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What’s So Bad About Feeling Sad?

sad kittyEvery now and then, as you know if you’ve been hanging out here with me for a while, I come across an article that I wish I’d written myself.

That’s doubly true for this well-written, spot-on post by Leanne Reed, who happens to be a therapist in Portland, Oregon just like me.

I’m impressed by the clarity of Leanne’s writing, and I hope you will be, too.

So without further ado, I give you…

What’s So Bad About Feeling Sad? by Leanne Reed

Photo courtesy of www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Tina Gilbertson

Tina Gilbertson is a psychotherapist, speaker and author based in Denver, Colorado. She specializes in supporting parents of estranged adult children through therapy, consulting and other resources, and offers assertiveness training and executive coaching for organizations. The author of "Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them" and the "Guide for Parents of Estranged Adult Children," Tina is often featured in the media as an expert on communication and relationships. Her blog on PsychologyToday.com is called "Constructive Wallowing."
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0 Responses to "What’s So Bad About Feeling Sad?"

  • Peggy
    December 7, 2013 - 9:35 am Reply

    Excellent reading. It reminded me of words I heard recently when I remarked ” I don’t like the Winter season coming”. The words were “Summer would’t be so nice without Winter” See another eye opener.. Life is so much fun.

  • Cheryl
    December 8, 2013 - 1:25 pm Reply

    It helps to read your work Tina, and that of others you recommend – thank you. I was surprised to read that Leanne recommends that if sad feelings come up at a time when it’s not in your best interest to experience them, to revisit them and their triggers later. I’ve done that in the past, but not in any kind of intentional way. I always thought when I did that I was just having a pity party and and dwelling on the event in an unhealthy way. I would then feel kind of ashamed, like I enjoyed being unhappy or something. It’s interesting to learn that maybe those assumptions aren’t true.

    • Tina Gilbertson
      December 8, 2013 - 5:10 pm Reply

      Thank you for noting and underlining that important point, Cheryl. We’re trained to believe that it’s wrong to “go looking for trouble” inside ourselves by revisiting painful interactions with others. In my view, this is bad advice based on a poor understanding of emotional health.

      There’s absolutely no shame in revisiting temporarily suppressed feelings, and spending as much time as you need with them. Those triggered emotions can’t work themselves out unless you give them the opportunity, by paying attention to them.

      The term “pity party” must have been coined by the Emotions Police to shame us for daring to have compassion for ourselves. Let’s reclaim the term and lose the shame.

      Note to all: Remember to bring actual emotions, not just thoughts, to your pity party for best results.

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