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Is it Okay to not be Okay?


With a global pandemic, record unemployment, and cold weather, it is easy to get upset, depressed, angry, and frustrated. All of this has led many to post stating, “It’s okay to not be okay” on social media. But what does this actually mean, and is it safe? Let us break this down and examine what this means for us socially and individually.


It is a common occurrence; you walk down the hall, and someone says, “Hey, how are you?” and you respond with the typical “good” or “I’m okay,” but you might be having an absolutely horrible day. It is okay to say I am not okay. Do not be afraid to share your genuine emotions with those you trust. Feel free to open up and talk about how you are feeling. You will find that many people can relate, and you might find comfort in knowing you are not going through a hardship alone.

We are often afraid to speak up about our negative emotions for fear of being a “Debbie Downer” or a drama queen/king. We fear being rejected, and when we are in a low place, to begin with, that fear compounds. Giving the usual “I’m fine/good/okay” response is, in a way, a defense mechanism. The truth is people experience and convey more negative emotions than positive ones on a regular basis. Keep this in mind, and you might find it is not awkward to express how you are honestly feeling to others.


Is it okay for you to not feel okay? Yes. If you did not experience negative emotions, you would be unable to appreciate the positive ones. You cannot know light without dark, and you cannot know happiness if you do not know sadness. When things happen in our life that make us feel a negative emotion, whether it is depression, sorrow, anger, frustration, or anxiety, it is okay to feel that way. The problems begin when we become stuck there. If you are unable to eventually pull yourself out of that negative place and into a positive one, that might be a sign of a more serious issue and seeking help might be recommended.

When you experience a negative emotion, the best thing you can do is sit with it for a little while, recognize it, pay attention to it, understand how it makes you feel, give that feeling a name and then work towards changing it. You need to understand fully where you are and how this is affecting you. People often walk around with a clenched jaw, tight muscles, or a sad expression and do not even realize that their bodies are reacting to the negative emotions they are feeling. When we recognize it and give it the proper attention, we start to feel the release. Many refer to this as having a weight lifted off of them.

An essential step to release the body's adverse tension is to name the emotion you are feeling; you must name it to tame it. Take time to perform a full-body scan and feel where this emotion affects you physically. Some common feelings and areas are.

  • Anger – Felt in the hands as clenched fists, clenched jaws, and tight shoulders.
  • Sadness – In the chest and stomach, sometimes leads to emotional eating.
  • Anxiety – Tightness in the shoulders, back, and stomach, can lead to appetite loss.
  • Worry – In the hands, wringing the hands or playing with hair, picking at nails, etc.…

It is entirely normal to feel negative emotions, and there should be no stigmas about having bad days. It is okay to not be okay. Embrace the negative emotions and know how they affect you so you can help yourself to overcome them. If you need more help in understanding how emotions can affect you socially and physically, please reach out to us at [email protected]. Learn more about the services we offer at


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