We all have them, to one degree or another. We are born with them and they change over time. They seem to always be there. Admittedly, health issues have a profound effect on our feelings, but that does not diminish the importance of feelings. And feeling can have an equally profound effect on our behavior, and can conversely effect our overall health. I like to say, “It is all about how you feel.” I mean that in life how we feel is critical. People may advise us to cheer up, but how?
I came to this conclusion (which I should have already known) after spending years working to help others deal with problems of one kind or another, often which they had with a friend or loved one. While it usually took a good amount of time, and sometimes nothing happened, the change in people was frequently remarkable. Feeling bad was debilitating, while finding a state of normalcy or feeling good enabled people to make decisions and move forward with their lives. Sometimes, feeling better led to better decisions and improvement, if not solutions, to the problem responsible for feeling bad in the first place.
I am not talking about clinical depression, chronic sadness for no reason, or any form of diagnosable mental health problem. I am talking about the normal things in life that may affect us because the emotional weight is so great. Things that make us sad are part of life, but they can, and often do, emotionally stop us right in our tracks. We feel bad. And depending on the degree and how it is handled, it has everything to do with eventually feeling good enough again to get on with it. I will not say get over it, or that we even have to.
While I’m not trying to sell any solution or answer, I’m also not saying that one way is better than another. The issue is often time. And we need the persistence and the patience to make the effort over time in order to move past the feeling bad. The adage is that time heals all wounds. Usually, it does and we feel better. But have we recovered? Could we have done things to feel better sooner and at a higher level? If so, what things?
We have heard, “How do you feel about it?” and “How does that make you feel?” We may ask ourselves that question every day. While this is normal, living with a daily problem that makes us feel bad can often be improved. But we have to want to improve and we need to be willing and motivated to do what it takes to feel better.
I am not advocating or writing a self-help book here. But I do think they are helpful for some of us. There are many useful guiding books, and more seem to come out every day. Other forms of help may include self-help groups, counselors and advisors; religious, spiritual, or secular. Medical assistance may be necessary, but I am not qualified to suggest anything. I would seek medical help, if I felt bad enough.
Sentience is the capacity to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively. It may have slightly different meanings in other cultures, but in the West, it relates to that capacity. If we can do that, we can feel better. My point is that how we feel is critically important in life. We need to exercise our universal and inalienable right to be happy and feel as good as we are able as often as we can.