For several years, I struggled with depression. Low, dark moods that kept lingering around.
And only now looking back do I see a big factor that contributed to that.
I kept FEEDING those feelings.
I made things 10 times worse by focusing on all the reasons why I “deserved” to be depressed.
Why I was a “loser”.
Why I was “unlovable”.
I’d listen to REALLY sad love songs to just keep that energy alive in my body.
I’d literally “feed” them with junk food with zero nutritional value.
Replay the breakup or negative situation in my mind.
Or I’d numb and distract myself with ESPN or porn.
I became addicted to that state, it felt like my “normal”.
And the feelings I numbed, resisted or ignored only came back again.
Of course, when I felt better—happy, confident, optimistic—what did I do? Did I feed THOSE feelings?
Feeling good was just “luck”. I was randomly feeling happy that day “just because”. Nothing to do with me or my choices.
But here’s what I observed.
Negative emotion wasn’t the problem, it was the FEEDING them that was the problem.
Like bringing a firehose to a flooded basement. Not necessary.
All feelings need to be FELT. They are there in your body, in that moment, to serve you with information and guidance.
But not all feelings need to be FED.
How do you know which ones to feed?
The ones you want to experience MORE of.
And the ones you don’t want experience more of?
Respect them when they arise.
Feel them fully.
Those negative feelings are a gift to you. They are beautiful part of your human experience.
But know what ELSE is part of your human experience?
Life brings us challenges. Shit happens. Bad days show up.
And learning this distinction can help us surf those emotional waves for just as long as we need to.
FeeD or feeL?
PS: If this post resonated with you, please share it! You never know who else might be unnecessarily suffering in the dark.
Jeffrey Platts is a men's coach and authentic communication expert who is passionate about helping men create amazing relationships with women. With over 20 years of personal study and transformational training, he has led nearly 200 workshops and retreats on personal growth, dating, and communication. Jeffrey's work and writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, Washington Post, ABC News, Authentic Man Program and the Good Men Project. He brings a rich toolbox of insights and experiences to his facilitation, integrating his adventures as DJ, amateur stand-up comedian, salsa dancer, yoga teacher and world traveler.