy, and new skills you gain while striving to get to a better place are some reasons why it’s okay to not be okay all the time. You probably wouldn’t be who you are today if you didn’t encounter hardships in the past.
- Everyone struggles
When facing challenges, it is easy to think that everyone else has a perfect life and, perhaps, that is why some of them judge you for your negative emotions. But the truth is that everybody, no matter how happy they may seem, is going through something in their life. The fact that struggling is a common experience for all of us is another reason why it’s okay to not be okay all the time.
Most people are just putting up a brave front or showcasing only the positive side of their life and keeping their problems private. The knowledge that the pain you have right now is not a personal attack can be comforting. Moreover, seeing others overcome their challenges will give you hope that you will also be okay again.
Even though it will probably be hard to do, accept that it is okay to not be okay and find comfort in knowing that you are not alone in this. You are not the only person struggling right now or the only one who has gone through difficult times in the past. And you will not be the last one either!
It is time we started saying ‘it’s okay to not be okay’ and mean it. All our emotions are natural and valid. So, don’t let toxic positivity make you feel bad about yourself for not being okay all the time. Nonetheless, keep in mind that knowing why it is okay to not be okay doesn’t mean you should wallow in self-pity instead of looking for solutions to your problems.
When going through tough times, it is okay to admit that you are not okay instead of faking being happy and positive. It will not only benefit you but also those around you who will get to see the real you. So, if you are not okay, open up and tell someone or, at least, admit it to yourself. That is how you shall start the healing process and move on with your life. Remember, you don’t have to be strong or positive all the time; it’s okay to not be okay!
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