Remember the Primal Scream? (Not the Scottish rock band) The theory was that if you’ve been repressing your emotions so completely and severely that you don’t even know how you feel in a given situation, letting it all out in a therapeutic setting can be beneficial. I think the title of this post is a solid myth, based on my personal experience as well as watching others.
But I think the Primal Scream got corrupted into the belief that you should let it all out all the time everywhere. Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn wrote in his excellent book, “Anger” that if you vent anger you are just practicing anger. He recommends recognizing the feeling of anger (or fear, or anxiety, etc.) and just watching it for a bit to see how it plays out, without repressing it.
Which applies quite well to these ten strategies to appreciate the good in life and benefit from the bad (Courtesy of ChatGPT, by the way).
1. Acknowledge the complexity of life: Life is full of ups and downs, and it’s important to recognize that both good and bad experiences are necessary for growth and development.
2. Celebrate the good times: Take time to appreciate and celebrate the good moments in life, whether it’s a personal accomplishment, a milestone, or a joyful event. Recognize the positive impact these experiences have on your life and the lives of those around you.
3. Embrace challenges: Recognize that challenges are an opportunity for growth and learning. Approach challenges with a positive attitude and embrace the opportunity to learn and grow from them.
4. Learn from mistakes: Recognize that mistakes are a natural part of life and provide an opportunity to learn and improve. Take responsibility for your mistakes and use them as a learning opportunity.
5. Accept failure: Recognize that failure is a natural part of life and provides an opportunity to learn and grow. Use failure as a motivator to try harder and strive for success.
6. Cultivate gratitude: Appreciate the good things in your life, no matter how small. Cultivate gratitude by regularly reflecting on the positive aspects of your life and expressing gratitude to others.
7. Practice self-compassion: Recognize that it’s natural to experience both “good” and “bad” moments in life. Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion during difficult times.
8. Seek support: Recognize that it’s okay to ask for help and seek support from friends, family, or professionals during difficult times.
9. Maintain perspective: Recognize that both good and bad experiences are relative & temporary. Maintain perspective during difficult times. Remember that there is always hope for a better tomorrow.
10. Foster resilience: Recognize that both good and bad experiences provide an opportunity to build resilience. Use difficult experiences as an opportunity to develop coping skills and build emotional strength. Strategic “adversity”, e.g. intentionally subjecting yourself to challenging situations, e.g. ice baths or public speaking.
Your Constructive Comments are Welcome!
1 thought on “Myth: Venting Our Feelings is a Great Way to Appreciate the Good and Bad in Life”
Ok, I was all in on these tips until I got to the part about the ice baths. I will take a pass on that one.