Emotions are our basic humanity kit, without them, we would be as robots, flatlined, as dead. They are the spice of life, even the negative ones. We call them positive or negative according to how they make us feel, if the sensation is exhilarating or pleasant, we label them positive emotions. If the sensation they produce is unpleasant, we call them negative. This is the only difference between them. In reality, there are no good or bad emotions, they all have a purpose and a place in our lives, so we should not try to rid ourselves of any emotion. They are only dangerous when they go unnoticed or unchecked and they overflow and become too big, then we become unbalanced and can suffer consequences.
For example, anger. If we don’r recognize that something or someone is irritating us, and we don’t do anything about it when it’s only an irritation, we get angry. If we still don’t pay attention, or try to block the emotion, we become furious. Once we are furious, there is no telling what we can do or say, but surely it won’t be anythything nice or helpful, chances are it will be destructive. Anger in itself is not bad, it helps us set limits, leave situations which are being hurtful for us, it gives us the strength we need to do something to stop a challenging situation. But it needs to be recognized in time, and used for our benefit, not blocked, allowed to get out of hand and used to hurt ourselves or others.
That’s why we need to accept that we have all the range of emotions, just like everyone else. We need to accept our humanity, and that we can feel all the emotions, the ones that are socially acceptable and the ones that we have been taught are bad and we shouldn’t feel. We need to stop feeling guilty for feeling, whatever it is we feel. The proactive way to deal with emotions is to see their purpose and benefit for ourselves. They are there to help, not to hinder, so let’s start paying attention, recognizing them for what they are, and using them in our favor. This is a small list of “negative” emotions, their purpose and uses to exemplify how to do this. I encourage you to have a look at your emotions and the possible uses they have for you, to look on them as friends, not fiends!
-Anger: let’s us know something is irritating or hurtful for us, helps us set limits, gives us strength to defend ourselves.
-Sadness: let’s us know we care, helps us grieve and it is an outlet for the feeling of loss.
-Envy: let’s us know what it is we want, helps us achieve our goals.
-Disdain: let’s us know what we dislike or disrespect in the behaviour of others, it helps us avoid that behaviour in ourselves.
-Frustration: let’s us know that we did not achieve something we wanted, helps us reevaluate our goals, tackle the problem in a different way.
You get the drift! Reevaluate your emotions!