two ladies talking over coffee

How to self-validate your emotions

Have you ever stated your opinion on something to your family or friends and gotten a less than positive response from them?… we’d be concerned if you haven’t. No two people are going to agree on absolutely EVERYTHING. It’s just not how humans work.

Has your friend’s reaction ever caused you to backflip on what you believe in, and made you feel doubtful towards your own values? It’s completely normal to doubt yourself when your worldview or opinion had been challenged.

So what’s the secret to helping you stick to your values like glue?

Okay, so we’ll spill the tea… it’s called ✨self-validation✨

According to Psychology Today, self-validation is, drum roll please – accepting your own internal experience, your thoughts, and your feelings. Instead of seeking validation from your peers, learn to seek validation from yourself.

Validating your thoughts and emotions is a step towards understanding yourself and accepting who you are. It leads to a stronger identity and can help strengthen your own voice. Of course, not every thought you have will reflect your values, but you can definitely capture your thoughts and learn from them.

Why is accepting your thoughts and feelings so important? Let’s flip the focus for a second. What would you say to a friend who was worried about an exam they just sat?

“It’s going to be okay” – “I bet you smashed it!” – “you got this!”

We’d only make our friends feel worse if we were to judge their feelings.

“I don’t know why you’re so worried. It’s just an exam” – we wouldn’t do that right?! 😳

It’s the exact same with how you respond to yourself in these situations. Instead of judging your thoughts and worrying what other people would think, re-affirm yourself, “you got this.”

Alright, so it seems we’ve reached the core of self-validation. Now to focus on how you can implement it within your day.

How to practice self-validation:

Be present

How can you validate your thoughts and feelings if you aren’t aware of them? If you are hesitating to voice your opinion on a matter, take a step back and try to identify this feeling, maybe it’s nerves? Why might you be nervous?

Accept those feelings

This point is directly related to what we mentioned above about judging yourself for feeling a certain way. If its nerves you’re feeling, remind yourself it’s okay to feel nervous and that everyone experiences nerves.

See your reaction in context

All feelings are valid but try to put them into context with the past or present situation. You spent hours preparing for a job interview, only to not land the job. You’re aware that you’re feeling upset and a little angry. You accept those feeling, and now you can try to put those feelings into context, “I spent a lot of time preparing for that interview, so it’s understandable I’m feeling upset.”

Everything is A-OK

Cut yourself some slack. You are human after all, and we’ve all reacted to a particular situation in a way we couldn’t always control.

So next time you feel yourself worrying what others might think of your viewpoint or your reaction to a situation, remember no two people are the same, so make that headspace of yours a pleasant place to be!

If you’re having a hard time, there are teams at UNE that you can speak to;
Our team offers confidential support to students! Contact us here.
The UNE Student Success Wellbeing Centre also has confidential counseling for students, you can find them here.
Lifeline is also a 24/7 hotline and you can call them on 13 11 14