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Why It is Important To Embrace Negative Emotions

Why It is Important To Embrace Negative Emotions

Most of us hate negative emotions such as jealousy, disappointment, and anger. So, what we do is ignore them or escape from them. However, embracing dark emotions is more likely to benefit psychological health in the long-term, says a new research.

In a study of more than 1,300 adults, researchers found that people who regularly try to resist negative emotions are more likely to experience symptoms of mood disorders months later, compared to subjects who accept such emotions. The study's findings were reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Study author Brett Ford, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto in Canada, and his colleagues asked 1,003 participants to rate how strongly they agreed with certain statements, such as "I tell myself I shouldn't be feeling the way I'm feeling." The researchers found that participants who had lower agreement to these statements displayed higher levels of psychological well-being, compared to subjects who resisted negative feelings. So, next time you have a negative emotion, follow these three steps.

Understand your emotions right

You need to first understand your feelings to deal with it. For instance, if you are checking out some amazing pictures of your friend's Europe tour on social media and feeling bad about it, accept that you are feeling jealous. Also, when you are aware of your feelings, inner thoughts and emotions, you understand others too. This will further help you connect better, reassure and inspire others with your presence. With good amount of gratitude, compassion and hope, a person can have the courage to sense better as to what others need.

Embrace them wholeheartedly

Jealousy and anger are negative emotions but they are natural. When you don't accept them, they will take the shape of another emotion and express itself in a inappropriate way. So, when you are feeling jealous about your friend's foreign trips, accept and then embrace it instead of denying it. When you embrace your negative emotions as a normal part of life, you will get over them sooner. For instance, fear helps us survive. Without fear, all of us would be driving crazy, crossing the road without looking or deep dive in a pool without knowing to swim.

Work on a plan to deal with them

Once you have accepted negative emotions as something normal, you figure out ways to handle them without too much of collateral damage . For instance, tell yourself that you should embrace life's small pleasures, rather than holding out for big ones. Even the smallest pleasures can raise your happiness quotient significantly. While there is nothing blatantly wrong in travelling to a foreign location or going for that five star dinner, you shouldn't miss out on the small joys of everyday life. So, remind yourself of such joys and figure a way out.

(Also read: You Can Control Your Emotions By Talking To Yourself )

(Image Credit: Thinkstock)

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