There is a lot of pressure in our society to seem like everything is always okay, that we’re always doing great, and to always keep a “happy face” on even when we’re not okay. The reality is, is that there are going to be some not so fun times that happen in life. Life can’t always be easy and stress free.
Many of us have been taught that it’s not okay to be sad or to be angry and to stuff those feelings down or tuck them away. When we’re not okay, we can set ourselves up to feel worse if we try to ignore the feelings and attempt to go through life wearing a “happy face”. Not taking off our “happy face” can unintentionally cause us to feel isolated or alone because we’re not allowing others to know that we’re not okay. Also, when we hide feelings that are considered by some to be bad feelings, like sadness or anger, we deny part of our experience. When we put our “happy face”, we can forget that we human beings are complex with complex feelings. When we pretend that everything is okay, we fail to remember that those less appreciated feelings, like sadness and anger, are part of who we are as human being, and that those feelings are often our body’s way of telling us or reminding us that somethings off.
It’s okay to take off your “happy face” and to experience and share what you’re feeling. If you’re struggling to take your “happy face” off, know that there are people in this world who will support you even when you’re not okay.
Photo by Kaci Kellman
Christina is a Psychotherapist in private practice. She supports residents in both Kansas and California.