Mallory Welsh, LCSW

Have you ever felt depressed or anxious and asked yourself, “Why do I feel like this? This is uncomfortable. I don’t like this feeling, and I want to make it go away right now.” While many people do not enjoy the feeling of not being okay, it is important to reflect on the relevance it has on your mind and body.

While society has been a little slow in keeping up with the importance of self-care and mental health, there are current celebrities speaking out about the importance of self-love and accepting one’s thoughts and feelings. This concept has extreme overlapping principles with Steven Hayes’s Acceptance and Commitment Theory (ACT), which simply is practicing being present with your feelings instead of eliminating them. Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Off the Vine podcast, featured the founder of Raw Beauty, Erin Treloar, who discussed this very concept of being present in the moment with your thoughts and feelings, and the benefits of thanking your body as it alerts you when uncomfortable feelings arise.

Below are some key points on how to implement the practice of accepting your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and most importantly, accepting yourself.

  • 100% Happy All the Time Goal? Life can be crummy and tough at times, thus having a goal to always be happy can create even more stress and unhappiness due to this unrealistic goal never being achieved.
  • Acceptance. When you are not feeling your best, accept this feeling at face value of what it is as opposed to rejecting this feeling.
  • Thank your body. Anxiety/depression are normal feelings to experience as humans. When you feel these uncomfortable feelings, attempt to move toward them as opposed to away from them. It is your body signaling to you, “Something is not right here, and there needs to be a change to make it better.”
  • Just like a Stomach Flu. When your stomach has the flu, your body is alerting/signaling to you something isn’t right. The same is for your mental health. When this happens, reflect about what makes you feel better? When you’re feeling unhappy, reflect on the people, energy, exercise routines, or fun activities that bring joy in your life. Surrounding yourself around positive energy will help decrease the anxiety/depression you currently are feeling.
  • Mindfulness. When you are feeling these uncomfortable feelings, practice participating with some mindful activities through assessing your five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, and hearing). This can center you to the present moment and help calm your thoughts and feelings. You can practice this in a variety of ways such as journaling, deep breathing exercises, or listening to some nature sounds coupled with essential oils. You can also practice mindfulness in your daily activities such as eating your meals, walking to places or even a nice hot shower.
  • Value Centered Life. Reflecting on your values can also help bring you away from depressing feelings and move toward happiness. This requires you to be an active participant in your life to implement goals of moving toward things that bring you closer to happiness, whether that is in your personal or professional life, or perhaps even a combination of both.
  • Practice Gratitude. Instead of focusing on things you do not have that make you unhappy, try to focus on the things you do have that make you feel happy.
  • Connect to Others. Realizing that so many others may also be feeling depressed and anxious can also bring a sense of relief and happiness to know you are not alone. Sharing these feelings with others can create a space to allow yourself to accept these thoughts and feelings.

If you are currently struggling accepting your thoughts, feelings, emotions, or yourself, it may be a good idea to connect with one of our skilled counselors at Symmetry Counseling today. You can contact us at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment.

Off The Vine, Bristowe, Kaitlyn: Erin Treoloar II.