Often when people feel sad, overwhelmed, anxious, or irritable, they stop and ask, “What is wrong with me?”   Perhaps sometimes these symptoms are meant to be a message to us to slow down. Our bodies react to stress, both physically and emotionally, and if we do not listen to our bodies, they will eventually shut down on us. It is important to take time for ourselves, to go inward, restructure the things that are out of balance, and practice self-care.

This is not to say that negative feelings are always bad; they have a purpose. Friction causes sparks, therefore resistance is necessary for creation. Take exercise for example. We work out and break down our muscles so that they grow back even stronger. Life events work the same way. We can find meaning in our suffering if we look with the right eyes.

However, balance is key in not letting those negative feelings take over and cause damage. We should listen to our inner intelligence that is alerting us that something is not right and try to do more things like get enough sleep, exercise, and eat right. But most importantly, we should avoid the feeling of feeling ashamed when we have these feelings, instead reach out to others have been through similar experiences,  or to a counselor who can help you process what is going on and move forward.

Cindy Klimaszewski is the Graduate Counseling Intern with in the Stepping Stones program at Step By Step Counseling, LLC.