It's All About the Feels

I was thinking the other day (this gets me in trouble regularly) about why we do what we do.  I mean we, as humans.  Why do we go to work?  Why do we exercise?  Why do we shop?  Why do we do anything?

After some thought, I came up with the underlying answer.  Essentially, everything we do is to feel a certain way.  There’s a couple of basic things we need to survive, like eating and sleeping, but those still come with feelings. We are emotional beings. Although there’s some differing opinions about the exact number of emotions we actually feel, the consensus is there’s several.  Happy, sad, indifferent, anger, fear, sadness, content, grief, excitement, etc.

We go to work to make money so we feel secure.  We are in relationships to feel and give love.  We buy houses and fill them with stuff we like to feel comfortable.  We exercise to make our physical bodies feel good (even if it doesn’t during the actual act).  We eat to feel full, or satisfied, or even to relieve stress.  

Even though we can all agree, we have a ton of emotions everyday, for some reason, being “emotional” comes with a highly negative connotation.  That was true in my own life for a long time.  So much so, that eventually I tried to stop feeling altogether.  I ate to make feelings go away.  I drank to make feelings go away.  I shopped to make feelings go away.  I used social media to take the focus off my own feelings.  

Now, I try to take a look at what I’m feeling, and understand that it’s human to feel an array of emotions.  I don’t have to be “happy” all the time.  Although that would be nice, it’s not realistic.  And, I try to look at what feeling I’m trying to create with my behaviors.  Am I reaching for the chocolate because I’ve had a shitty day?  Am I picking a fight with my significant other because I  feel bad about myself?  Am I running to punish my body instead of celebrate it?

The bottom line is, we all want to feel good.  But sometimes in our crazy, hectic world, we reach for things that are detrimental to our health to get a temporary fix.  

Jessica Hauser