Ode to emotions

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been called a cry-baby. And for the longest time, I thought it was an insult. But I’ve come to appreciate my sensitive side. Now, whenever I feel like crying, I give in to the tears, the self-pity and those irrational emotions, but I no longer feel ashamed.

A wheel of emotions: don’t take my tears away

I tend to think I’m a fundamentally positive, happy person, but there are days when certain things weigh heavily on my shoulders. They can bring me to my knees and force me into my bed. The origins of my negative emotions can be various, from being rejected by another person to falling short of my own expectations. However, giving in to my feelings helps me to overcome anxious or sad times. I cry for all I’m worth and dive into the cleansing effect of self-pity. That may sound unhealthy or even laughable, but I really don’t care. It’s not important what others think or say about me, because what really matters are my emotions and my desire to feel them.

All types of emotions

When I used to cry as a kid, my parents would ask me to stop (“please”). My last boyfriend also wasn’t good at coping with those times when my emotions would run wild and force tears (sometimes of joy) into my eyes. Society demands that we keep even our most basic emotions in check. We’re probably all familiar with those self-help articles in popular magazines which tell us how to deal with volatile moods that may disrupt daily life. Tips such as practicing meditation or tree-hugging may well be helpful, but I have to wonder: when did we stop letting our emotions out and listening to what they have to say? Self-discipline belongs in the fitness studio! It has no place in the world of our emotions.

There’s a back-up plan for everything and more security nets than at the Cirque du Soleil.

Celebrate catharsis

Self-optimization has become a massive trend, and like many of us I’ve fallen for it as well. Admittedly, I’m proud when I’m highly productive. I like myself the best when my ideas come to fruition and everything works the way I want it to. Ah, control – what a wonderful feeling! There’s a back-up plan for everything and more security nets than at the Cirque du Soleil. But I’ve left that world behind, because when life beats you, it does so until you’re on the ground. And I find it more helpful to give in to the pain than try to struggle for self-control. After a good emotional shower (hot, cold, hot, lukewarm, ice cold), I feel cleansed. Tears wash away all that anger, sadness and disappointment, and the healing begins.

Make your inner child laugh

Catalysts for tears are often labelled as “negative emotions”. The problem with categorizing emotions into good and bad is that it’s rather frivolous. A strong emotion that may result in tears deserves to be noticed, not neglected. I’m fairly certain that suppressing one’s emotions leads to illness. When a child is upset we try to work out which of her needs have to be fulfilled. Just ask yourself what your inner child may need right now and make her smile again!

Feel with sensitivity

Naturally, there are times when I must carefully weigh how much emotional outpour the people around me can endure. In a professional setting, I tend to withdraw to vent or have a quick cry in private. Not all of my colleagues need or want to know everything about my personality, and some of them may find it difficult to deal with an emotional outbreak. But there’s one more reason why I recommend being open with one’s feelings rather than fighting them – depression. Sometimes negative emotions can be a symptom of a depressive episode and when these become more frequent it’s advisable to seek the help of a therapist. Psychological support should be treated as a legitimate medical provision, because our soul requires just as much care and attention as our body does. On that note – take care of yourselves and let your emotions run free!

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Fitness trainer, blogger for Louise et Hélène, photographer and turtle-mum: Konstanze took many roles over the past years. Her believe: Life is a playground, where everyone can discover new things every day. Curiosity and drive compelled her to start writing. Through her work, she seeks to explore the role of women in society: does it mean to be woman? What are the specific challenges? How can I enjoy my femininity in an honest way? And how do we keep the balance between body culture and body positivity? Konstanze is looking for the answers every day.