We all know that happiness is good for us. In fact, being happy is pretty important (and for good reason). But does that mean that negative emotions are best avoided? Can negative emotions actually be good for you?
Let’s dive into why negative emotions (in moderation) might not be so bad. Because, believe it on not, they may have a pretty important purpose. Check it out:
The Pursuit of Happiness Needs to Include Working Through Negative Emotions
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! And a positive outlook is good for you. Emotional vitality and a sense of optimism can even help you to avoid and/or manage illnesses like heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and depression (source).
So who wouldn’t want to feel anything but happy all the time, right?
While that sounds pretty awesome, never-ending happiness is kind of impossible. There’s something to be said about emotional balance. Ultimately, we’re all going to feel negative emotions from time to time. Sadness, anger, fear, anxiety… these are inevitable facts of life. But is it possible that these emotions aren’t so bad after all?
How Can Negative Emotions Actually Be Healthy?
You are a whole person. As a whole person you are going to experience far more than simply positive emotions. And all of your 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. Emotions protect you, letting you know when something isn’t right and when to walk away. They are mechanisms that have developed through eons of evolution, created to aid in your growth and survival. That’s kind of a big deal!
As healthy as it may be to be happy, denying yourself the right to experience negative emotions isn’t good for you either. In fact, suppressing emotions might pack a pretty negative punch in the health department, potentially increasing your risk of heart disease and even cancer (source). That kind of undoes the health benefits of happiness we talked about earlier.
How Should We Deal With Negative Emotions?
While it can be incredibly difficult to face negative feelings, it’s so important to be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling and express those emotions. Expressing yourself in a healthy and balanced way is good for your mental well-being. 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 (even when they aren’t positive) and care for them in order to truly foster good health. It’s the ultimate form of self love.
There is no shame in needing and seeking help. If your feelings are more than you can bare and become more destructive than constructive there is never any shame in opening up to someone and working together to find a solution. It can be anyone in your support group, including friends, family and even a good therapist or psychologists.
Not quite sure which one is right for you? Make an informed choice with BetterHelp, an organization dedicated to making professional counseling accessible, affordable and convenient. They break down the differences between therapists and psychologists for you right here: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/psychologists/what-is-the-difference-between-a-therapist-and-a-psychologist/.
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.