Am I allowed to celebrate? Is it ok to be happy? I shouldn’t complain, my problems are so small.
It’s the word we throw around each time horrible news works its way back in to our lives. We’re torn between feeling that the world should pause and feeling that if we don’t go on living fully we’re letting the bad things win. I don’t tackle world issues here on RTTF, but I fully believe without mental health, it’s really hard impossible to maintain physical health. So that’s why we’re here today to think out loud together!
What concerns me is that we might be getting too much”perspective”.
Yes, the horrible things help to show us the scale of our own daily annoyances, which are often not the big deal we think. But you can’t compare your every day to those big crazy events because then you start to think your troubles aren’t valid.And that won’t do you any good either.
So what can we do instead? How can we both embrace that our problems aren’t so big and recognize that it’s fair to have days that are good, bad, medium, in between, wonderful, and awful. No matter how you feel, it’s valid.
It’s a little like foam rolling right?! Things are always changing and sometimes you gotta grin through the bad times, but you also gotta talk about how much you hate it…and there’s a reason why.Yes the world has bigger issues...but your problems are still valid, here's why! #mentalhealth Click To Tweet
Why We Complain?
If we know our problems aren’t Earth shattering, why is it so common for us to find ourselves deep in the complainer zone?
In high school, we played the one up game. “Oh you stayed up til midnight working on that paper? Well I was awake til 1 AM and got up for swim practice at 4 AM.”
In the office, we played the yes it all sucks game. “Ugh I swear this client keeps calling me to say he sent an email.” “Oh I know I can’t even count the emails that come in every time I walk away from my desk.”
In the running community, we love to whine about our love hate relationship with the foam roller, ever changing shoe models and lack of water fountains.It turns out we might be doing it for some good reasons:
- Complaining bring us to common ground, it validates our thoughts and connects us
- It relieves us of some of the burden of being perfect, there are “reasons” we can’t be
- Sometimes life is just hard and we can’t always be sunshine
Of course there are TONS of horrible reasons we complain too, like attention or to do a weird back handed brag.
Why We NEED to Complain?
“Others have it so much worse.”
“It’s not a big deal, I mean compared to what others are going through.”
We’ve all said those things in a moment of feeling like we are wrong for being sad, annoyed, down in the dumps. But should we really be brushing off our feelings? Are we truly benefiting anyone by just “keeping our chin up”.
Minimizing your feelings is like saying you don’t matter. But you do and it’s NORMAL to have a whole range of emotions. Real people aren’t blowing bubbles, dancing in the rain and singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow 24/7. Sometimes you’re just sort of MEH and it’s ok to be that.
Creating Open Dialogues
One of the biggest things that happens when we share our roller coaster moments is giving others an opportunity to also share. Suddenly it’s ok for them to share tough things, to be open, honest and not try to handle all the emotions on their own. If you could feel that way, then maybe they aren’t crazy, their feelings are valid too!
We are all dealing with something. One day our biggest issue is feeling like no one else ever cleans up the cat fur on the couch and the next it’s being unable to walk with a pending surgery and the next it’s holding the hand of child grieving the loss of a parent. Each moment is hard in a different way.
It Breeds Creativity
I can’t say it any better, so let me share this thought from Simone Seal
Characterizing something as a “first-world problem” is often a way of suggesting that it’s not worth really talking about at all. But if such problems were not worthy of our attention, we would lose a great deal of philosophy and art. In fact, some of our greatest works are born of observations that are seemingly frivolous. The minutiae of life is often where great drama is born and great wisdom is derived.
We learn. We grow.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what your problems are. We’re all going through something and that’s part of what connects us in this human experience.
It teaches us to have empathy for others.
It reminds us to embrace the good moments.
It allows us to be gentle with ourselves, not to expect perfection.
So feel what you feel, have your moment before you simply brush it off.
Do you ever feel like you shouldn’t complain?
How do you handle the blah days?
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