Thursday, March 12, 2009

Are you pressured to wear your happy face?

For Scripps Howard News Service, Dr. Barton Goldsmith writes in his column that it’s OK to feel bad, Relationship: "Sometimes it's OK to not be OK". Goldsmith, a marriage and family therapist in Westlake Village, California suggests,
"Sometimes there are good reasons to feel bad: a breakup, financial or professional losses, and physical or emotional illness, to name a few. Loss hurts, and if you force yourself to put on a happy face, you may actually be taking energy away from your healing process.

If you don't let your negative feelings out appropriately, they will emerge somehow and it may not be in a manner you'd prefer. When you can no longer hide your pain by keeping yourself busy or by being a party animal, you have to face it so you can heal. And most of the time that process is usually somewhat arduous.

There are great thinkers like Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul, who tell us how to grow from our pain and loneliness. I like the concept, but when you're so distressed, growing as a person isn't No. 1 on your to-do list. Most people going through an emotionally difficult time are using all their energy just to function.

When you're in pain, it can be an effort to go to the store, and being happy about it is way out of the realm of possibility. But so what? It's perfectly normal to feel down when your life takes you there."
Dr. Goldsmith says this down period should be only between two weeks and a month.