How one saying radically changed my perception of feelings.

Managing and coping with my feelings has never been easy for me. I am that person who often shoves down my feelings for weeks and months before actually dealing with them. I always thought the first step to coping with feelings was to tackle the issue imminently. I have heard the saying, “your feelings are valid,” so many times, but I never paid attention to the phrase’s true meaning.

COVID hit my last semester of high school, and I was experiencing so many complicated feelings. My senior year was practically over. Distraught was the only word I can use to describe how I was feeling. Many days were spent isolated in my room crying while “attempting” to get school work done. My energy was being used to try every coping method. I knew I was missing a step in the process of coping with my darkest thoughts. One day I was in my room working on an English 101 paper when I had an epiphany.

The step I was missing in the process of coping was accepting and validating how I felt. I spent so many years trying to confront my thoughts before actually accepting how I was feeling. The saying, “Your feelings are valid.”, finally meant something to me. Whenever I got sad and depressed, I repeated, “My feelings are valid.”, over and over again. I started getting my thoughts under control after a few weeks. Coping with my thoughts took way less energy out of me once I began to validate myself.

Now I am in college, I am experiencing a new set of feelings coming with being a freshman. The power of self validation has helped me tremendously. Especially on the days where I feel overwhelmed in a never ending to-do list.

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