All of us experience different kinds of stress in our daily lives. We often force ourselves to act as if nothing is wrong; pretending that everything is just fine. We may be feeling sick and tired emotionally or mentally. All throughout the day, we act like everything’s just normal. We make the effort to smile and be cheerful just to make sure no one notices that we’re not okay. For this scenario, the Dark Mode Challenge is a way to get through.
Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.— Carl Jung
This is how most of us cope with challenging mental and emotional issues – we pretend that we’re just fine. We have been programmed to believe that showing our vulnerability is a weakness. We believe that it is unacceptable to indulge in or to show our negative emotions to anybody else. In the process, we are engaging in toxic positivity.
The Dark Mode Challenge
Your challenge is to indulge your dark mood, by switching on your Dark Mode. Your task is to do everything you need to do to express your feelings. Keep in mind that you should do this without harming yourself or someone else. You can do this with a friend or on your own. This process is you accepting that it’s okay to not to be okay.
You can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and just let life happen.— Kody Kiplinger
Schedule a whole day, or the weekend. Go offline, laze around and unwind. Focus on what you are feeling. It doesn’t matter if you decide to watch sad movies and cry all through it. If it takes finishing off a tub of your favorite ice cream; don’t stop yourself. Write, draw, paint, listen to music or dance your heart out. The goal is to do whatever you need to do to get the negative feelings out and truly feel them.
Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience. Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires. The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering. The avoidance of struggle is a struggle. The denial of failure is a failure. Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.— Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Use Your Imagination
Imagine yourself as Batman, who is always on dark mode. As Batman, you are trying to engage your negative feelings. Your goals is to draw them out from within yourself. Put a name to each one of them if you can, and in the process, vanquish them. In the morning, you can switch to your light mode again.
Named must your fear be before banish it you can.— Yoda
This doesn’t mean that you dwell in the negative state. That’s why you have to set a time limit for yourself. Have a friend remind you that your time is up. Give yourself a day or two, no more.
We are often told to “just get over it”. Worse, this is what we tell ourselves. This overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state results in the denial, diminishment and invalidation of our emotional experience. This is toxic positivity. You are essentially denied the right to experience your emotions.
We often do this to ourselves and sometimes to other people. It is a form of self-sabotage that we have come to treat as normal. This should not be normal. You should take the time to indulge in your negative feelings.
The whole purpose of bawling your eyes out, or writing your heart out, etc.; is to get the heavy emotions and thoughts out of your system. This will help you feel a little lighter mentally and emotionally. The process will help you clarify your thoughts. This will make it easier for you to start working on how to get back up from your dark mode. You can slowly start switching to your light-hearted mode again.
Featured Image: Original Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash.