HJ: There is great wisdom in them thar’ negative emotions. But in all seriousness, ‘difficult’ emotions are the doorway to our most profound level of healing. They are the flower whose roots lead deep into our hearts and minds and reveal to us those places which still need love and acceptance. It is only when we deny them or do not heed their lesson that they persist. When we turn our gaze inwards and let them lead us where they will, we find their source and can then decide if it serves to continue to hold on.
Beyond Happiness: The Upside of Feeling Down
Negative emotions do us a great favor—they save us from ourselves. They’re signals urging us to change what we’re doing— and they’re actually necessary for feeling good
By Matthew Hutson | Psychology Today
No one questions the value of feeling good. In fact, it seems that for the past 20 years, everyone in America has been on a relentless quest for a blue-sky state of mind, in pursuit of permanent residence on the spectrum between contentment and ecstasy.
Feeling bad is another matter entirely. Emotions that generate unpleasant feelings have been called sins (wrath, envy), shunned in polite interaction (jealousy, frustration), or identified as unhealthy (sadness, shame). We suppress them, medicate them, and berate ourselves for feeling them.
Because such feelings are aversive, they are often called “negative” emotions, although “negative” is a misnomer. Emotions are not inherently positive or negative. They are distinguished by much more than whether they feel good or bad. Beneath the surface, every emotion orchestrates a complex suite of changes in motivation, physiology, attention, perception, beliefs, and behaviors: sweating, laughing, desiring revenge, becoming optimistic, summoning specific memories. Each component of every emotion has a critical job to do—whether it’s preparing us to move toward what we want (anger), urging us to improve our standing (envy), or allowing us to undo a social gaffe (embarrassment).