Its okay to be not okay | Ask Dr Daniel Chang

Many of us go through life afraid of negative emotions. We avoid them, we block them, we suppress them. We dont want anything to do with them. We do not acknowledge them, we do not address them, we do not soothe them. The lockdown, for better or for worse, has led to an increase in people having to deal with such emotions.

Its okay to be not okay…

Take our daily greeting to one another. ‘How are you’. 3 simple words. Where we can respond with a good or bad. How many of us, when we go through a trying moment, will openly acknowledge it, instead of putting up a front, when others ask us, ‘how are we’? And how many of us know what to reply, when the response is not the standard, ‘I am good’? PersonallyI for one do not like to address negative emotions. I always try to put up a brave and positive front…

I was watching this incredible Netflix Korean drama, It’s Okay To Be NOT Okay. Yes I admit, I have a weakness for Korean dramas and can binge watch them non stop. Had a wonderful K drama marathon during the Circuit break lol. I loved those dramas that have finished airing, so I can finish them in one sitting and hated the suspense of waiting week after week for unfinished dramas to air lol. Simply can’t wait haha. On a serious note, I felt this strong conviction to write this article after the drama, so clearly some good did come out of this little habit of mine *tongue firmly in cheek* I encourage those of you with the time, to watch this series, to learn more about yourselves, and more about others.

We were all born different…

We were all born with a certain deck of cards. Our perspective of life is moulded by what we were exposed to and not exposed to, and what we were taught and not taught, through our growing up years. If we have feelings of self doubt, guilt, unworthiness, fear, fraud, anxiety, depression, it is not because we are f***ed up. It is because we have never had our emotional needs met as a child. We were never taught how to manage our emotions and embrace them. On the contrary, we judge them. It is no one’s fault, because our parents probably had the same lot.

Our thoughts and feelings are neither good nor bad. They are a reflection of our past experiences. We cannot change our automatic thoughts, we cannot change our automatic feelings. Ok maybe we can, if we suffer amnesia or dementia lol.  

We are all imperfect, thats what makes us human…

Here are some examples of automatic negative thoughts. See if you can identify with them. Alot of these are so ingrained in our psyche we hardly even notice them when they appear and disappear in our minds. They develop during our growing up years and, due to an absence of correction, stay embedded in our memories.

“I feel like I’m up against the world.”
“I’m no good.”
“Why can’t I ever succeed?”
“No one understands me.”
“I’ve let people down.”
“I don’t think I can go on.”
“I wish I were a better person.”
“I’m so weak.”
“My life’s not going the way I want it to.”
“I’m so disappointed in myself.”
“Nothing feels good anymore.”
“I can’t stand this anymore.”
“I can’t get started.”
“What’s wrong with me?”
“I wish I were somewhere else.”
“I can’t get things together.”
“I hate myself.”
“I’m worthless.”
“Wish I could just disappear.”
“What’s the matter with me?”
“I’m a loser.”
“My life is a mess.”
“I’m a failure.”
“I’ll never make it.”
“I feel so helpless.”
“Something has to change.”
“There must be something wrong with me.”
“My future is bleak.”
“It’s just not worth it.”
“I can’t finish anything.”
Automatic thoughts

Acceptance is the 1st step. Understanding ourselves, touching our deep innermost soul, loving ourselves, embracing our original self, even with all those negative emotions. Soothing ourselves with the butterfly hug when we feel anxious, ashamed, overwhelmed, or blue is a beautiful and simple step.

Butterfly technique

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Arms across in a hugging manner
  3. Tap your shoulder 3 times, Left -> Right
Butterfly Hug

Set realistic goals based on the abilities we were blessed with. Live authentic, sincere, compassionate lives. Be in touch with your emotions, be in sync with your soul, and embrace your own values. 

Be life giving. Find someone you can help, and make it your destiny. 

Its okay to be not okay. 

– Dr Daniel Chang

#care #kindness #acceptance #mentalwellness #compassion #empathy #safe #belonging #purpose #meaning #give #grow #celebrate #generous #service #wounds # healing #labour #toil #rest

Aesthetic doctor Singapore
Dr Daniel Chang
Dr Daniel Chang
Dr Daniel Chang


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