Are you on a pursuit of happiness? Do you strive to create a foundation of joy and gratitude and greet the world with a smile on your face? I certainly do and I think that this ideal is fairly popular, especially among the wellness community.
And how could it not be? Happiness feels good! A positive outlook is good for you. Emotional vitality and a sense of optimism can help you to avoid and/or manage illnesses like heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and depression (source).
But there’s something to be said about emotional balance. It is impossible to live a life where you never feel negative emotions. Sadness, anger, fear, anxiety… these are inevitable facts of life. The question is, can negative emotions be good for you?
How Can Negative Emotions Actually Be Healthy?
You are a whole person. As a whole person you are going to experience far more than positive emotions. Those feelings are all there for a reason. They are meant to guide you, telling you when to turn away and what directions to move in. These emotions protect you, letting you know when something isn’t right and when to run. They are mechanisms that have developed through eons of evolution, created to aid in your growth and survival.
As healthy as it may be to be happy, denying yourself the right to experience negative emotions isn’t good for you either. Suppressing emotions may increase your risk of heart disease and even cancer (source).
Are negative emotions good for you?
Heck yes! Express yourself! Expressing your emotions in a healthy and balanced way is good for your mental wellbeing. Be present in the moment and feel whatever it is you feel. Sit with your feelings, work with them, breathe and move forward. Know that when you are experiencing negative feelings your experience is completely normal and acceptable and part of this journey called life. The positive will return and whatever you are working through will inevitably guide you forward and help you grow.
You never need to face it alone. Build a supportive team that you can celebrate with and cry with. Your feelings are as much a fundamental part of your biology as breathing and hunger – you need to address them and care for them in order to truly foster good health. It’s the ultimate form of self-love.
If your feelings are more than you can bare and become more destructive than constructive there is never any shame in seeking help. It can be anyone in your support group, including friends, family and even a good therapist. There is no shame in needing and seeking help.
Here’s to happiness, sadness, envy and more. Embrace who you are and how you feel, lovely; it’s all part of the beautiful you.
Health and love,
Thought of the day: My emotions are all worthy of my attention. I acknowledge and embrace my right to feel what I need to and work through it.
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